Line Management Systems (LMS) for optimum performance

The bottling and packaging of beverages and food represent the last steps in the value added chain of food production – and also the most cost-intensive ones. The bottling and packaging plants used for this purpose are highly complex, interlinked plant lines with an availability of between 50 and 75 percent. However, to implement improvements, the key reasons for plant downtime must be identified.
The most important functions of a bottling and packaging line are executed by the bottling machines, labellers, palletisers, transporters and special supplementary systems, including CIP and high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurisers. In order to ensure trouble-free bottling, all plant components upstream and downstream of the central machine usually achieve a higher rated output than the bottling machine itself. However, due to stochastic effects, jams or material shortages frequently occur. They affect the production line up to the bottling machine, finally resulting in machine downtime. In order to be able to intervene before the actual problem occurs and to minimise its effects, line and shift supervisors require an enormous amount of process information. Today, this information can only be provided manually, which is particularly time-consuming and expensive. Due to the use of different media and multiple inputs, manually acquired data is often redundant and can even be inconsistent. Therefore, it is advisable to implement production data acquisition systems (PDAs) for the automatic acquisition and processing of messages, counter values, metered values, along with machine and system runtime data, in order to present them in charts, tables or hit lists. Using statistical patterns, trends can be determined on the basis of the data acquired and warning limits can be defined which become effective when, e.g., certain parameters are exceeded.

Line management as a data hub

Our LMS ensures the automatic entry of orders, access to material master data and enables, e.g., the creation of procurement orders. It also guarantees that all the data created at the production level is fed back to the ERP level. The entire procurement and logistics planning process, as well as process management, packaging material management and machine control, can be displayed on one user interface.

For data analysis purposes, the capacity utilisation of the various lines can be compared as well as compliance with key performance figures, e.g. using OEE analyses. Furthermore, our LMS automatically consolidates and visualises data specifically for the decision-making levels:

  • Plant operators
  • Plant designers
  • Line managers
  • Plant managers

Basically, our LMS provides the following functions:

  • Interface for the exchange of order-related and material master data with the ERP system and the inventory management system
  • Material flow control
  • Automatic creation of partial jobs
  • Interfaces for the connected machines, printers, scanners and labellers
  • Visualisation
  • Data analyses, reporting
  • OEE analyses