Many large, complex manufacturing processes are dependent on limestone products – just at the right moment. Which is why quick and secure transport operations are important. How does it work? Come and have a look, from order to delivery!
Thomas Brunzell, Transport Manager at SMA Mineral, has just started his four-day shift after four days off – a setup that he thinks works well, even though its means a lot of weekend work, sometimes even on Christmas Eve.
“Our customers must always have peace of mind. That’s why we’re available around the clock, every day, all year round,” says Thomas.
FULL CONTROL ALL THE WAY
With about fifteen internal and external loading sites, a large number of customers all over the country and a number of different limestone products, all requiring their own special handling, you have to keep your eye on the ball. The K2 transport management system is a good tool in this work.
“Orders come in by phone and email, and are entered into the system together with all the details. In K2 we can see which vehicles are free and where they are. SMA Mineral has its own haulage operation with three vehicles and a network of contracted hauliers all over the Nordic region. We strive constantly to maximise transport operations and to avoid idling – for the sake of economy and the environment,” explains Thomas.
A message is sent from K2 to the driver, who can confirm start, loading and unloading via an app. The Transport Manager can see where the delivery is at any time.
“The system with the app is a new one. It will make things easier for SMA Mineral, and we’ll be able to offer our customers even better service than before, when everything was done manually,” says Thomas.
It must never take any longer than three days from order to delivery in one of SMA Mineral’s markets. In urgent cases it can be even faster.
“Urgent deliveries are more expensive than planned ones. So we try to minimise urgent deliveries that are not caused by problems or breakdowns. But of course we always try to meet the customer’s preferences. We know what it means if a paper mill, a steel factory or a treatment plant has to shut down,” says Thomas.
FROM LOADING TO UNLOADING
Clara Steen has been working as a driver at SMA Mineral since May 2018. She lives in Karlstad but is based at the Gåsgruvan plant in Filipstad.
“I drive all over the country, both shorter distances during the day and longer distances that take several days. It’s an enjoyable, varied job. Different products mean different conditions. For example, there are often narrow forest roads and a lot of reversing when you’re carrying lake lime. That’s when you need to know exactly where the vehicle is,” says Clara.
We spent a day with Clara on her way from Filipstad, via our terminal in Otterbäcken, where she loaded 38 tonnes of quicklime, which was then transported to the Gruvön paper mill in Grums, where it was unloaded.
“Delivering on time is of course important, but so is maintaining a dialogue with the customer, who often wants to know exactly when the load will arrive. And of course to let them know if anything happens to affect transportation,” says Clara.
At the Gruvön paper mill, which is part of BillerudKorsnäs, they use the quicklime as a make-up chemical to generate a reaction with green liquor that comes from the recovery boiler at the mill. After the reaction, the liquor is treated and sent to the digester as white liquor, an active cooking chemical.
“It’s important for us to have an understanding of unforeseen events, which can affect the planning of both transport and production, and that we work together to find a good solution. It works well with SMA Mineral,” says Kristian Dedorsson, Operational Supervisor for the Liquor & Steam department at BillerudKorsnäs.