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NordPro Lab
Training to increase customer satisfaction

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Plant Construction, Engineering & Components
At the Bargteheide site various modular courses with a heavily practical emphasis are held in the NordPro Lab. Picture: Nord
At the Bargteheide site various modular courses with a heavily practical emphasis are held in the NordPro Lab. (Picture: Nord)

Optimum customer satisfaction can only be achieved with optimally trained employees: This is the basic idea behind the NordPro initiative, which has operated a laboratory with the same name since 2011. Here, employees receive training in the fundamentals of lean management and are given ideas for implementing these ideas in their daily work. The programme is organised and managed by Nord trainees who use this opportunity to extend their organisational and representational skills. This “hands-on” experience is also an important part of the comprehensive Nord training programme.

NordPro was founded in 2008 to sustainably ensure customer satisfaction in an age of increased expectations. The idea: To actively communicate lean management methods to employees in order to give them tools with which company processes can be optimised for the benefit of customers. The programme first started with the five tools Kaizen, Fluss; Smed; TPM and Q-Groups, but since then has been continuously developed to include new methods.

In 2011, the initiators went a step further with the NordPro Lab. Specially equipped areas were created at the Bargteheide site, where various modularly structured training courses with a heavy practical emphasis are now held. Here, the theoretical knowledge of lean management which has been acquired is utilised and deepened using simulation games. By dealing with hypothetical problems, participants learn the effects of process improvements, in addition to which cross-departmental understanding of work processes is promoted. The NordPro tools can be used for assembly, logistic and production processes, as well as at an administrative level, so that the training is used equally by all Nord employees across the various sites.

A further special feature of the NordPro Lab is that it is now organised and led by Nord trainees and dual-training students who take on the organisation and implementation of the courses. However, their remit is also to continuously develop the laboratory and the content of the courses. This requires organisational expertise as well as a confident manner and specialist theoretical knowledge, which will be a great advantage in their further careers.

Independent management of the NordPro Lab is a part of Nord’s sophisticated training strategy. Within the Nord Group, young talent can receive business, industrial or technical training or even carry out a dual course of study at several locations. Nord provides training in the professions of industrial management, technical product design, mechatronics, IT system integration, industrial mechanics and cutting machine operation. Dual bachelor study courses are offered in industrial engineering, IT for business, applied IT, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and mechatronics.

Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage News Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Silage Wrap Stretch Film Capability
Coveris further expands

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Coveris Further Expands Silage Wrap Stretch Film Capability
Picture: Coveris

Building on its longstanding expertise of more than 35 years as a leading supplier of stretch films, Coveris now expands its capacities and further invests in its Kufstein plant. Following on from the recently announced major investment programme in Winsford UK, the second phase of this programme is now launched which expands and upgrades the technical capabilities in Kufstein, Austria through investment in a 5-layer specialist Agri Extrusion line.

The Winsford UK investment in new generation extrusion and pre-stretch assets creates a dedicated UK cell for stretch film production, expanding its industrial capacity and extending its capability to manufacture agricultural stretch film applications in the UK.

The 5-layer extrusion investment in Kufstein significantly enhances its position as Centre of Excellence for Agri production and will allow Coveris to extend its product range to include additional premium quality silage films for high speed wrappers and challenging bale sizes. The new equipment will be installed and commissioned during quarter two 2020, and together with the Winsford investment increases Coveris silage wrap capacity to ~30k tons.

“This investment of 5-layer extrusion capability into Kufstein is an exciting development for Coveris as we seek to significantly expand our offering within the Global Agri films market. We now have Agri manufacturing centres in both Austria and the UK, allowing us to offer our clients a wider service proposition to add to our outstanding product and technical know-how built up over many years. Our reputation for high quality products can now be enhanced further through accelerated product development and innovation”, comments Martin Davis, President Business Unit Films on the Agri investment programme.

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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Easy machine validation
Guided safety acceptance test for frequency converters

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Siemens Guided safety acceptance test for Sinamics frequency converters for easy machine validation

Picture: Siemens

With Sinamics Startdrive commissioning software, Siemens supports machine builders in the validation of safety functions for Sinamics frequency converters with a guided acceptance test. With Sinamics Startdrive, Siemens offers a tool for the integration of drive hardware into the TIA Portal engineering framework. The integrated guided acceptance test for safety functions is available for Sinamics G and S series frequency converters and complies with EN ISO 13849-2 and IEC 62061.

The safety acceptance test is extremely user-friendly. A wizard guides the user step by step through the acceptance process and checks whether the safety functions have been parameterized correctly and executed correctly in the relevant application. For documentation purposes, a standard-compliant acceptance report is then created automatically. With the safety acceptance test integrated in Sinamics Startdrive, Siemens helps machine builders to carry out the legally required validation of safety functions easily and safely.

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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Food & Beverage Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Deliberately produces creases
Unique labeller for unique containers

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Patented solution for affixing the foil: a servomotor turns the bottles, while linear motors press the foil onto the containers with the aid of sponges. (Picture: Krones)
Patented solution for affixing the foil: a servomotor turns the bottles, while linear motors press the foil onto the containers with the aid of sponges. (Picture: Krones)

A label with creases, and a labeller that deliberately produces these creases – what for most beverage producers is a no-no was one of the paramount requirements of Mozart Distillerie in Salzburg. A look at the container’s shape explains the paradox: the liqueur bottles are spherical, to connote the world-famous “Mozart-Kugel”. The label, made of aluminium-coated paper foil, is required to fit snugly round the container – and to look as if it had been applied by hand.

Hitherto, Mozart Distillerie had been using what is meanwhile a 30-year-old labeller from a customised-machine manufacturer, which Plant Manager Friedrich Guggenberger had progressively individualised over the course of time with numerous design enhancements of his own. But the output no longer sufficed – and Mozart Distillerie was looking for a partner to jointly develop a new machine.

Numerous customisation features combined

Because Krones’ corporate roots, of course, originate in labelling technology, the firm accepted the challenge – and combined the long years of practical experience and visions contributed by Friedrich Guggenberger and his team with the technical expertise of Krones’ own labelling specialists. And the results are truly impressive: a combination of features for precise container positioning, several inspection systems, and a multiplicity of technological customisation improvements ensure that Mozart Distillerie’s requirements are translated into engineered reality. For labelling, Krones is for the first time deploying a combination of one cold-glue and one wrap-around Contiroll labelling station, and pressure-sensitive body labels are applied to a sloping area. For affixing the foil, Krones developed a patented combination of a servomotor that turns the bottles, and linear motors that in twelve press-on operations use sponges to carefully press the foil onto the containers.

In order to ensure that the closure cap is correctly positioned as well, Krones has specially developed a guide rail that uses the sloping label area as an orientation reference point. These rails can be re-adjusted with only a few manipulations, so that all six sizes – from the small 50-millilitre to the large one-litre bottle – can be handled with the same system.

The new line is currently dressing around 5,000 bottles per hour, with an option for increasing the output to as much as 9,000 bph. It embodies two antithetical characteristics: the technology is fully automated to the latest state of the art, while the results, by contrast, reflect Mozart Distillerie’s craft philosophy.

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