Festo: Food For Thought (Packaging)

Friday, June 21st, 2019

In the food packaging industry, calls for efficiency are increasing, creating a need to maximise productivity and economic operation in the production system. By Festo.


The Internet of Things (IoT), smart factories, cyber-physical systems and big data are driving current and future projects – solutions must be ever faster, more diverse, more flexible and more intelligent. Calls for greater availability, energy efficiency and flexible production are increasing. This is especially true in the food and packaging industry. Processing food economically and at the right time is absolutely essential. Otherwise, there is a risk that production has to be stopped and raw materials are wasted.


Overall Equipment Effectiveness In Food And Beverage Production

To maximise productivity and economic operation in the food and packaging production system, one must take overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) into consideration. OEE is the measure of a system’s value creation, of which higher value may be attained by reducing the duration of planned downtime, reducing unscheduled downtime, maintaining fast machine cycles and combatting speed losses as well as reducing rejects. These can now be achieved by condition monitoring via digital maintenance of facilities, also known as ‘Smartenance’, which can aid in fast error detection as well as identification of critical points which may impair system performance.

The driving force behind Smartenance is really the networking of automation products via bus systems, allowing for industrial communication between machines and installations that are connected to each other. Networking is decentralised from its starting point—communication at control system level—down to the connection of front-end devices, sensors and actuators, which perhaps already feature decentralised intelligence.


Trends In Manufacturing

Production systems of the future will thus be based on autonomously functioning mechatronic assemblies that are networked together. These are also called intelligent components. Data processing is increasingly taking place at local levels, and an increasing number of functions are directly integrated on the modules. They network, organise and configure themselves in order to take on orders from the superordinate control level.

Preconfigured controllers and adaptable interfaces reduce the time spent on assembly, configuration and system integration to a minimum. Intelligent components thereby have ‘plug and produce’ capability. The principle is similar to that of a USB interface on a computer, via which connected devices are able to log on to the computer directly and communicate with it. In the factory of the future, individual components, subsystems and machine modules are expected to log in to the production facility independently just the same way.

Connected, Intelligent Components

Take for example, individual Festo component, DFM. On its own, the guided drive offers both sturdiness and flexibility and is used in a variety of applications in the food and packaging industry—but it can also be much more. Festo designs its products to be connected to and integrated in various fieldbus and Ethernet protocols used in the world of automation technology.

Connecting the DFM directly to the cloud is the sensor IO Link and IoT gateway CPX-IoT. The CPX-IoT facilitates a smooth exchange of information between systems and users with no programming needed. With this connection, users can monitor the DFM’s performance, and detect mileage, leakage as well as any delay in transmissions. These are all useful data which can help to reduce downtime, thereby enabling users to save time and work in an effective manner.

The combination of DFM, sensor IO Link and CPX-IoT is what makes the machinery truly smart. It is a hybrid solution from Festo to meet F&B manufacturers’ growing needs in the fourth industrial revolution.


In The Spotlight: About The DFM

Available in a wide range of compact sizes and stroke lengths, the DFM is perfectly suited to clamping components for reliable further processing. The DFM is also able to transport and lift loads, even of over 200 kg, powerfully and dynamically. With the DFM, loads of up to 150 kg are stopped reliably and safely, making the DFM a resilient and sturdy stopper cylinder. By Festo.


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