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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage

Smart Factory Solution
Integrated asset performance and field service management

SIG is set to deliver the first integrated APM (asset performance management) and FSM (field service management) digital solution for the food and beverage industry. (Picture: SIG)
SIG is set to deliver the first integrated APM (asset performance management) and FSM (field service management) digital solution for the food and beverage industry. (Picture: SIG)

SIG is set to deliver the first integrated APM (asset performance management) and FSM (field service management) digital solution for the food and beverage industry. Developed in partnership with GE Digital, the Plant 360 Asset Management will feature a range of on-demand digital services designed to help manufacturers reach new levels of efficiency, productivity and connectivity in their operations.

SIG Plant 360 Asset Management is being co-developed with GE Digital in response to increasing demands in the food and beverage industry, particularly the need for higher productivity, quality and uptime. With this innovative and integrated solution comprised of GE Digital’s APM and ServiceMax’s FSM software, SIG will offer state-of-the-art digital tools to help its customers boost production, reduce downtime and ensure even greater quality to meet ever-changing consumer needs.

“Equipment manufacturers like SIG are increasingly leveraging Industrial Internet of Things solutions to differentiate themselves through superior after-sales service,” said Dan Lohmeyer, SVP Digital Product Management at GE Digital. “GE Digital’s Asset Performance Management and ServiceMax’s Field Service Management software help OEMs ensure their installed base of equipment is performing optimally, and their field service resources are managed efficiently. Our integrated solution allows SIG to detect and correct potential equipment issues in advance, before they result in unplanned customer downtime, delighting end-customers through improved OEE and driving improved NPS scores for SIG.”

A modular solution for maintenance

Plant 360 Asset Management is a modular solution designed to improve filling line reliability and availability while reducing costs. The Connector module enables the collection of digital data, which is loaded into the Predix Cloud – GE Digital’s cloud platform. From here, the data can be retrieved and evaluated at any time by SIG’s reliability engineering team. This module can also be used for SIG’s other Smart Factory solution, Plant 360 Controller, which enables manufacturers to monitor, control and optimise every angle of their filling plant operations.

The Smart Maintenance module is based on a software-supported holistic process called Maintenance & Asset Data Analytics as well as an Asset Management Cockpit. This ensures customers have one data source for all maintenance-related activities. The third module is called Smart Performance and is based on Asset Health Monitoring and Predictive Asset Data Analytics, which will provide an optimal platform for predictive maintenance in the future.

Optimising assets at every stage

Together, the three modules will enable higher asset reliability and availability. The solution ensures a direct link between condition-based and predictive maintenance alerts in APM and the work being scheduled for field-service engineers in FSM. This helps translate alerts into efficient action on the ground and ensures field service teams receive as much advance notice as possible of an issue, which they can address before it impacts a customer’s operations. For example, defined wearing parts will no longer be replaced at fixed maintenance intervals. Instead, they will only be replaced when the data indicates a certain degree of wear.

“With Plant 360 Asset Management, any changes to equipment strategies – for example, changing service intervals or maintenance steps – can be quickly reflected in new FSM work,” said Klaus Andresen, Senior Vice President Global Technology at SIG. “This improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall SIG maintenance process. Data captured by field-service workers is immediately available for analysis by APM and the global SIG reliability engineering team, allowing us to better and more quickly detect emerging issues and trigger preventative steps.”

SIG Plant 360 Asset Management is being launched for the first time in the Middle East with Almarai, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest food and beverage producers, as start of the global rollout.

Robert Ross, Manufacturing Manager Dairy and Juice at Almarai: “Digital Solutions are vital for us to analyse exactly what is happening in our plant and going forward to produce reliably. The aspirational partnership with SIG & GE will greatly help us in root cause analysis and in providing valid answers. This will ensure reliable production and to improve our OEE. We are very proud to be an early adopter of this cutting-edge solution.”Plant 360 Asset Management is one of several value-added solutions within SIG’s Smart Factory segment, which is designed to help manufacturers meet the challenge of increasing output and driving down costs in today’s competitive environment. The solution-driven Smart Factory platform aims to deliver IoT-enabled systems and technical services that transform filling plants into connected factories that offer the highest efficiency, flexibility and quality.

Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage

PET
Resource-saving and flexible filling of sensitive products

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Image: Joerg Schwalfenberg

The market for sensitive beverages is flourishing. Throughout the world manufacturers of dairy products have recognized the potential of wholesome beverages and expanded their product portfolio over the past few years. Most of the new products are filled into PET bottles. With its new linear InnoPET BloFill ABF aseptic block KHS is satisfying the requirements of the dairy industry for flexible filling technology for sensitive products. Fast format changeovers and a modular design are the ideal solution to the rapid changes in demand producers are now faced with.

Sensitive beverages are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. The demand for functional foods with less sugar in particular is growing. “Keeping to a healthy diet is playing a central role in the lives of more and more consumers,” explains Thomas Redeker, sales director for Dairy Europe at the KHS Group. “The demand for products that are sustainably packaged and attractively presented has also greatly increased in the last few years.”

PET bottles are the ideal vehicles for this new trend. An increasing number of makers of dairy products are thus relying on containers made of polyethylene terephthalate. “Not only producers but also consumers are convinced by their many different advantages,” says Redeker. In particular this includes the great capacity for individual design this type of container has. “PET bottles lend themselves to exclusive design. The cap and label can also be perfectly tailored to the brand. This had a positive effect on the brand positioning at the point of sale,” Redeker states.

