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Autotech Controls has secured an order from Durr, a supplier of automotive production facilities, to provide the control and electrical solution for a new paint shop for Ford Motor Company in Romania.

Andrew Robinson, managing director for Autotech, said: ‘Durr has selected us to provide the electrical installation services for all the material-handling equipment being installed in the new paint shop at Ford’s plant in Craiova.

‘The system includes 3.5km of handling equipment, which will need to be brought on stream within a very challenging timeframe,’ he added.

The first vehicle – a Transit Connect van – rolled off the production line at the new Craiova factory in September 2009.

Ford has since confirmed that it will also build a small vehicle as well as an advanced, eco-friendly petrol engine at Craiova in the near future.

Once fully operational, Craiova will employ approximately 7,000 people and have a production capacity of up to 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines a year.

This follows the news that Autotech’s automated handling system at the Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling and distribution facility in Ploiesti, Romania, has gone live following a rapid installation and commissioning period.

Autotech was commissioned by the project’s main contractor, Logistex, to provide the conveyor and crane control systems for the facility and has worked closely with Logistex for the past year to ensure that the project’s tight deadlines were met.

The project includes a high-bay, clad-rack warehouse system – reaching a height of 27m – and the handling equipment includes 11 cranes, shuttle cars, elevators and 2km of conveyors, some of which have been installed at a height of 3.5m above the floor to maximise the use of available space.

Coca-Cola Hellenic – a bottler and vendor of Coca-Cola products in Europe – decided to make the investment to automate the plant’s handling processes in order to meet forecast growth in the Romanian market.

A critical factor in awarding the contract was the need to minimise downtime during installation, despite a timescale of just nine months.

Every aspect of the installation also had to be designed to withstand potential seismic activity in the region.

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