Line as a Machine
A whole packaging line as a single system

Motor vehicles are a collection of parts from many OEM manufacturers brought together and sold as a single machine with one point of responsibility for delivery, performance and service. Why not treat the FMCG production line in the same way?

Traditionally, packaging lines are a series of machines joined together by conveying. The machines on the line may or may not communicate with each other directly or through a form of line control. However, Industry 4.0 brings opportunities that cannot be realised by traditional factory models, where each piece of equipment effectively operates in a silo.

The solution is to take a holistic view of the entire line and treat it as a single, complete system with complete interoperability.

This doesn’t mean throwing in a few sensors, layering an IoT protocol over the top and calling it done.

As easy and economical as that option seems, it can result in missed OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and line management opportunities due to non-existent or incomplete data, critical security risks, and end up costing more in the long run anyway.

Ideally, the factory layout and equipment selection are optimised for speed and function. Each piece of equipment is programmed to provide standardised information using standardised controls that report to a centralised line management execution system (LMES).

That way, you, as the customer and your operators can enjoy ‘driving’ a fast production line with a dashboard full of controls, accurate and seamless information and very high reliability, only having to deal with a single supplier for ongoing service and support.

We, as the line integrator, take complete responsibility for the delivery and continuing function of an optimised line.

We believe that the future of FMCG manufacturing is this system-based approach to the factory floor, with the entire production line treated as a single production cell.

Line as a Machine (LaaM) is a new concept for Industry 4.0 packaging lines.

Using this more sophisticated approach provides the following benefits:

  1.  An effective LMES will poll each machine on the line multiple times per second, collect the standardised data and present it in a visually intuitive way on a single interface to both operators and managers.

  2. Large amounts of data are turned into useful information to guide decision making and predictive maintenance. OEE, benchmarks, trends and forecasts are available at a click.

  3. The information is secured using high-performance authentication, encryption and access rights management technologies.

  4. Useful data is delivered to the cloud for further analysis by enterprise resource management systems.

In effect, all the advantages of Industry 4.0 connectivity can be realised in a way that is secure and scalable.

We think Line as a Machine is perhaps the only approach that will capture the full benefits of Industry 4.0.

Foodmach is both a manufacturer and supplier of best-in-breed packaging machinery, from depalletising, conveying, fillers and inspection to pasteurising, labelling, case packing, traceability, palletising, stretch wrapping and AGVs/AMRs (and everything in between). We have expertise in specifying, supplying, installing, seamlessly integrating and maintaining all of them.

And we have the size, scale and full breadth of services required, in-house.

However, it's our line control and Industry 4.0 integration skills that truly set us apart and give us the technical expertise to offer Line as a Machine.

For us, it's not too much of a risk to guarantee line performance. 

Our vision is to put production managers in the driver's seat of an optimised line with full control over every aspect of its functioning.

The launch of Line as a Machine brings that vision to life.

Interested in finding out more about LaaM and how it can help you enjoy all the benefits of Industry 4.0?

Call 1800 FOODMACH, email or send us a message below.

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