China is committed to efficiency
China is the largest beer market in the world with over 500 breweries and an annual production exceeding 400 million hectolitres - and it is continuing to grow rapidly. Therefore the demand for HEUFT solutions which improve line efficiency and considerably increase output is accordingly high.
Ensuring a stable and efficient production and packaging process, reducing energy consumption, saving human resources and supplying enough beer in order to secure the largest possible share of a dynamically growing market: these are the current demands beer producers in China are being faced with which have triggered off a real run on HEUFT systems for line analysis and container flow optimisation. The industry is dominated by large brewery groups there which in part have up to 70 production facilities distributed over the whole country. Their main aim is the sustainable optimisation of the operative controlling and the efficiency of all these lines.
The prerequisite for this is the best possible comparability. An increasing number of Chinese brewery groups are showing interest in the HEUFT PROFILER, for the specific acquisition of production data (PDA) and precise analysis of complete filling lines, in order to make a uniform automatic efficiency calculation, free of subjective impressions, possible at all their sites. The days when production counters and supply meters, downtimes or batch-specific data had to be collected and evaluated labour intensively by hand will therefore also be a thing of the past in China soon. The IT tool which can be integrated into existing ERP systems makes real-time information about the operating state of all the connected machines and devices available and provides important production statistics, freely configurable reports as well as detailed key figures about the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) among other things.
A considerable increase in value creation
This provides the users with a clear overview of the daily, monthly or annual production and makes preventive maintenance the norm: sources of interference which thwart line performance are identified immediately. They can be rectified before they result in long standstills, costly production stops or even the total failure of complete lines. Using the HEUFT PROFILER can considerably increase output without the necessity for an expensive new installation particularly along lines which are running at their capacity limits. Because even a slight rise in efficiency, considered over a period of time, causes a considerable increase in value creation.
The result of a weak point analysis using the PDA system can also be a new investment for optimising the efficiency of existing lines. For example problems in the bottle flow can cause supply shortfalls to the master machines. Line efficiency suffers and consequently the total output which is ultimately decisive as regards the chances of profit. Integrating conveyor control systems in conjunction with HEUFT checking devices is recommended in order to solve this problem. HEUFT synchron BS systems have been regulating the container transport in front of the filler and in front of the labelling machines continuously in many major Chinese breweries for some time now. They have mostly been integrated along filling lines together with HEUFT inspection and quality assurance equipment. However the bottle flow was far from satisfactory in the multi-lane conveyor areas which were not regulated by them: the pressure in the infeed of the washing machine was much too great. The containers collided into each other and blocked each other so that jams occurred. Some bottles even fell out of the line. At the same time wear and tear in these sections was unacceptable. The situation was similar where the conveyors met from the two levels of the pasteuriser. There were also blockades in the infeed of the packer which caused scuffing and damage to the labels and reduced the line efficiency.
A five percent increase in line efficiency
The specific integration of the HEUFT synchron DP, a higher-ranking conveyor control system, alleviated the situation along several lines in various Chinese breweries. Installation was completed in only one week in each case. It ensures the full performance of the lines since then. For this it regulates the complete multi-lane area and prevents jams as well as gaps in the bottle flow. This means slower conveyor speeds with the same performance so that the line runs with less interference and uses less energy. A greater throughput is possible at the same speed. Bottles which fall out or are destroyed due to an impact pressure which is too high are no longer an issue. The same applies to scuffing and label damage.
The breweries now no longer need personnel for each shift whose task it was to manually eliminate jams and to maintain the bottle flow. The maintenance team can also concentrate on other tasks because the conveyors and the machine infeed areas are less affected by wear and tear than before. The overall efficiency of the lines has increased on average by a significant five percent as a result of the retrofit. In addition the noise emission has reduced considerably. Chinese brewery groups are now planning to use the HEUFT synchron along their lines more extensively due to this success. Because the conveyor control system contributes to an optimum supply to the master machines and the greatest possible output.
Whether and to what extent such measures actually contribute to performance optimisation can be exactly checked using the HEUFT PROFILER data in the course of a before and after comparison. It is therefore no surprise that the demand for the PDA system is on the increase particularly in China. However investing in HEUFT tools in order to increase line efficiency is not only worthwhile for large Asian brewery groups. Smaller producers worldwide can also increase the performance of existing lines noticeably and fill more drinks more efficiently.