In the past 1 product = 1 machine was the rule for filling and packaging lines. At best, a machine retool could be done to adapt new products, but this meant long, costly, and idle set-up times.
The machine builder Optima Consumer GmbH now uses advanced technology from Siemens offering a radically new approach to flexibility: one machine that can produce low volumes with increased productivity, and which is quickly and easily converted to accommodate the next product. Dr. Kurt Wolff GmbH & Co. KG, the first user, was able to dramatically reduce set-up times. The single machine currently manages five different products at one time and is continuously learning to accommodate more.
This radical advance in mass production is made possible by two innovations:
1. The Multi-Carrier-System, which functions to more intelligently convey goods through the line compared to a classic production line. Where required, each single product may be modified individually.
2. A smart software concept from Siemens that provides the necessary intelligence for this type of dynamic control. Making it possible for the entire system to be highly automated, yet very flexibly.
Together, these innovations comprise a revolution in mechanical engineering.
New standards were also set in the planning, development and commissioning of the machine by the Optima Consumer GmbH, Dr. Kurt Wolff GmbH & Co. KG and Siemens teams: The plant was largely developed and tested virtually. This way, the complex interplay of all the components is rehearsed and optimized on the digital twin long before the machine is actually built. The result: The time from concept to production-ready machine is considerably decreased.
Everyone wants to have an individual solution. It goes without saying that this requires us to think in a completely different way regarding machine building issues.Rainer Feuchter, CEO Optima Consumer GmbH
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