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The fully automatic Transversal kegging line from KHS for greater line efficiency

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Compact design with a central conveyor segment / Processes practically all standard market container sizes and formats / Keg system can be flexibly expanded thanks to the modular design.

More flexibility, efficiency and speed: with its Innokeg AF-C Transversal the KHS Group provides a sophisticated setup that washes and racks up to 500 kegs an hour. Thanks to its single central conveying segment the system is particularly compact and perfectly accessible. If required, it can adjust to different formats fully automatically.

Compared to standard market systems, the Innokeg AF-C Transversal kegging machine scores on not one but several counts, declares Roger Daum, keg product manager at KHS. “The biggest and most obvious difference lies in its innovative conveying system. The conventional transversal conveyor setup used to date has separate belts for infeed and discharge upstream and downstream of the actual machine. The KHS design is consciously different and transports the kegs through the middle of the paired opposite processing stations on a single conveyor belt. On this they are pushed in and out of the line to the side.” The great advantage of this concept is that on the Innokeg AF-C Transversal there are no conveyors separating the operator from the machine. The stations are thus freely and much more easily accessible for maintenance and repair. The space-saving system also has a smaller footprint in the production shop. Moreover, with its inverse ratio of conveying to processing stations (compared to standard machinery) the KHS system is more powerful and can process up to 500 kegs per hour.

Modular and flexible

Another key difference of KHS’ keg engineering is its modular design that means lower procurement costs and that the Innokeg AF-C Transversal can grow to accommodate rising production capacities. “We combine two modules with two respective processing stations in a single block frame. Thanks to its compact design the block fits into a standard overseas container,” is how keg product manager Daum explains the principle of the system. Within this frame all kinds of cycle are feasible. “A machine can be configured with up to four blocks with two modules each. This is equivalent to 16 treatment heads that can function as a pre-, main or combined washer or filler respectively,” Daum emphasizes. This provides plenty of scope when configuring the overall line: twelve washing stations can be combined with eight racking stations, for instance, to balance the different cycle times. Individual modules in the block can initially be left empty and simply fitted with further processing stations at a later date should the necessity arise.

All-rounder for all formats

Another distinctive feature of the KHS Innokeg AF-C Transversal is that it can process practically all standard market container sizes and formats. Apart from the fact that no format parts have been used anywhere on the conveying system, thus rendering changeovers superfluous, if required request the entire line can be adjusted to different keg heights and diameters fully automatically. This optional system also recognizes whether the incoming kegs are returnable or one-way containers. The latter then travel straight to the filler through the deactivated washing machines without any conversion or treatment.

Right down the line

Before the kegs on the kegging line reach the Transversal modules, they are lifted from the pallet by the KHS Innopal RK palletizer with its six-axis articulated robot and placed on the conveyor. An on-demand turner with a fitting position detector and decapper ensures that the kegs are properly aligned and prepared for washing and racking. They are again separated and centered prior to exterior washing. In the washing machine a height control unit makes sure that slim kegs especially aren’t downed by the high water pressure of the cleaning nozzles.

The counterflow and pulsed cleaning processes yield optimum results at the pre- and main washing phases. Between these two steps the kegs are filled with caustic and left to soak, with the length of the conveyor determining the duration of the soaking time.

Filling is precise and regulation-compliant – thanks to the KHS Direct Flow Control filling system and gross/tare weighing that complies with the European Measuring Instruments Directive. Finally, ‘bad’ kegs or incorrectly filled containers that fall short of their nominal filling volume, for example, are emptied and removed from the line.

The kegs are then checked for leakage before they are sealed with a cap – if intact – and labeled by inkjet. Faulty kegs are discharged where necessary. At the end of the line the kegs are set down on pallets by a second KHS palletizing robot. This is equipped with double keg grippers whose heads can also be changed over fully automatically. “With the Innokeg AC-F Transversal, when it comes to efficiency and flexibility KHS scores on the washing and racking of kegs right down the line, so to speak,” concludes Daum.

At a glance: the Innokeg AC-F Transversal

  • Less space needed thanks to the central conveyor segment
  • Optimum access for maintenance and repair
  • Modular design for flexible expansion
  • Suitable for almost all market-standard returnable and non-returnable kegs
  • Fully-automatic adjustment to different formats
  • Up to 500 kegs per hour

Genel

Schaeffler Offers Sustainable Solutions for the Food and Packaging Industry

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  • Schaeffler presents expanded Food program in Hanover
  • Sustainable engineering generates extensive customer benefits
  • IoT solutions such as Schaeffler OPTIME and OPTIME C1 reduce operating costs and use of resources

Schaeffler will be demonstrating how further successes in sustainability can be achieved in the food and packaging industry at Hannover Messe 2022. The automotive and industrial supplier is not simply confining its efforts to new products in this area, however, with the company practicing and recommending a much more comprehensive approach to the development of solutions. Schaeffler will also use practical examples and development projects to demonstrate the potential of sustainable engineering in Hanover.

As Ralf Moseberg, Senior Vice President Industrial Automation at Schaeffler, emphasizes: “The foundation for the use of resources is laid as early as the design and development phases for production equipment, and must focus on comparing the efficiency and operating points of the various drive systems, such as torque motors or geared motors, extending the relubrication intervals and service life of components, reducing friction, and optimizing seals.” Reducing the lubricant requirement has multiple benefits for the operator and the environment, due to the additional savings on water, cleaning agents, and reprocessing costs that are always generated in parallel.

