Industrie 4.0 we’re ready – maximise your productivity with packaging automation
Packaging automation and Robotics are the next step forward in the packaging industry and Linkx Systems are at the forefront.
Linkx have partnered with Siemens and KUKA to create Industrie 4.0 smart factory systems. A typical system consists of a compact robot loader, capable of picking and placing products into required packaging, before sealing the package and applying product information labels, which connects to a digital twin.
Siemens digital tools can include a virtual twin of the robot loader. The benefits of the digital twin include the reduction of time required in test as most of the machine testing can be done in the simulated twin.
Digital information about the machine can be shared via secure cloud-based portals making fault finding quick and simple. The machine can send messages to the portal stating the type of fault allowing engineers to act immediately on potential problems, even whilst they’re off-site.
Linkx Packaging Systems design and manufacture packaging machines and fully integrated automated packaging lines that are ‘Industrie 4.0’ smart factory ready.
Linkx automated packaging machines and systems are suitable for packing all types of shelf-ready and retail-ready packaged products.
Find out how Linkx Industrie 4.0 smart factory packaging solutions can improve your packaging automation
Robots are a flexible solution that can offer a fully automated or Cobot packaging systems.
They allow companies to introduce increased efficiency through automation with the possibility to upgrade left open.
KUKA Robotics Germany is a system partner who works closely with Linkx on providing robotic solutions that fulfil customer requirements. Due to the intelligent software of KUKA’s robots, they can flexibly perform multiple movements with both speed and exact precision.
Read more about Linkx Packaging Robotics
Unilever has taken a step towards Industry 4.0 with Linkx Packaging Systems to create the foundations for a smart factory.
The Trafford based factory, which is the manufacturer of the nation’s favourite tea, PG Tips, has advanced to factory packaging automation over the years and continues to look for innovation within the packaging industry.
The project, dubbed the ‘Andon’ project, was undertaken to obtain and log data from all the machines on the production floor. This collection of data is then to be used to analyse the efficiencies, machine and material statuses.
The task for Linkx was to harvest all this data from the existing machines and collate it into a common data block. This is sent to an MES so it can be read by a third party and presented in a graphical format to indicate the status.
The system uses one central Siemens S7-1515 PLC to communicate to an ET200 node per line. Any machine with Ethernet connectivity was connected directly to the Siemens PLC and data was harvested over the communication network. Legacy machines utilised hard-wired digital signals and wired them back to the ET200 node.
The benefits of this controls project falls directly into the smart-factory arena. It allows operators to look at an overview status of all machines and materials on the production line meaning they can pre-empt any issues or requirements of the line.
The system has been fully installed and integrated with Cimlogic, who provided Unilever with the ‘front end’ technology including screens and monitors attached to every machine to display the status in real-time.
There is much discussion regarding Industry 4.0 – the concept covering an increasing use of automation, cyber-physical equipment and computerised systems for the acquisition and processing of data.
But what technologies are actually available to make this a reality?