Smart machines and robotics present the key to “agile manufacturing” in food and beverage by enhancing real time visibility and performance of flexible operations.
Consumers’ tastes and behaviours are constantly evolving, particularly in the Food and Beverage Industry. It is an industry serving a big number of customers, so this has an impact on the way manufacturers handle their plant from building, to operating and optimising. It requires skills and experience from the plant managers to drive their assets in a safe condition.
Smart machines and robotics is key for agile manufacturing, as it enables motion-oriented automation offers and know-how for outstanding line performance. It is a way to leverage the potential of digitisation throughout the machine’s life cycle.
First for design and engineering:
- Smart design: Reduce time-to-market using simulation technologies
- Smart engineering: Increase quality and efficiency by automating routine tasks
Then commissioning and operation:
- Smart commissioning: Easy commissioning through web visualisation, mobile devices and augmented operator
- Smart operation: Seamless integration of machines in a IT infrastructure open standards
But also, maintenance and services:
- Smart maintenance: Enhance maintenance efficiency with faster information tracking
- Smart services: Use digital cloud services to track and monitor machines worldwide
To better understand the benefits of applying smart machines and robotics solutions, the case of Somic, the leading builder of the most compact and fastest packaging machines in Germany is perfect.
Somic was trying to resolve various challenges to reach high-performance machines for packaging small products. The solution allowed higher machine output on minimised footprint, best-in-class maintenance but also fast and immediate access in the field to real time data, manuals & diagrams. The optimisation during operations was made continuous, the time to market shortened and the company achieved energy savings of 40% compared to machines on the market. Somic’s results were highly satisfying – double the required output with just half of the standard footprint!
Somic chose EcoStruxure™ Machine as a solution, including Machine controller, servo drives and motors and EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor.
EcoStruxure™ Machine is a complete automation solution for food and beverage machinery that combines a variety of applications, services, controllers and connected products thus enabling a shorter time to market, better connectivity, more flexibly and efficiency and as well as more security. It also offers a high-performance packaging application.
EcoStruxure™ Augmented Operator Advisor is an easy-to-use tool for industrial augmented reality applications. The Solution combines contextual and local dynamic information delivering one mobile experience for both the physical environment and virtual objects. It allows reduced downtime by opening electrical cabinet door virtually. Thanks to an immediate access in the field to real-time data, user manuals, instruction, diagrams etc., the right information is in-place and at every time available, what helps to shorten down times and simplify operation. Furthermore, Machine Advisor reduces human errors by helping to locate the right equipment and by guiding operators step-by-step through complete maintenance procedures.
Another available solution is EcoStruxure™ Machine Advisor, which is a cloud-based platform for machine builders. It provides three main benefits:
- Tracking machines in operation worldwide thanks to a repository service that enables online access to the machine fleet, documentation, and the history of all machines.
- Remotely monitoring and analysing machine health and performance via cloud services.
- Toolkit to facilitate machine maintenance operations helps with fixing potential incident.
Finally, EcoStruxure™ Machine Expert makes intuitive automation a reality. It is a software for developing, configuring, and commissioning the entire machine in a single software environment.
For more information on Smart Machines and robotics, Agile Manufacturing or on the Food and Beverage industry, join the discussion with experts in the dedicated Exchange Forum .