The established, optimized system is an important component in KHS’ holistic range of services, giving bottlers the safety and reliability they need in the production process. “In this way failure through wear is avoided, risks to product safety are detected well in advance and the availability of the system is ensured,” states Thomas Niehr, head of Aseptic Filling Technology for KHS in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. “Should just one single part of the machine fail, the financial and material loss can be vast if the bottler has a sterile product in the tank which has to be processed quickly, for instance.” For this reason KHS offers special maintenance modules which Niehr describes as being comparable to a service for a car. The intervals are always gauged by certain time cycles and machine operating hours, with KHS providing the material packages and engineers.
Overall machine state inspected
During maintenance not only are smaller wear parts replaced; the overall condition of the machine is inspected and settings are corrected where applicable. The customer is given detailed information on all results in a concluding machine status report. The Dortmund systems supplier provides fixed maintenance packages for all of its aseptic machines at a set price which varies depending on the required intensity of maintenance and fulfillment of certain service tasks by KHS. “If KHS takes on the entire management during servicing, this has many benefits for the customer. The replacement of wear parts can’t be avoided. Preventive maintenance, however, ensures smooth production as all processes and machine data are consistently read out and monitored by our engineers,” says Niehr. “We then coordinate the entire maintenance management process together with the customer. This again increases machine and production safety and reliability. A dairy, for instance, can’t afford long downtimes." The more regularly and intensively a system is monitored by KHS, the shorter any downtimes are. The practiced course of events executed between the bottler and KHS’ engineers also cuts down on the amount of administrative effort, thus further reducing costs, claims Niehr.
This generates a number of calculable advantages for the operator, as fixed costs also enable budgets to be securely planned, with identical installments paid at pre-specified intervals. Niehr emphasizes, “Customers know exactly how much maintenance costs them. It’s also possible to compute costs according to the number of bottles filled, with a fixed allocation of maintenance costs to product giving bottlers planning security.” As an option KHS also supplies additional spare part and emergency packages beside the replacement of wear parts within the scope of its maintenance modules.
“Preventative maintenance thus has many benefits,” smiles Niehr. By avoiding unplanned downtime the overall cost of production is lowered in the long term. Unlike an unscheduled system standstill, preventive maintenance can be sensibly integrated into the production plan. “It’s a prudent investment,” concludes Niehr, who also points out that KHS is constantly further developing its system of maintenance. “The aim is to fully equip the machines with sensors in the future so that they’re monitored online by the electronics. With this form of preventive maintenance the amount of downtime will be reduced even further and production will become even more efficient and cost effective.”
KHS is one of the leading manufacturers of filling and packaging systems for the beverage, food and non-food industries. The KHS Group includes the following companies: KHS GmbH, KHS Corpoplast GmbH, NMP Systems GmbH and numerous subsidiaries outside Germany.
KHS GmbH manufactures modern filling and packaging systems for the high-capacity range at its headquarters in Dortmund, Germany, and at its factories in Bad Kreuznach, Kleve and Worms. The KHS Group’s PET expertise is pooled at KHS Corpoplast GmbH in Hamburg, Germany, where innovative PET packaging and coating systems are developed and produced. NMP Systems GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KHS GmbH based in Kleve in Germany, designs and markets new, resource-saving packaging systems for PET bottles.
In 2016 KHS and its 4,995 employees achieved a turnover of around €1.18 billion within the Salzgitter consolidation. The companies in the KHS Group are 100% subsidiaries of the MDAX-listed Salzgitter AG corporation.
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