Krones launches lifecycle programme for bottlers
after-sale customer care for bottlers and plant managers. The
service covers everything from installation and commissioning
through to training, parts, preventive maintenance and line
Under the lifecycle service programme, stock spare parts can be shipped within 24 hours, and handling parts can be shipped within six weeks. Emergency parts are also available. Krones claims that over 90 per cent of its replacement and handling parts are manufactured on site.
Comprehensive component rebuild, repair, and exchange services are also available under the programme. Krones intends to extend its lifecycle service initiative to provide adhesives and other consumable products, specifically engineered to work with Krones equipment.
The Krones Lifecycle Service also provides manufacturers with access to the group's training academy. Krones offers training programmes geared to a number of specific operational needs and designed to help plant operators get the most from their equipment.
In order for the programme to be truly effective, Krones needed to establish a viable support infrastructure. As a result, the company set up a service center and a 24-hour centralised dispatch service, combined with regionally-based field technical service teams.
The service also includes an important IT component, developed by Syskron, the group's IT division. A newly developed line tuning service allows Krones to analyse a company's bottling or packaging line, diagnose weak points, and then present and implement solutions to optimise processes.
The company, which is a global leader in the manufacture of integrated wet- and dry-end packaging and bottling systems, says that line tuning achieves sustained improvement in efficiency, and recaptures lost productivity.
Life cycle management in food production has become a big issue, and a number of other equipment providers have developed comprehensive systems designed help manufacturers manage the life cycle of their plant. Buhler for example has launched its Global programme to help customers decide which production system to invest in, how implement it and how to maintain and enhance its value.
Buhler says that once a customer has decided to spend money on a new machine or production system, the programme can help them to develop different plant concepts to show the advantages and disadvantages of the various machines. This will allow the manufacturer to select the system best suited to their specific purposes.
Likewise, if a process is to be changed, Buhler can establish feasibility studies that show the benefits and drawbacks of the different casting processes, supplying a valuable basis for evaluation of the most economic process. Each stage in the process is analysed.
Once the decision to acquire equipment has been made, Buhler can continue to support the manufacturer through the implementation phase. The company says that it is capable of developing and designing hardware using state-of-the-art technology at two design centres in Uzwil, Switzerland, and Laichingen, Germany.
As with Krones' lifecycle service programme, the Global programme also contains a training component. Machine maintenance and set-up crews can receive instruction on hydraulics, electrical engineering, and set-up, and operation and maintenance of the peripheral equipment can be undertaken.
Another recently launched programme designed to help plant managers get the most from their equipment comes from Endress+Hauser. This programme comes in three different components, which support the complete life cycle management of measuring equipment from the planning stage, throughout commissioning, right through to periodic and predictive maintenance. The three components are a selection and sizing tool, a complete software package for verification, configuration and diagnostics and a checking and simulation tool.
Endress+Hauser claims that of the maintenance work carried out today, 30 per cent is unnecessary preventative maintenance. In addition to this, more than 60 per cent is corrective maintenance work, i.e. after the problem occurs and therefore not planned.