At the FachPack 2016, Schubert unveiled its new Flowmodul solution. The eighth system component in the packaging machinery manufacturer’s portfolio enables the seamless packaging of products, for the confectionery, food,  pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry into flowpacks with its proven top-loading packaging machines. The Flowmodul sets all-new standards in primary packaging with regards to quality control, efficiency, space requirements and flexibility, the company says.

Like all Schubert system components, the Flowmodul was also developed to perform without an electrical cabinet. Image recognition, pick & place robots and the Flowmodul all merge into a single system. The scanner detects position, rotational position, shape, color and even the volume of each product, and then transfers the data for products which have passed the quality control to the F4 robots.

These in turn carefully pick the products from the running product belt and position them in the Flowmodul’s feed system. “Poor” products no longer cause equipment malfunctions and never end up in the package. The speed of the Flowmodul is determined in response to the product flow. The product feed consists of a flexible, fully automatic adjustable chain, with which products can also be carried on toothed belts.

The automatic film roll changing (splicing) is a standard feature as well as the servo-driven film rolls which enable secure handling of even very thin film.

Flexibility is key

The types of possible product formations within a flowwrap bag format are close to unlimited and can be easily programmed. The conversion from one format to another is as simple as child’s play. And even changing the chain carrier is fully automatic. If the product should first be placed in either a cardboard or plastic tray, this function can be easily implemented with an additional TLM-Frame.

With its TLM modules, Schubert can now master all standard tasks in the top-loading area. With the Flowmodul, the company also enables its customers to seamlessly integrate the packaging of flowwrap bags into a TLM system. This simplified technology is intrinsic to Schubert’s ongoing commitment to reduce system mechanics and interfaces whilst increasing functionality and flexibility.

With the Flowmodul, Schubert is once again demonstrating its expertise in developing highly efficient solutions in response to clearly identified market needs. Even before the official presentation of this latest innovation to the market, the company had already sold 20 Flowmodul components.

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Bosch improves operator / machine interface with its next generation HMI 4.0

Bosch Packaging Technology, a leading supplier of process and packaging technology, looks to explore new horizons in design and operation with its Human Machine Interface HMI 4.The HMI 4.0 is suited for both stand-alone machines  and entire lines and is part of Bosch’s industry 4.0 applications.

It provides an interface for data collection, data sharing and visualization. As of interpack 2017, Bosch will successively equip all new machines of its processing and packaging units with the HMI 4.0.

“This is a revolutionary innovation. The aim is to ensure that all our machines feature the latest hardware and control technology, and also provide consistent user guidance with the same comprehensible surface,” says Stefan König, member of the board of management at Bosch Packaging Technology. “Thereby, Bosch not only explores new horizons with regard to design but also sets a milestone for connected solutions in the processing and packaging industry.”

Improved operation and new functions

A major new feature of the HMI consists in its guided workflows, which lead operators through each step of production processes. The same applies to format changes, cleaning and maintenance as well as other processes. This facilitates the daily work. The display resembles that of mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. Thanks to an intuitive, touch-sensitive surface, data can be entered with gestures (multi-touch), including zooming in and out with two fingers — “pinch and stretch” — as well as navigation by swiping.

“In future, machines and systems will be easier to operate since operators have a uniform navigation concept with the same basic functions for each machine of a line,” König explains. “Even existing machines may be retrofitted upon request.”

Thanks to a clearly arranged, tile-structured menu, operators will benefit from a quick overview of all functions and processes of their machines. Tailored to specific user roles, such as operator or line manager, the HMI 4.0 only displays the processes relevant to the current user.

The HMI 4.0 provides comprehensive, integrated support as well as more transparent processes and notifications. In case of production downtime, operators immediately receive a notification including information about the causes and troubleshooting support to quickly restart their machines. Direct links to user manuals and format changeover lists assist users in their day-to-day tasks. Furthermore, a new comment section enables users to add their own notes and share them with others.

 “The HMI 4.0 provides an immediate overview of all production parameters and data. This is especially important with regard to the big amount of data in the connected industry. During production, all key information is summarized on a central dashboard. With its standardized interfaces, the HMI 4.0 is a central element for the connection to other solutions. This way, our customers are fully prepared for upcoming industry 4.0 challenges,” König says.

Bosch has tailored its HMI 4.0 especially to users’ needs and requirements. Machine operators all over the world were interviewed and operating habits observed, since users are always in the center of Bosch’s developments. This is why customers are continuously involved during development processes including prototyping phases.

 “The new HMI is already in use on first machines of several customers,” König says. “Their keen feedback has proven that this is the right approach.”

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