Haver & Boecker (Germany) - Optimising the filling process for bulk goods by using intelligent production systems as an element of Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution and is characterised by the networking of intelligent machines that exchange information on their own, activate actions, and control each other. The production processes are horizontally integrated, which means the various components of the value-adding chain interact with each other and ensure efficient and flexible work processes.
In the networked filling system of HAVER & BOECKER, weighing and weight checking systems communicate with other machine components and control the filling process of bulk goods. The weight checking scale immediately delivers feedback to the filling spout and thus ensures the prescribed weight range is adhered to. This guarantees minimal deviations from the precise target weight and results in money savings for customers. The documentation of the process provides extensive possibilities for analyses and allows further optimisation.
The machine control system regulates the filling operation of the bulk good at the packer where the filled product is weighed continuously. The weight checking scale continuously transmits the actual bag weight and precise-to-the-gram suggestions for achieving a precise correction of the filling amount. Weight optimisation takes place without loss of time.
The bag’s actual final-weight is recorded by the discharge conveyor’s weight checking scale only after the filled bag is discharged from the bag chair. A possible minimal product loss arising from the bag’s discharge cannot influence the measured actual value. At the same time the transfer of determining the actual filling weight over to the discharge line leads to an increase in filling performance because the process ends more quickly without weight checks.
Incorrect weight bags are detected and diverted. Here the check-weigher communicates with the diverting unit. Because the remaining bags are within the prescribed range, the system fulfils the legal requirements. If the plant operator specifies a larger weight deviation, then the range can be adjusted accordingly.
Also vertical integration of a productions system is an important aspect of Industry 4.0. Here the entire system interacts with other company hierarchal levels and thus influence can be made from outside the production.
With the systems from HAVER & BOECKER, collected data may be transmitted to the HAVER DPS® data processing system, saved, and statistically evaluated. With data such as line number, weigher number, type number, type name, specified weight, actual weight, tare weight, under-weight and overweight limits, type changeovers, error messages, weigher status and text messages the following values are computed: mean weight, standard deviation, total weight, total bag count, number of good, under-weight and overweight bags, hourly bagging speed and information on batch start and batch stop time. As a result flexible reports such as machine reports, daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports, error reports and single weight reports may be generated.
This documentation and analysis tool allows customers to further optimise machine settings and thus boost productivity. When processing customer complaints, it is possible to narrow them down to single sources because the goods in question can be traced back to a certain production date, batch number or machine operator.
By using performance assessments as to individual filling spouts, the plant operator can specifically target maintenance work. Spouts with less performance can systematically undergo maintenance.
Especially the evaluation of fault reports offers the possibility of identifying fault sources more frequently or regularly. An analysis of fault sources provides information on possible improvement potential for the filling process.