Cheese production and the cloud
The traditional cheese manufacturer, Jermi Käsewerk, is modernising its production with MULTIVAC thermoforming packaging machines
More performance from the line, more process reliability, more Industry 4.0: In order to remain fit for the future in times of rising competitive pressure, the traditional cheese company, Jermi Käsewerk, from the town of Laupheim in Baden Württemberg, relies on networked thermoforming packaging machines and intelligent cloud services from MULTIVAC.
The name Jermi comes from the first syllables of the founder's name, Michael Jerg. In 1889 he would probably not have dared to dream, how impressively the family company would develop. Today, more than 130 years later, Jermi Käsewerk GmbH is among the big players in the German food industry. But the family business does not want to rest on this success. Its view is directed much more towards the future. Towards Industry 4.0, automation and a data-driven company. “We are continuously undertaking technological upgrades, in order to make our manufacturing process even more automated and efficient, as well as increasingly using the power of production data,” says Gerhard Jerg, Managing Director of Jermi Käsewerk GmbH. “One area of focus is the question, of how data can be processed and analysed in real time, so that staff members can constantly optimise our overall equipment effectiveness.”
New thermoforming packaging machines and MULTIVAC Smart Services increase productivity
These technology upgrades on the path to networked and data-supported production include three new RX 4.0 thermoforming packaging machines from MULTIVAC. These three machines are integrated into a range of equipment, which also consists of loading robots, slicers and inspection systems, as well as box loading and palletising units. The RX 4.0 models pack cheese slices for a variety of retailers - and the types of cheese include Gouda, Edam, Tilsiter and butter cheese. Several thousand tons of cheese run over the packaging machines every year. Packed as slices, blocks and cubes. The secret of this high productivity lies in the very high level of digitalisation. Or to be more precise, in the sensor systems and "big data" cloud applications. All the dies of the individual stations, from forming to sealing, have networked sensors, which continuously deliver process values to the machine control, where they can be analysed by means of MULTIVAC Smart Services.
Cloud applications bring machines to their optimum operating point
The MULTIVAC Smart Services can be called up via the myMULTIVAC Customer Portal - at any time and at any place, using a PC or a mobile device via web page.
The applications analyse the overall equipment effectiveness, and also detect whether production is taking place as planned, and they can even identify if improvement measures are necessary. Always with the objective of increasing the performance and improving machine availability. Digital support, which Gerhard Jerg finds very convincing: “Thanks to MULTIVAC Smart Services, we can finally capture our productivity and overall equipment effectiveness digitally.” Staff can view on the Smart Production Dashboard all the relevant key performance indicators for production, as well as the forecast for achieving the daily target. This enables them to introduce improvement measures rapidly, so that the line can be run at the optimum operating point. “Thanks to the MULTIVAC Smart Services and the comprehensive sensor systems on the new thermoforming packaging machines, reproducible results with consistently high quality can be achieved better than ever before.”
“We feel that we are now up to the challenges of the Industry 4.0 future”
The security against any possible breakdown of the thermoforming packaging machines has also increased thanks to MULTIVAC Smart Services. The Smart Log Analyzer extracts the data on all the machine occurrences and fault messages, and it depicts these on a user-friendly display. In the event of a fault, the data is available immediately to the service technicians. The Jermi maintenance team can therefore react more quickly and in a more targeted way than before, when they are troubleshooting. The Smart Log Analyzer also supports service technicians in analysing, which faults occur most frequently, and what downtime they cause. This is knowledge, which helps the experts to target the improvement measures and reduce downtime to a minimum. “Thanks to MULTIVAC Smart Services, we are able to constantly increase the efficiency of the lines,” says Gerhard Jerg in conclusion. “We feel that we are now up to the challenges of the Industry 4.0 future, in which we will increasingly rely on digital shopfloor management and preventative maintenance, by using the digital solutions provided by MULTIVAC.”