Industry 4.0

Experts agree that future production facilities will be much smarter than today’s factories. This intelligence will be made possible by the use of miniaturized processors, storage units, sensors, and transmitters that will be embedded in nearly all conceivable types of machines, unfinished products, and materials, as well as smart tools and new software for structuring data flows. All of these innovations will enable products and machines to communicate with one another and exchange commands. In other words, the factories of the future will optimize and control their manufacturing processes largely by themselves.

Most mechanical engineers have long recognized that the ability to switch machine formats automatically is a huge advantage, saving an enormous amount of time over methods using hand wheels. Plus, automation also minimizes the amount of material wasted, as the format adjustments are always precisely reproducible and auto-correcting.

Made-to-measure format changeovers in bottling plants

When the operating managers of major breweries present their state-of-the-art bottling plant, they wash a large number of bottles very quickly. The visitor is amazed as these fragile vessels are propelled through the machine. However, an experienced manager knows the importance of speed when the bottles are not moving. This machine is designed so that changeover downtime is no longer significant and changeover precision does not vary. The plant can afford more frequent changeovers and support a more flexible operation. The example of bottle inspection machines makes this particularly clear.

Machines for inspecting empty bottles, such as the Linatronic 735 made by the bottling specialist Krones AG, monitor washed reusable bottles for dirt and damage. A reliable standard of bottle washing quality within the bottling plant translates directly into greater safety for the consumer – reusing bottles should not mean compromising on the hygiene and proper condition of the bottles!

At the same time, this requires a high level of flexibility as the bottle inspector must be capable of monitoring a wide range of bottle formats. For the operating manager, a hygienic design that can be adjusted automatically at the touch of a button to different bottle types equates to reproduciblity and efficiency!

What Industry 4.0 means for you?

Your customers expect you to present highly flexible machine solutions with minimum changeover time lags. Each new format must be adjusted automatically within little time – similar to a triathlete whose ranking depends on how quickly she changes over from one discipline to the next. You want the design flexibility of positioning systems that communicate via each relevant bus system, including popular Ethernet based buses? You want positioning systems that offer Condition Monitoring giving maximum machine availability to your customer.

HMK in partnership with halstrup-walcher offer high performance positioning systems with all features needed in modern machine design. One of our strengths is to create customer specific solutions in highly compact housings, quickly.