The plastic containers also score when it comes to their environmental balance as they are fully recyclable. PET bottles not only provide reliable product protection; they also have good pouring properties.

KHS first recognized the potential of PET containers for aseptic filling 25 years ago. Its latest development is the linear InnoPET BloFill ABF aseptic block. This combines the rotary InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder with the linear Innosept Asbofill ABF 712 aseptic filler.

The block yields many benefits. It not only takes up less space than the individual machines, for instance; the air conveyor is also no longer required. This cuts down on energy consumption. Another advantage is that personnel costs are reduced as only one operator is needed in place of the former two. “By blocking the machinery and including a continuous clock module we also minimize the risk of soiling. This has a positive impact on hygiene and line availability,” smiles Redeker.

Fast format changeovers within the space of up to ten minutes also help to boost system availability. They are performed under aseptic conditions, doing away with the need for any additional cleaning and sterilization. The short changeover times also let producers of sensitive beverages fill a large number of different stock-keeping units (SKUs) in a very short time indeed. The linear aseptic block is designed to fill milk, mixed milk beverages, juice, smoothies and iced tea into PET bottles holding between 250 milliliters and two liters. The equipment outputs up to 12,000 1.0-liter bottles and a maximum of 15,000 0.5-liter bottles per hour.

Bottlers also profit from the modular design of the dry aseptic block which allows the filler to be expanded at any time. Operators can retrofit their block with a chunk filler or additional filling and capping unit, for instance. “The modular design gives our customers greater flexibility. They don’t have to think about precisely which products they want to bottle when purchasing the block,” Redeker says. “KHS enables them to retrofit the required modules on site as soon as they expand their product portfolio.” This in turn permits beverage producers to react more flexibly to changing market demands.

With the integration of the stretch blow molder the aseptic block gains a number of further plus points. One of these is that the heating system in the new Blomax generation consumes up to 40% less energy compared to most standard heating systems thanks to its optimized near infrared heating concept and new Double Gate technology. This is made possible by the near infrared heater centrally installed in the closed reflector tunnel. In the heater the preforms pass the centrally arranged heating units to both the left and right. The preforms are spaced just around 18 millimeters apart instead of the previous approximately 37 millimeters. The Dortmund systems supplier has thus been able to considerably reduce the number of heater boxes used. The air management system for heater box ventilation has also been optimized. “The fan can be set separately for the neck, reflector and lamps. This means that the machine only cools the areas which actually need cooling,” explains Redeker.

When further developing its linear aseptic filler KHS also focused on increased efficiency. The filling machine for sensitive products is available in both a standard aseptic and ESL version. In the KHS process sterilization takes place in several stages. First, the machine disinfects the neck and bottle interior. Here, the inside of the container is sprayed twice with a hydrogen peroxide aerosol (H2O2) at a speed of up to 80 kilometers an hour. “This ensures that every part of the bottle is sprayed and sterilized; we even achieve this with individual designs and critical shapes,” Redeker states. Secondly, two aerosol reaction cycles are initiated. The process ends with a four-stage drying process which uses sterile hot air.

In order to ensure the quality of the products, it is essential that the aseptic zone is absolutely clean. KHS ensures this by gentle non-contact filling, among other things, performed in two stages. This prevents any excessive beverage foaming.

After filling the bottle is conveyed to the capping unit. Here, the closure is sterilized in the same manner as the bottle in the filling section. This entails two-step disinfection with H2O2 and two drying stages with hot sterile air. “In the capper unit we’ve also made sure that all parts in the aseptic zone have a flat surface. By doing so we can prevent any air turbulence, making cleaning and disinfection easier,” Redeker comments. The bottle is then dated for full documentation of all information. “Our customers can always see which product was filled when on which valve,” explains Redeker.

With its new dry aseptic block KHS has reacted to the current dairy demand for flexible, resource-saving filling of sensitive products. The new system also boosts line availability and considerably reduces energy consumption. Operators also have greater flexibility thanks to the short changeover times: format changes are facilitated by the well-coordinated interfaces. The modular design also enables customers to expand their linear aseptic filler block in order to meet current market demands at all times.

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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Plant Construction, Engineering & Components Videos

BVP
Pneumatic packer

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Brutto-Pneumatikpacker BVP / Pneumatic packer BVP Greif-Velox Greif Velox

Application area:

  • bag types: Valve bags of paper, PE or PP-woven
  • product type: Powders and fine-grit
  • grain sizes: from 30 µ to 5 mm
  • industries: Chemical, petrochemical, building material, food
  • output: up to 350 bags/h

Advantages:

  • most suitable for filling sticky and strongly adhesive products
  • fast and efficient product change through saving sort-related machine parameters
  • nearly residue-free emptying with innovative chamber discharge
  • optimally suited for wet cleaning
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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Pharmaceuticals Plant Construction, Engineering & Components Videos

Knowledge that works
Packaging for functional drinks

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Knowledge that works – Schubert Robotics (Shanghai) creates perfect packaging for functional drinks Gerhard Schubert

Health and well-being for discerning buyers: Functional drinks are intended to support consumers in their conscious lifestyle. Manufacturers expect their range of healthy drinks to be packaged in a way that shows the high quality of the products at first glance. TCI from Taiwan also wanted an elegant, sophisticated design for its new product range that conveys value and quality. The drinks must be packed in glass bottles in an absolutely break-proof manner. The solution: flexible TLM technology and special packaging developed jointly by TCI and Schubert.

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