Dortmund, Germany-based KHS Group, which makes blow molding machines and filling machines and full production lines, is doing research into digital networking, line optimization and Industry 4.0 in the beverage industry.
For KHS, one goal is to boost line efficiency and reduce the amount of resources used, such as material and energy.
“When deciding whether we implement an idea or not, it’s the added value for the customer that counts for us,” said Matthias Schopp, head of engineering systems at KHS.
On the Industry 4.0 front, KHS has worked with partner companies a project called DnSPrO, an acronym for the development of a self-learning filling system equipped with sensors and an intelligent logic controller. The work was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
“The results of this project can form the basis for future filling machines where the machine can perfectly adjust itself to a new project automatically, with the automated variation of filling parameters replacing manual setup procedures,” Schopp said.
The project came through the cooperation of five industrial companies and the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Science and Rohr University in Bochum, Germany.
KHS also is working on improving the interaction of humans and machines. “Our aim must be to make the operation of the increasingly complex technology demanded by growing market requirements easier for human operators,” Schopp said. “With the help of artificial intelligence, we want to engineer self-learning and self-optimizing systems.”
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