Thanks to the integration of merchandise into the KHS service business, spare parts, overhauls and conversions are delivered from a single source. This speeds up and simplifies the process at bottling plants and at the same time reduces their coordination effort.
"As is customary in the industry, as a supplier of complete turnkey systems, it is important for KHS to integrate a considerable number of merchandise into the line," emphasizes Frank Maevus, who heads the Large Machines, Labelers, Transport and Merchandise product division in Service. "This is mainly due to the fact that there are specialists with whom KHS works in partnership for certain applications in a filling line. In addition, machines for special tasks in particular are usually not needed in quantities that would justify maintaining our own organization." Therefore, as a line provider, it is important to offer the technology from a single source. This applies in particular to service: "If our customers want spare parts, a general overhaul or a conversion, they should not have to deal with ten or more companies, but only with one contact person. KHS takes on this role."
On the one hand, merchandise includes integrated products that are an integral part of a KHS machine, such as a glue pump in the labeler. On the other hand, there are independent components such as can sealers, pallet wrappers, closure conveyors of all kinds, printers or dosing stations for nitrogen. This category is taken care of by the team of Frank Maevus. For this purpose, a process was implemented that ensures a significant increase in efficiency and shorter throughput times through the establishment of a separate organizational unit and the adaptation of structures.
Fair and marketable
This result was achieved by setting up a section for merchandise spare parts in the KHS Connect online shop. There you can see the price information of the most important trading partners. KHS has agreed conditions with them that allow them to pass on the calculation at fair and marketable prices. Beverage manufacturers that have KHS lines proactively receive an offer for suitable spare and wear parts packages that contain the appropriate parts for the merchandise they contain. The same applies to the area of conversions, which, in addition to the company's own machines and parts, also include all those of third parties. And, of course, the necessary documentation for all components from third-party suppliers is provided by the KHS service team. In addition, merchandise will be part of discontinuation management in the future in order to be able to inform customers at an early stage about a component or control discontinuation with a view to the entire line.
A glance at the figures shows just how complex the topic has been up to now and how great the benefits are for beverage producers: Maevus estimates that KHS purchases merchandise from around 180 different suppliers for its systems. Around 80 percent of the volume is accounted for by the top 30 companies, which include preferred suppliers such as Ferrum for can sealers, Gassner for closure-feeding systems and H. F. Meyer for can turners and rinsers.
Now that the integration of merchandise into the service processes at KHS headquarters in Dortmund has already been successfully completed, the focus is now on the subsidiaries worldwide. The successive international SAP rollout creates the conditions for comprehensive cooperation in a uniform system landscape. Thanks to standardized workflows, inquiries can also be answered more easily and quickly. The maintenance or general overhaul of KHS lines can be carried out with just one contact person, from quotation to implementation.
The integrated merchandise service from a single source is particularly appreciated by beverage manufacturers outside Europe. "In many cases, the suppliers of the merchandise we use are companies that do not always have a global infrastructure similar to ours," explains Maevus. "Imagine if bottlers not only had to communicate with a large number of contacts, but also coordinate with suppliers overseas. The integrated merchandise service from KHS offers our customers enormous time savings with its 'one-stop-shop' philosophy."
Three questions for Saeed Bawazier, Operations director at MenaBev
Covering an area of 300,000 square meters, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) is home to one of the largest Pepsi bottling plants in the world. Saeed Bawazier, Operations Director at MenaBev, recently made use of KHS's merchandise service.
Why was a conversion necessary and what exactly was changed?
Our goal was to increase flexibility: in addition to the standard 330-milliliter size, we wanted to fill one of our three KHS canning lines with the 250-milliliter slim can, which is important for exports and promises great growth. To achieve this, every machine had to be converted along the entire line – from depalletizers to air transport, can turners, fillers, seamers, packers and palletizers.
What do you see as the main advantage of the integrated merchandise service from KHS?
From our own experience in another case, we know how complicated and risky it can be to carry out such projects with multiple contacts. Getting everything from a single source is a huge advantage: I have never experienced such a smooth project as this conversion.
What do you appreciate most about KHS service?
On the one hand, you can feel that KHS and, for example, Ferrum are real partners and work smoothly together. On the other hand, I'm very happy that KHS has set up a service network in our region whose technicians are literally just a phone call away. This not only saves time and money – we also experience significantly fewer and shorter production interruptions.