Page 99 - Food&Drink magazine November-December 2022
P. 99

CPGs seek more predictive
maintenance technology
On his recent visit to PackExpo in Chicago, Phil Biggs learnt that US-based Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers are demanding more OEMs deliver predictive maintenance solutions.
downtime that all Amazon Distribution Centres in the US have adopted the technology.
A number of exhibitors were displaying their wide range of sensing and reporting technologies that can be easily integrated within Line Management Execution Systems. As an add-on to Foodmach’s current Line MES capabilities, these enhancements are very exciting.
Also of interest were a couple of software vendors that have built human collaboration capabilities into the core of their platforms to report, resolve and record plant performance issues. At a time when technology can be seen to remove human involvement in plant operations, these solutions actively engage operators in driving plant performance improvement. A decisive benefit is increased employee satisfaction and engagement, leading to lower staff turnover.
Of particular interest to Foodmach was the absence at the show of any fully ERP- integrated CPG/FMCG manufacturing line or factory control platform with full OMAC PackML standards-based capabilities. Our view is that our unique Australian environment, with short production runs of multiple SKUs, and a willingness to adopt new technologies, has led to a solution offering now in demand in North America and Europe.
Phil Biggs is a director of Packaging Partners and a co-owner of Foodmach.
   Foodmach’s Phil Biggs (left) drops in at the Robopac stand. Foodmach represents Robopac in Australia.
Visiting the huge exhibition and conference on behalf of APPMA member Foodmach, Biggs attended a PMMI-organised breakfast seminar. One major CPG provoked Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) by saying, “We need OEMs to make equipment smarter and more predictive. Car makers can do it; why can’t machine builders?”
This is backed up by a recent PMMI survey, which showed nearly 50 per cent of all US CPGs want the capability within their plants within three years.
Of course, many technologies work in unison to deliver a complete predictive maintenance capability, including: vibration analysis, thermography, motion and other sensors, deep data analytics, oil condition monitoring, improved use of existing OMAC PackML fault codes, and MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) analysis.
Foodmach already uses most
of these on packaging lines. Some technologies are evolving and were on display at PackExpo.
At the show, one exhibitor, with a team of data scientists usually deployed within the banking and IT sector, was launching their offering to the CPG industry.
They see enormous potential
to deploy their data analytics capability to find correlations determining what has led to
a machine failure or which variables can be adjusted to improve output and efficiency. Their software platform puts the technology within reach of many OEM and CPG organisations,
a capability not previously available to our sector.
Also exhibiting was an organisation that has developed a cost-competitive, electronic alternative to the ubiquitous pneumatic cylinder. While using less energy, the technology also continuously monitors its performance and position (to
within five micros) and so can pre-emptively raise an alert when it senses something unexpected, like a pending mechanical failure. The technology is also infinitely controllable and opens up applications previously not possible. Apparently, the innovation has been so successful in reducing
      Phil Biggs, second from right, with Foodmach partner Mengibar’s team.

   97   98   99   100   101