For an exporter in Ivory Coast, SAUTEC has developed and manufactured a 2-in-1 container tipper, capable of tilting 20’ and 40’ containers. An innovative and versatile equipment for filling containers in complete safety. A look back at this adventure that began with a simple exchange with the client.
Increase autonomy and meet deadlines faced with a congested container loading platforms.
ZAMACOM, an Ivorian company, trades, collects and exports cocoa and coffee beans. It is a part of ECOM group, one of the world’s leading traders of coffee, cocoa and cotton. In recent years, the shipment of cocoa in bulk to processing countries has grown significantly and has become the majority of the business. Exporters’ customers want more receiving beans in bulk, rather than in bags, in order to facilitate unloading operations and optimise container filling.
To cope with this rapid change in the mode of export, “exporters like ZAMACOM are calling on service providers specialising in bulk container loading, which adds a significant cost to their operation” explains Ousmane Coulibaly, technical sales representative for SAUTEC in Ivory Coast. At the same time, the overloading of congestion of the existing bulk loading logistics platforms quickly became apparent, leading to missed deadlines and even penalties for delays from end customers. It was therefore in order to gain autonomy and control costs and deadlines that the managing director of ZAMACOM told the SAUTEC teams, during a visit, that he was looking for a solution to fill the containers himself.
A desire to accompany and satisfy the client in order to meet his needs.
In the past, the trading company had already used Ivorian companies to design a system capable of tilting the containers, but the client was not completely satisfied with any solution, he was convinced from experience that such a system would be difficult to implement without substantial financial resources. «When it comes to designing a new solution, it’s always a big challenge” says Ousmane before adding: “We wanted to take on this challenge because we like technical challenges and because we knew we could rely on our experience in loading containers and trucks and on our responsive and efficient technical team”.
More than a container tipper, a complete system from bag opening to containers loading.
After a little under a year of design and testing, a complete system for continuous bag opening, cocoa bean transfer and container loading was delivered by SAUTEC to the customer. The container filling process consists of 3 pieces of equipment: a loading conveyor, a slatted conveyor belt and the container tipper.
The 8M x 800mm loading conveyor is equipped with a buffer hopper and platforms for depositing the pallets. 5 operators can simultaneously cut the bags continuously, even while the containers are being placed. The whole system provides the customer with a secure bag cutting area with a high capacity of between 100 and 120 tonnes per hour. The bag dumping area is specially designed to prevent the product from falling to the ground.
This unit feeds a 14M x 1000mm lift equipped with a cleats belt. The latter ensures the transfer of the cocoa to the container. Located at the end of the line, the container tipper tilts the 20′ and 40′ containers between 40 and 60°. Using gravity, the customer maximises the yield and filling of the containers. Although in this case, special equipment is required to place the container on the tipper, other solutions are being studied: “We are also working on a solution that allows the container to be placed directly on the truck trailer“. The entire solution provided is designed to meet the customer’s current and future operations. “The strength of this container loading solution is that each equipment can be easily moved. No civil engineering is required,” explains Ousmane. This means that stuffing operations can be carried out wherever the customer wishes.
Local services to be as close as possible to clients’ needs.
Recently, the creation of the SAUTEC subsidiary in Ivory Coast has enabled the company to take a step forward in supporting its clients by offering local services. On behalf of ZAMACOM, several of these services have been carried out: – Supervision of assembly operations. – The realization of tests and final adjustments to ensure that everything works properly. – Training the operators in the correct use of the equipment and in maintenance. – Customisation of the solution with the addition and modification of some elements by Ivorian technicians.
Timeliness, cost control and a new source of income. The benefits have more than met the client’s expectations.
Today, it takes between 15 and 20 minutes to load a 40’ container, and less than 10 minutes for a 20’ container. Thanks to the SAUTEC equipment, ZAMACOM has achieved its objectives of cost and time control. Moreover, the company also benefits from a new source of income as it now performs container stuffing for other exporters!
Depending on the requirements, there are various solutions for loading containers.
SAUTEC is no stranger to container loading. In 2021, a mobile stuffing station for filling containers in an inclined position on a trailer was delivered for BOLLORE TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS. Just a few months earlier, the containers had to be filled in a horizontal position on the truck trailer for an exporter. Whatever the case, the recipe is the same: provide the customer with a versatile and modular mobile solution to meet his current and future needs with a single piece of equipment.