It is the brain of machines: Without the control system, neither the forming of containers nor the filling of beverages works. If suppliers inform about the discontinuation of this component – as is currently the case with the control system of the KHS InnoPET Blomax Series III – the worst case scenario is that production will come to a standstill. In order to avoid this along with unnecessary costs, the Dortmund-based machine manufacturer is offering an upgrade for its stretch blow molder. Customers such as the Slovenian bottler Atlantic Droga Kolinska thus benefit from KHS's comprehensive range of services and not only increase their production reliability, but also noticeably increase efficiency. The proactive installation of the KHS ReDiS remote maintenance system as part of the conversion helps to further reduce process costs.
Customers all over the world appreciate the durability of KHS machines. This is no different with the third generation of KHS stretch blow molding technology. This was already one of the pioneers in the market at the turn of the millennium. Hundreds of machines are still successfully in operation at customers worldwide. For its existing customers, KHS offers to convert the control system to modern components. This step is made necessary by the discontinuation and thus discontinuation of production of the previous supplier. As a result, the stock of spare parts is shrinking. In the event of a failure, long-term downtimes can therefore occur, and in many cases repair is only possible to a limited extent or involves considerable time and money. "That's why we strongly advise all users to replace the controller. Ignoring the issue can be expensive," says Dennis Jacobi, manager of service sales and an expert on conversions at KHS in Hamburg.
Atlantic Droga Kolinska was one of the first customers to opt for a machine conversion on one of its two InnoPET Blomax Series III stretch blow molders at the Rogaška Slatina site in eastern Slovenia. There, premium mineral water of the Donat brand is bottled in non-returnable PET bottles in sizes between 0.5 and 1 liter, which comes from the springs of Rogaška Slatina and was named after the nearby mountain Donačka Gora. It is considered a health water due to the combination of trace elements and its digestive properties. In order to continue to produce the containers optimally in the future, the control system of the more than 20-year-old stretch blow molder was replaced. "Mechanically, it is in good condition, only the electronics were outdated. Despite its age, we want to continue using the stretch blow molder for the next few years. The conversion significantly reduces the risk of an unplanned outage. In addition, we ensure the reliability of production," says Matic Javornik, manager of process automation at the Slovenian bottler.
The modernization was successfully completed in less than a week. As part of the comprehensive range of services, KHS experts also accompany the production of converted machines for five days in order to reliably implement all process adjustments. "The support beyond this phase is also exemplary," says Javornik.
Thanks to the conversion, the Slovenian bottler has secured long-term parts availability and at the same time benefits from reduced costs in the event of spare parts. Furthermore, the software and its visualization have been brought up to the current state of the art, thus making operation easier, for example through an intuitive control panel. In addition to the mere conversion, KHS offers its existing customers further added value. "With the new control system, we have acquired many more functions that are comparable to machines of newer generations," says Javornik. In contrast to its predecessor, the installed solution has a Bluetooth connection and no longer rotary contacts, which was previously a challenge during maintenance. In the course of replacing the control component, the system provider also installed the intelligent remote maintenance system ReDiS free of charge. "On the one hand, analogous to replacing the control system, the risk of machine downtime is reduced, as remote maintenance enables location-independent advice and support from service technicians," says Jacobi: "Possible errors in the production process can thus be detected at an early stage and rectified much more efficiently." In addition, there is no need for costly travel for on-site use.
"We offer our customers an attractive overall package that not only increases production reliability and the efficiency of the processes. In addition, they receive intensive support from the first inquiry to implementation," says Jacobi. "When it comes to discontinuation management, we have the right solution for every container and beverage segment." It is precisely this holistic and comprehensive approach that Matic Javornik of Atlantic Droga Kolinska appreciates. At the end of the day, it's not just the service from KHS that is convincing in Slovenia, but also the machines themselves. For this reason, Droga Kolinska is planning another joint modernization of production with KHS in the near future.