Consumers’ tastes and behaviours are constantly evolving, particularly in the Food and Beverage industry. It is an industry serving a big number of consumers, so this has an impact on the way manufacturers handle their plant from building, to operating and optimizing. It requires skills and experience from the plant managers to drive their assets in a safe condition.
Smart Manufacturing combines smart devices, smart machine processes with software, to increase real-time visibility and to drive the performance of flexible Food and Beverage operations. Solutions like our EcoStruxure platform and architecture can help to transform manufacturing operations for improving flexibility and profitability.
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 digitization 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 visualization, 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
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.
Among these solutions, EcoStruxure Machine offers a high-performance packaging application.
One of the key technologies is PacDrive 3 for automating complex high-end machines, which are typically in use for high performance packaging processes in the food and beverage industry. PacDrive 3 is a solution for automating complete machines, including logic, motion and even robotics, with a single controller. Basing on the programming approach and the drive concept it allows a modular approach from both software and mechanical aspects. Basing on sercos communication PacDrive 3 synchronizes a large number of axis within short cycle times and is integrating safety function to improve set-up and maintenance operation (allowing to run the machine at low speed in perfect safety conditions).
PacDrive 3 provides a lot of benefits such as the reduction of machine footprints, simplified commissioning and maintenance, accelerated change over from one packaging format to a different one, increased performance and effectiveness and improved energy efficiency.
Another available solution is EcoStruxure™ Machine Advisor, which is a cloud-based platform for machine builders. It provides three main benefits:
Firstly, 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.
Secondly, remotely monitoring and analyzing machine health and performance via cloud services.
Thirdly, Machine Advisor provides a toolkit to facilitate machine maintenance operations helps with fixing potential incident.
EcoStruxureTM 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.
Finally, EcoStruxureTM Machine Expert makes intuitive automation a reality. It is a software for developing, configuring, and commissioning the entire machine in a single software environment. This solution helps saving engineering time by applying complete libraries or even a new machine module. Collaborative engineering help to make the engineering processes more efficient. The code analysis function is a tool of Machine Expert to ensure software quality. Additionally, the software allows to automate efficiently the testing of applications and to simplify the machine commissioning using web visualization and webserver’s technology.
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 in order to reach high-performance machines for packaging small products. It was essential for them to meet market requirements for innovative, high-performing, and reliable smart machines. They were also looking for a compact solution, a modular design and preventive maintenance using augmented reality.
Somic chose EcoStruxure Machine as a solution, including Machine controller, servo drives and motors and EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor.
The solution allowed higher machine output on minimized footprint, best-in-class maintenance but also fast and immediate access in the field to real-time data, manuals & diagrams. The optimization 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!
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.