Extended Food program for safe, clean, and sustainable food production

Specific environmental influences and legal requirements call for the use of adapted rolling bearing solutions. As part of its new Food program (series FD), Schaeffler is offering a range of corrosion-resistant and sealed standard deep groove bearings, which are supplied with an initial application of lubricants produced to food industry standards, in order to satisfy such conditions. In addition, Schaeffler will be presenting new housing units made of white, glass fiber reinforced plastic, which provides high levels of resistance for sensitive food processing applications. The lubricant compound Schaeffler Lubtect is recommended for particularly demanding operating conditions and lubricating requirements. Lubtect is a porous but dimensionally stable polymer, which ensures continuous and reliable lubrication.

Conserving resources in the food and packaging industry

IoT solutions such as the Schaeffler OPTIME condition monitoring system and the smart Schaeffler OPTIME C1 lubricator also help to avoid rejects and conserve resources accordingly. In addition to smoother production, operators who use the OPTIME system also benefit from no longer having to hold stock of spare parts and replacement units over many years. The energy and raw material savings associated with the now nonessential production of unnecessary spare parts will lead to improved energy footprints for production locations. In production plants, OPTIME C1 helps to prevent overgreasing and lubricant egress at the bearing positions, with resulting reductions also achieved here in the large quantities of water and chemicals that would otherwise be required for the necessary cleaning work.

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LMI Technologies Launches Landmark New Series of 4K+ High-Resolution Smart 3D Laser Line Profilers

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A combination of high-resolution and wide field of view makes Gocator® 2600 sensors ideal for measurement of both microscopic features and large parts / large conveyor applications

LMI Technologies (LMI), a leading developer of 3D scanning and inspection solutions, is pleased to announce the official release of its new Gocator® 2600 Series of 4K+ resolution smart 3D laser line profile sensors.

These factory pre-calibrated sensors come equipped with custom optics and a powerful 9-megapixel imager to deliver 4200 data points per profile for high-resolution 3D scanning and inspection across wide fields of view––in applications such as battery inspection, food processing (e.g. baked goods production), building materials (e.g. furniture, doors and windows, planks, sheet metal), automotive (e.g. air spring and wheel inspection), rubber and tire production, and general factory automation.

A quick look at the Gocator 2600 features and capabilities:

  • 9-megapixel imager
  • 4200 data points per profile for high-resolution measurement
  • X resolutions up to 0.018 mm (at 71 mm) FOV)
  • Fields of view up to 2 m (at 0.55 mm X-resolution)
  • On-sensor measurement tools and I/O connectivity
  • Native multi-sensor alignment and networking support

“The Gocator 2600 series adds landmark 4K+ laser profiling to our field-tested, robust, and reliable 3D smart sensor product lineup. At 4200 data points per profile, customers can now solve for the most challenging microscopic features or choose to leverage the 2600’s wider field of view models for 3D scanning and inspection across a multitude of large conveyor applications”, said Mark Radford, CEO, LMI Technologies.

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Fruit experts rely on a daily routine check for optimal quality assurance

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One of the leading manufacturers of fruit preparations in Germany, has leveraged its vast experience, creativity and flexibility for over 50 years to produce semifinished and finished products for the ice cream, baking, dairy, beverage and chocolate industries. These products are sold through food retailers and also to the food service industry. The company’s business units are divided into fruit preparations/purees, fruit in alcohol and fresh convenience products such as fruit salads. 

Driven by inventiveness, innovation, experience and state-of-the-art production processes, the quality of these first-class products is underscored by numerous renowned certifications such as IFS Food and BIO.  To successfully meet food safety standards, the fruit expert uses a validation process that Sesotec has introduced as a service.

Diverse challenges

Naturally, coping with limited resources requires sustainable management and technological innovations. Global competition and stricter regulations, moreover, further increase the pressure to constantly innovate technologically in order to boost productivity and profitability. Laws and regulations, meanwhile, require the use of inspection equipment in food production. Continuously complying with these regulations often creates major challenges for customers, such as dealing with the technology itself, a lack of knowledge about its correct handling and managing standards that vary from country to country.

Many customers face the problem of lacking the knowledge of which setting parameters can cause a significant change in product safety and process relevance. A validation process can aid these customers to overcome this challenge and take a successful path towards compliance with food safety standards.

Manufacturer validation as a solution to the challenges

Validation takes place at the beginning of the life cycle of a product inspection system – that is, after initial installation but before release for commercial production. It represents an initial qualification of a device based on the specified functional descriptions. Validation provides evidence that the selected device, when used correctly, is capable of meeting the specified targets in all cases. Such specifications may relate to detection accuracy, but also to other functions such as the correct operation of the ejection device.

Definition „Validation“

According to International Featured Standards (IFS), validation is the confirmation, based on objective evidence, that requirements for the specific intended use or application are being met. The Codex Alimentarius Commission, meanwhile, defines validation as the provision of evidence that a control measure, or a combination of control measures, when properly implemented, can achieve both hazard control and specified result.

Manufacturer validation is conducted by a service engineer at the end customer‘s premises. While it may take place at the same time as the commissioning of the equipment, during maintenance or at a special validation appointment, on-site manufacturer validation is targeted to be carried out after commissioning. It takes place when the equipment is already running stably, and specifically addresses the needs and requirements of the customer. The validation certificate issued is unique, because it provides proof of normal distribution and another threshold or checkpoint for daily routine testing. It also serves as proof for the customer of annual maintenance and supports the daily routine tests.

Validation simplifies quality assurance

Typically, re-validation must be performed when significant changes are made to a metal detector. However, re-validation can be avoided if, after validation, when a test body is placed on the ground the value no longer falls below the lower limit value. For instance, there would be no need for re-validation if the product angle, the conveyor speed or the sensitivity are changed and it turns out that the specified detection range is maintained. The upper range can be neglected, as a higher detection of the test bodies is advantageous. If a validation certificate is available, re-validations are not necessary.

The bottom line is that validation carried out by Sesotec at the fruit expert helps to avoid product waste, conserve resources, and increase productivity and thus profitability.

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