Eliminating efficiency losses: line analysis

Even if clients’ machines have already been operating over a lengthy period, they are nevertheless still tasked with meeting the market’s requirements and continuously provide maximised performance. Often, a client will not even notice why his production output is falling or he is not getting the most out of his line. Lines should accordingly be subjected to technically sound examinations at regular intervals.

With its line analysis capability, Krones’ Lifecycle Service (LCS) provides an option for identifying the causes of efficiency losses, and developing solutional approaches for restoring a line to maximised performative capability. I asked our Krones team of analysts to elaborate on this topic:

Christian Schindlbeck, Hubert Frankerl, Sven Ascher and Heiko Fasold from the LCS EU Analytics and Optimisation team have jointly set themselves to perfect our line analysis capabilities. For optimum results, they marry operative competences to cost-efficiency-based thinking.


What causes will necessitate a line analysis job?

Christian Schindlbeck explains: “Efficiency losses in a production operation lead to unnecessarily reduced profits and increased costs, something that clients are keen to avoid. Over the years, we have found out that besides natural wear and tear, altered working procedures, changes in consumables, the introduction of new products for bottling or also personnel changes, may lead to a deterioration in the line’s performance. This is precisely when it’s advisable to take a long hard look at the line.”

How is a line analysis performed? What does a line analysis look like?

Hubert Frankerl reports: “First of all, it’s important to know that the purpose of a line analysis job is to identify potentials for optimisation at individual machines or also complete lines, and in the relevant production processes as well. A line analysis job is always performed by two certified experts on lines and packaging technology, in conformity with the internationally recognised ISO/IEC 17024 standard.

In the basic check routine, we use our own analytical tool called a data logger to determine the machines’ ongoing actual status. This includes ascertaining the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), documenting production or sequential processes and personnel deployment, and acquiring data on principal malfunctions, weak points, and the performance of the individual machines using a V-graph. Minor optimisation measures can then be discussed directly on site. In addition, we have an option for involving a direct contact person at Krones.”


Heiko Fasold adds: “Furthermore, clients have an option for having us carry out more analyses, like a buffering time analysis (capacity of the existing buffer zones up- and downstream of the machines concerned) or a changeover time analysis (examining change-over times for the individual units in comparison to the reference machine). Since we also attach all due importance to the neighbouring processes, we additionally offer to conduct process analyses, covering areas like cleaning or the preproduction phase. We can then record the results from our data analysis and from the agreements arrived at with the client in the shape of a written consultancy report. In a measure catalogue, we once again specify the precise problems encountered, and map out for the client detailed procedures for avoiding the losses involved.” Analytical options will be explained and elaborated upon in subsequent blog postings.

So what are the specific advantages that the client obtains from a line analysis?

Sven Ascher sums up: “What the client gets from us is objective, professional proposals for appropriate solutions, plus specific suggestions for capital investment to eliminate weak points, which are prioritised in line with a commercial assessment. We can then offer the subsequent optimisation measures from a single source. The optimisation package includes programming and adjustment initiatives for instance, drawing up a maintenance concept, defining maintenance routines, upgrades and other modification measures, plus actual-state before moving machines and conveyors. What’s more, on the basis of this analysis Krones has an opportunity to offer a new fit-for-purpose machine for the client.”

“The paramount goal is to upgrade a line’s overall equipment effectiveness. So far, our optimisation projects have produced OEE increases of two to ten per cent,” adds Sven Ascher.