Servo-Driven Format and Size Changeover is a cost-effective way to reduce switching time and increase productivity
Long before Covid, we were seeing an increase in the number of SKUs in packaged product. In 2019, Packaging Digest reported an estimated 42% increase in SKUs in the food and beverage industry.
Since Covid, there has been an additional explosion of new packaging sizes, especially in the food and beverage market. Food manufacturers have become very creative. Instead of increasing prices due to higher costs of goods, for example, they can reduce the size of product packages while keeping consumer prices the same.
Many of the current production machines are not equipped to change so quickly and accurately to meet the market demand. Manufacturers now face the challenge of ”semi-automating” their existing machines, instead of acquiring new machines or adding expensive motors to existing machines. One solution is to digitize the changeover points on existing machines.
Companies are looking to reduce the amount of time and errors that occur when making changes to the product. Allowing operator orientation and position measurement can reduce your time and improve your accuracy of those shift events. Measurements are tied to the recipe, and the operator becomes the main mover.
There are many technologies to help with Servo-Driven Format and Size Changeover, such as automated position measurement, machine position, distance measurement, linear measurement and digitized rotary encoders.
Often there are scales, marks, etc., written on machines that do not provide the highest degree of accuracy. The introduction of digitized position and distance detection can help you reduce time and limit errors during changes.
The other side of change is the identification of the part of the change. Most often, during this process, parts have to be exchanged on the machine. Using the wrong shifting part can lead to errors, scrap and delays, and can even damage existing machines.
Technologies, such as RFID, can help ensure that the correct exchange part is chosen and added to the machine. During a prescription change, the operator can validate that all the correct parts are installed before the start of the next product.
Servo-Driven Format and Size Changeover is a cost-effective way to reduce changeover time and increase productivity, either by adapting your current machines or even new ones.