KHS modernises the control unit on its stretch blow moulder

For its existing clients, KHS is offering a conversion of the control unit to modern components (Image: Atlantic Droga Kolinska)

It is the brains of a machine: without a control unit your bottling system can neither mould nor fill your containers. KHS will be offering an upgrade for its stretch blow moulder as it discontinues the KHS InnoPET Blomax Series III. Customers such as Slovenian bottler Atlantic Droga Kolinska will be able to increase their production reliability and efficiency. Proactive installation of the KHS ReDiS remote maintenance system in the course of the conversion also cuts process costs.

For its existing clients, KHS has offered a conversion of the control unit to modern components, a step made necessary by the discontinuation and thus cessation of production of the same by the former supplier. The number of available spare parts will thus decrease as a result. If there is a machine failure, downtimes could last longer and repairs may not always be possible — or when they are, they may take up a vast amount of time and effort.

“We therefore urgently advise all users to replace their control unit. Ignoring this could prove expensive,” saidDennis Jacobi, service sales manager and expert for conversions at KHS in Hamburg, Germany.

Control unit upgrade completed

One of the first customers to opt for a machine conversion on one of its two stretch blow moulders is Atlantic Droga Kolinska at its Rogaška Slatina plant in Slovenia. Here, Donat mineral water is filled into non-returnable PET bottles holding between 0.5 and 1.0 litres. In order to safeguard the continuing production of perfect containers in the future, the control unit on the stretch blow moulder — now more than 20 years old — was recently replaced.

“Mechanically it’s in a sound condition; it’s the electronics that are showing their age. We want to carry on using our stretch blow moulder for a good few years more despite its vintage. The conversion has now greatly reduced the risk of unplanned downtime. We’ve also ensured the reliability of production,” stated Matic Javornik, manager of process automation for the Slovenian bottler.

The modernisation was completed in less than a week. Moreover, as part of its extensive range of services, KHS professionals supervise production on converted machines for five days in order to reliably adapt all processes on the machinery.

“The support above and beyond this phase is equally exemplary,” Javornik added.

Long-term availability of parts

By converting its plant engineering, Atlantic Droga Kolinska has secured the availability of parts in the long term, benefitting in addition from lower costs for any necessary spare parts. Moreover, both the software and visualization have been brought up to the minute, thus making operation easier thanks to the intuitive operator panel, for example. KHS also offers its existing customers further advantages above and beyond the actual conversion.

“With the new control unit we’ve gained lots more functions that are comparable with newer-generation machines,” claimed Javornik. Unlike its predecessor, the installed system now has a Bluetooth link instead of rotary connectors that to date were something of a challenge to maintain. While replacing the control components, the systems provider also installed the intelligent ReDiS remote maintenance system free of charge.

“As with replacement of the control unit, this reduces the risk of machine downtime as remote maintenance enables advice and support from service engineers to be given regardless of the actual location,” Jacobi explained. “Any errors in the production process can therefore be detected in good time and remedied much more efficiently.” Costly travel arrangements for assignments on site are also a thing of the past.

“We offer our customers an attractive complete package that not only increases production reliability but also boosts process efficiency. They also receive intensive support from their initial inquiry through to implementation,” he continued. “We have exactly the right solution for each container and beverage segment in our discontinuation management programme.”

Moving forward, Atlantic Droga Kolinska is planning on further modernising its production setup with KHS.