The latest technology yields sweet innovations

To keep up with the latest trends, the Italian confectionary manufacturer Perfetti Van Melle needs to be innovative in terms of both its products and its production methods. That’s why the company decided on a collaboration with automation experts from Marchiani and an Industrial Edge solution from Siemens.

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New packaging line for fast-moving consumer goods

As one of the world’s largest chewing-gum and confectionary manufacturers, Perfetti Van Melle’s mission is to continuously produce new and innovative products for its customers around the globe – preferably with the lowest possible environmental impact. To achieve this goal, the Italian company partnered with automation specialists Marchiani and Siemens to enlist their aid in developing a packaging line for a new product format.

Packaging line goes Industrie 4.0

The brands marketed by Perfetti Van Melle include Mentos, Chupa Chups, and Alpenliebe. The company maintains 38 subsidiaries worldwide, 31 of which are production plants, and employs almost 18,000 people. Its products are fast-moving, everyday consumer goods – impulse products that are sold, for example, in vending machines and at supermarket cash registers. This means that it’s essential for these products to be constantly modified to meet new requirements so that customers will continue to perceive them as indispensable. Innovation is part of the company’s DNA, whether their products’ concept, design, or packaging. Given these facts, Perfetti Van Melle realized that the digitalization of its production lines was unavoidable. An existing production system was modernized to accommodate a new product format in line with Industrie 4.0 standards.

Efficiently package fast-moving products

To improve working conditions on a packaging line, implement new business models, and consistently raise both productivity and quality, Perfetti Van Melle chose to modernize an existing packaging plant to accommodate a new product format.

Ergonomics, sustainability, and real-time data

A number of aspects were considered in the modernization of the plant, including an almost total avoidance of product waste in order to become more sustainable and the implementation of a new integrated process for creating packaging in existing plants. Another important aspect was the improvement of workstation ergonomics and real-time acquisition of production data and process parameters.

 

To meet the project’s goals, Perfetti Van Melle partnered with Marchiani, an Italian company with valuable expertise in industrial automation. With its 40 salaried employees and 20 external employees, Marchiani currently focuses on design, software, and automation services for customers in the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

 

“Thanks to our collaboration with Marchiani, we boosted our efficiency level and were able to use our resources and materials more effectively.”
Roberto Ripa, Plant Manager at Perfetti Van Melle’s site in Lainate, Italy

State-of-the-art solution for unprecedented results

Marchiani identified the needs of Perfetti Van Melle and, after consulting with contacts at Siemens, the automation specialist decided on a solution that uses the open edge computing platform Industrial Edge. Thanks to its ready-to-use applications and integrated open-source software, Industrial Edge not only met all the customer’s requirements, it also brought many advantages for Marchiani.

The solution

The Industrial Edge platform enables Perfetti Van Melle to acquire, store, and analyze a wide range of plant data right in the field. Thanks to integrated connectivity to almost any manufacturer, the data can be accessed from virtually any system. The solution provides the Industrial Edge Management System, which serves as a central platform for monitoring and managing devices and can be hosted either in the cloud or on-site. In addition, Industrial Edge permits communication with ERP systems – and this means, for example, that there’s also a connection to the warehouse management system.

The benefits

Marchiani recognized the numerous benefits of Siemens Industrial Edge, including reduced downtime and fast and intuitive analysis of plant data. The most impressive feature, however, was the central Edge Management System that allowed Marchiani to control and service the modernized plant remotely and to implement, test, and correct the software from its own office. The central management system also significantly shortened development and commissioning time. “In the beginning, we estimated that we’d need about two months of in-house development work performed by two employees. But ultimately it only took one month and one employee,” says Tomas Marchiani, CEO of Marchiani.

The confectionary manufacturer realized significant benefits from its use of Industrial Edge, according to Giulia Favrin, a process engineer at Perfetti Van Melle. “The platform allows us to visualize performance data and parameters in real time and to control the entire production line. At the same time, production and consumption data are automatically transmitted to the management system. These results exceeded our expectations.” With the new solution, the confectionary manufacturer can obtain a real-time overview of a plant’s performance and downtime, which serves as the basis for ongoing improvements.

 

 

 

 

 

A look at the future

In the future, Perfetti Van Melle is also planning to implement this high level of automation in other lines. “Naturally, we’ll start with overloaded lines where we can expect improved production processes, including OEE (overall equipment efficiency), quality, and safety,” explains Ripa.

 

Improve machine performance with Siemens Industrial Edge

Thanks to Industrial Edge, Perfetti Van Melle is benefitting from the optimal utilization of its production data. Industrial Edge allows the company to not only visualize performance data and process parameters in real time but also to utilize and process additional data from the field – major factors that help boost the confectionary manufacturer’s competitiveness.

 

Siemens Industrial Edge

  • Local data processing enables real-time data storage and analysis right at the machine
  • Data visualization is also possible for plant personnel with no IT expertise
  • Edge apps for machine-level data processing, analysis, and exchange
  • B2B marketplace for applications and services from Siemens and third-party providers

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