Case: Butagaz, France (2015)

Safe handling of unmanageable cylinders


Our solution

The outcome

Scope of supply for filling line

Whatever the shape and size of the cylinder, the customer needs to fill them safely. And where there's a demand, there's a solution. Kosan Crisplant's (today known as MAKEEN Energy) office in France found the key to managing tall and heavy industrial cylinders as well as the new half square, half round Viseo cylinders in a profitable way for the customer, Butagaz in Aubigny.

Having been filling manually, Butagaz wanted a lasting solution for handling the tall and heavy industrial cylinders of 35 kg in an effective way. In other words, they needed a semi-automatic filling line to be able to fill the cylinders quicker and safer. The main issues with these tall cylinders are firstly that they arrive lying on the pallets and secondly their instability on the conveyor. Combined with the fact that they are also rather heavy makes them quite difficult to handle.

Safe handling by means of manipulator arm

For safety reasons and in order to ease handling, a manipulator arm was installed to lift the cylinders from a horizontal level and on to the chain conveyor. The arm is easily operated and has the ability to effortlessly lift 75 kg due to pneumatic assistance.

When safely placed on the conveyor, the tall cylinders are supported by installed guides along the conveyor belt. It goes without saying that large and heavy cylinders pose a threat to personnel, so great measures were taken to secure stability of the cylinders. For the same reason, special stoppers with four contact points instead of the usual two were installed.

After the filling procedure, check-weighing and leak testing, the manipulator arm securely lifts the cylinders off the conveyor belt and places them once again horizontally on a table and they are subsequently transferred onto the pallets.

Having installed the manipulator arm, the plant has now increased its capacity to a hundred 35 kg cylinders/hour. Kosan Crisplant made the unmanageable manageable!

Customised solution to fit new cylinder shape

Similarly, Kosan Crisplant was able to come up with a customised solution that accommodated the customer's need to fill half square, half round cylinders without driving costs through the roof. This new shape of cylinders did pose a challenge to the already existing equipment, because it is designed to fit completely round cylinders. Due to the vast amount of engineering expertise, Kosan Crisplant was able to adapt the equipment to fit the cylinder shape perfectly without having to redesign. This was very beneficial to the customer, who bought adapted equipment at the price of standard equipment.

A special filling head to eliminate the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) was also designed. The filling head introduces a small amount of nitrogen in the valve at the end of the filling to avoid residual gas inside the valve going into the atmosphere.

The project was an EPC contract including civil works, piping and electricity. At the end, capacity reached 300 cylinders/hour for the new cylinder shape.

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