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    Innovation

    Scope for improvement: Digital services optimise production

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    Reducing operating costs and increasing overall line effectiveness – both can be achieved with the new Service Level Agreement Performance. Our Krones experts support customers in a clearly structured process, working with them to identify suitable measures for optimisation. Their support is based on analyses of machine data, but consultancy goes far beyond technical matters pure and simple.

    Now let’s be honest: Who does not think it should be possible to get better results from their line? Whether it’s squeezing the last ounce of efficiency from a highly automated plant, or improving the production schedule of a line handling many different drinks?

    Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) often decreases gradually and almost imperceptibly: There are new suppliers, employees or products, or product change-overs do not go according to plan – the list of possible causes is nearly endless. When trying to improve key performance indicators, plant managers are frequently faced with a maze of parameters that could be fine-tuned. To choose the right ones, they must answer the following questions: What can be achieved under the specific conditions applying in their plant? What are the reasons why they haven’t got there yet? What measures are the most effective ones? Which of them make financial sense?

    Consultants with sectoral expertise provide responsively customised assistance

    This is where Service Level Agreement Performance comes into play, a digital service where Krones experts work closely together with a customer’s team over a lengthy period, joining forces with them in order to maintain key performance indicators or get them back up to the level targeted.

    This service is centred around analyses of the machine data recorded in the Krones line but consultancy goes far beyond technical matters pure and simple. “We step into the customers’ shoes and try to find their cost-drivers while bearing in mind the overall picture,” explains Tobias Amann from the Digital Services Division at Krones. Based on the 5M model, the consultants scrutinise not only the machine itself as a possible influence on OEE, but also the methods employed such as production planning, people (man) like trained personnel, for example, milieu meaning the specific site conditions and the material.

     

    SLA Performance starts with a waterfall chart of machine times, which makes transparent how much time is lost where in the production process, thus signposting the way to the best places to fine-tune. Depending on what the chart reveals, the Krones experts choose suitable modules for further analysis. Since they know the sector inside out, they are familiar with the typical problem areas and guide the customer’s team professionally through the large data volumes involved. They can point out which key performance indicators can in fact be reached in the plant, given the specific conditions applying. “Some customers just don’t see the low hanging fruit because they don’t know their current status in this field,” says Tobias Amann.

    The teams from the customer and Krones discuss the data at regular intervals, joining forces to identify the causes for any OEE losses and to specify suitable measures to counter them. The Krones consultants then support the client’s team in implementing these measures. To give an example: If the downtime planned is too long due to frequent product change-overs, one option is to check the change-over routines and draw up a target-actual comparison, listing the times planned and the times actually needed during production. A root cause analysis can give clues to why there are unplanned standstills. The machine data would show failed or malfunctioning components, which could then be immediately replaced or repaired. But the data also point out possible causes beyond the machine, such as unplanned cleaning steps or container changes. They would likewise reveal whether the remaining quantity of a product is filled into the last container earmarked for this batch, or whether the line must be emptied. Line owners can clarify the reasons for that and identify possible improvement options. Transparency about the time required for individual work steps helps them to estimate the return on investment for certain measures, enabling them to take well-informed decisions.

    With its service level agreements, Krones takes on more responsibility for the production process, so that our customers can concentrate on their business. Erwin HächlTobias AmannKrones Digital Services

    Krones Lifecycle Service – SLA Performance

    The new service level agreements (SLA) are innovative service products that use digitalisation in order to identify the leverage points which from the customer’s perspective are the most significant ones for production optimisation. A service level agreement offers plannable costs and a fixed contact person at Krones. The prerequisite for an SLA is a Krones Connected Line.

    The SLA Performance package includes:

    Goal: Maintaining line performance, or achieving an improvement in the long run
    Coaching:
    • Dedicated project manager
    • Monthly assessment (review) of line performance
    • Identifying measures for optimisation together

    Success story Ölgerðin: back to starting level within a few short months

    A canning line for the Icelandic beverage producer Ölgerðin was one of the first projects for which Krones has been providing support under an SLA Performance package. This project is a typical example of how difficult it is for a comparatively small plant to maintain a consistently high level of efficiency in a complex new line, despite frequent product change-overs. But responsively tailored support provided under the SLA Performance package made it possible to increase many key performance indicators almost back up to starting level within just a few short weeks.

    Image 34876
    SLA Performance is used for a canning line at the Icelandic beverage manufacturer Ölgerðin. Image credits:

    Ölgerðin

    The first step was to create transparency to show what OEE is currently achieved in the production process and the percentages accounted for by planned product change-overs and unplanned downtimes. Ölgerðin’s product planning data, together with the appropriate cleaning standards, served as the basis for computing the achievable OEE for the product sequences concerned.

    Starting points for improving productivity levels were obtained from a comparison of the target values planned and the actual values recorded in the machine data. These were evaluated on a weekly basis and subjected to a root cause analysis. “We shared our insights with Ölgerðin at regular intervals, asked them for possible reasons and what options there were to correct them. In this way, together with the team at Ölgerðin we eventually uncovered the various issues, identified the most effective countermeasures and implemented them,” explains Tobias Amann. The machine data also revealed where maintenance work in the line was needed, so that technicians were able to give properly targeted assistance, obviating the need for protracted trouble-shooting. Tobias Amann sums up all of that by saying: “As a result, together with Ölgerðin we were able to raise efficiency, meaning the uptime of our machines, step by step almost back up to the starting level.”

    The soundly based statistics compiled in the analyses and simulations aid Ölgerðin’s decision-making for future investments. The management now knows not only the OEE that can be achieved under the specific conditions in their plant but also the places where further fine-tuning is worth the effort. One example is effort for laboratory measurements caused by every product change-over. Here, the cost of investing in more automation can now be correlated to the time gained.

    The responsively tailored support provided by Krones has enhanced transparency in our production, which is again running at a good level. Andri Þór GuðmundssonCEO of Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson

    The next level: Krones will handle maintenance and guarantee certain targets

    While SLA Performance is being rolled out into the market, pilot testing for the next level will start at Ölgerðin in 2023. Krones will handle maintenance, either for the entire lines or parts of them, and make binding commitments for certain targets under an SLA Commitment package. “In the final analysis, this means that customers no longer have to worry about maintaining optimum productivity levels because we will be seeing to that,” says Tobias Amann. The service team will use smart methods of condition-based maintenance for this and assume sole responsibility for managing the line, either in whole or in part. When compared to the SLA Performance package, SLA Commitment constitutes an even closer alliance with great win-win potential for Krones and its customers.

    You can easily send a request for a non-binding quotation in our Krones.shop. 

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