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Packaging Leader in Serbia Grows with WITTMANN IML Equipment

PRIMEX, the WITTMANN BATTENFELD agent for Serbia, launched the production of
3 in-mold labeling (IML) side entry robots for ATM d.o.o. The collaboration between
ATM d.o.o. and PRIMEX began 4 years ago with the purchase of a BATTENFELD
TMS 2100/1330 injection molding machine for packaging products.

The story of ATM d.o.o. began in 1994 when Dragan Djordjevic, a video rental
shop owner, felt there was an opportunity in the market for VHS boxes. At first
an old injection molding machine was used to produce these boxes in Dragan’s garage.
Working together with his brother Zoran the business grew in the first year and success came very soon after with a big order for the German market. “This order really launched our company and convinced us to explore new business”, says Dragan.
The company went through the Yugoslavian war without any interruption in production.
“During this period our strategy was to be very innovative with customers’ requests in order to provide global service and produce packaging within the constraints of the political situation.
We developed a business and a strong market position for chemical containers but
we sensed the potential for plastic packaging in the food industry. We explored different manufacturing methods for standard and specialty packaging before purchasing 5 WITTMANN side entry in-mold labeling (IML) robots to provide just-in-time supply to the local market.” ATM d.o.o. increased its market
share in the packaging business with rapid global development as a supplier of standard packaging and custom containers.
The Serbian market Serbia is a growing market because consumer habits are moving from the traditional local green market to the supermarket very quickly. As in every country, consumers are using supermarkets more and more with all products under one roof and because they can pay by credit card rather than with cash as required
in green markets. The food industry is developing a wider variety of easy-to-eat food
with convenient containers offering a longer “Best before date”

The ATM requirements

Mirjana Saveski, sales representative of PRIMEX, says:
“ATM d.o.o. selected 3 WITTMANN side entry robots based on their proven experience in IML. We had to ensure they could offer better production figures as compared to the existing competitor’s robots. The deal was made with the aim of reducing cycle times and having faster and lighter end-ofarm-tooling (EOAT) once again, as compared to the existing competitor’s robots.
We had to propose a better solution including easy access for maintenance and quick product changeovers. Michael Wittmann, General Manager, Wittmann Kunststoffger├Ąte
GmbH, was in Serbia to conclude the deal with Dragan Djordjevic and guaranteed WITTMANN would provide the most flexible solutions.”
Michael Wittmann says, “With ATM we found a company actively developing its local and foreign market over 14 years. This family company is very dynamic with innovative
packaging products and has grown by listening to its customers’ requirements.” From the WITTMANN IML Department ATM d.o.o. found cutting edge technology for the optimization of their cycle time and the highest reliability of the robots. Cycle time is a critical factor when looking at production costs and the WITTMANN label station makes the IML process more reliable with accurate label placement in the mold cavity. ATM d.o.o also appreciates the design of the IML automation
with easy access for maintenance and simple solutions to place labels like dummy cores with their own vacuum circuit versus methods using suction cups. The innovative label station eliminates frequent production stoppages which are very costly for ATM d.o.o. “We have proven this solution reduces maintenance
to optimize production time. We performed a complete analysis with the plant engineer
Zeljko Stamatovic to enable more production time and improve the operating mode of each robot.”, says Michael Wittmann.
A major problem with the existing competitor’s systems was the reliability of the label magazine and the time required for changeover for different container formats.
The ATM technical team selected the WITTMANN label magazine design based
on its simplicity which enables easy and quick changeovers. A change of the label format can be performed easily which is a real advantage for 24/7 production.

ATM’s benefits

ATM d.o.o. liked the user-friendly features and flexibility of the WITTMANN TeachBox.
“It’s a real advantage to train our maintenance team using such a user-friendly learning program and to ensure each technician feels comfortable when making adjustments. With the simple and clear programming our technicians
can explore new parameters to optimize the process very quickly. During the start-up
phase we experienced complete confidence of our technical team and immediately recognized possible cycle improvements.
It’s really encouraging to see how quick the technicians are at adapting the process and we are confident in achieving further improvement to our process. The complete start-up of the 3 robots was on schedule with the local PRIMEX representative
and we are very satisfied with the performance. The short cycle time has exceeded all our expectations and we will work with the specific mold characteristics to further reduce cycle time,” says Dragan Djordjevic.