KHS Is Driving the Digital Revolution in the Beverage Industry
Thursday, August 08, 2019
Press release from the issuing company
Systems supplier researches networking and line optimization
The entire sector is talking about digitization and Industry 4.0 – but what do these oft-cited terms actually mean for the beverage industry? One thing is clear: their potential is vast. Digital technologies simplify processes, intelligently network systems with one another and relieve operator workloads. At the same time the digital revolution presents beverage producers and engineering companies with many mighty challenges. As one of the leading systems suppliers KHS is well aware of the significance these complex change processes hold for the success of a business. The Dortmund machine and systems manufacturer is thus driving a number of research and development projects which specifically focus on digital networking and line optimization.
For KHS, one goal of its group strategy is to boost line efficiency and cut down on the amount of resources used such as materials and energy. “When deciding whether we implement an idea or not, it’s the added value for the customer that counts for us,” states Dr.-Ing. Matthias Schopp, head of Engineering Systems at KHS. The Dortmund systems provider thus finds it prudent to enter into close cooperative partnerships with its clients to this end. “These provide the perfect conditions in which to approach new technologies with realistic expectations and with an open mind as to their outcome,” says Schopp. “This is demonstrated by our various sponsorship projects, for instance, where we can experiment with new technologies in a kind of ‘protected space’. This can definitely be referred to as a platform which enables our developers, together with experts outside the company, to try out new ideas that carry a certain risk of implementation.”
Networking and cooperation with research institutes and universities
Faster filling processes thanks to self-optimizing systems
The project has evolved from a cooperation between five industrial companies and the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Ruhr University in Bochum. “Both the cooperation and interdisciplinary development of the machinery were exemplary in this project and will make a major contribution to future product developments,” claims Schopp.
KHS line optimization makes major contribution to sustainability
KHS is also hoping to gain new impetus for this endeavor from the EnAP project. The goal here is to devise energy-saving concepts and line optimization processes that can be used in pneumatic and electrical handling systems. The project, funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, not only intends to help save energy and resources but also to enable the beverage industry to keep its overall operating costs down to a minimum.
Digital technologies relieve operator workloads
At the moment KHS is examining the main basic principles in this area under the umbrella of the CyProAssist project. The objective is to develop an assistance system for production which supports optimum human machine operation. “We want to help machine operators so that operating errors are avoided and error states corrected as quickly as possible to permit high line availability,” Schopp explains.
Badische Staatsbrauerei profits from digital KHS technology
The newly developed DIAS diagnostic assistance system also has a positive effect on the filling process. Sensors in every single filling valve ensure constant monitoring and visualization during filling. This means that any deviations from the target values are immediately recognized. A further special mention should be given to the fact that the evacuation and CO2 purging processes are monitored to ensure low oxygen pickup. Broken bottles are consistently detected and damaged bottles automatically rejected. The sensor data can be retrieved at any time and used to statistically evaluate results, with the help of which future possible sources of error can be detected and eradicated in advance. In practice this not only makes fast, targeted repairs possible and relieves operator workloads but also provides a basis for maintenance work.
KHS considers cooperation with partners in research and industry future proof
KHS is currently actively involved in a good number of research projects which focus specifically on line optimization and digital networking.
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