Continuous improvement process over a machine’s entire lifetime
Krones’ machines are customised machines. This means that though there are defined machine series, mostly when the first machines of a series are being delivered we are already working on individual customised modifications. These are partly based on national regulations, and local idiosyncrasies, but partly, also, on ideas for optimisation from our product development people.
This applies quite explicitly to questions regarding the operator-friendliness of our machines, but also to energy and media savings. Sustainability and energy-efficiency are on everybody’s lips. We asked Isabella Wentsch, a sales engineer at Life-Cycle Service, how the older machines can also be made “greener”.
Ms Wentsch, how important is the issue of energy-efficiency for Krones’ clients?
Energy-economy and energy-efficiency are meanwhile a major issue. Many clients have already started focusing more on their machines’ energy consumption, because it’s becoming a progressively more significant cost factor.
How can the Krones Life-Cycle Service improve energy-efficiency?
We at Life-Cycle Service provide support for the machines over their entire lifetime on site. Metrological systems enable us to measure their media consumption levels, and analyse them so as to ascertain whether the as-is status can be improved. We can achieve this using the appropriate upgrades; these are technical innovations which ensure that the machines up and running for years at the client’s facility will work with enhanced energy-efficiency.
Clients tend to prefer upgrades that pay off within a period of 1 to 3 years. For amortisation times of more than three years every businessperson is more or less going to need a green heart.
So do all our clients have a “green heart”?
Small and mid-tier companies want their investments to extend their machines’ useful lifetimes and enable them to be utilised more efficiently. In the high-speed category, you quite often see a client investing in a new machine if it’s reached the final third of its life-cycle; here, preference may well be given to investing in a new one.
Are there any country-specific differences among our clients?
When it comes to investing in a new machine, clients have been sensitised, and will factor the energy consumption levels into their purchasing decision. But there are also countries in Europe where energy continues to be very affordable. There is understandably not much interest there in upgrades designed to save on energy or media. In countries where the focus has moved to the costs of energy, we’re seeing significantly more inquiries for energy-related retrofit jobs.