Primary packaging: how to obtain better quality and more efficiency in production lines
Opem’s commitment is always oriented to a constant research of innovative solutions for the improvement of performances and quality in packaging lines. «Our machines carry out the primary packaging and therefore they have the prerogative of processing as “product” both the customer’s raw material (the real product) and the container of the product itself, which becomes product in its turn», specifies Franco Lupi, Head of R&D Department. «In a coffee capsule we must take utmost care of coffee, for instance, but also pay great attention to its package, first of all, due to hygiene reasons and then of total quality».
To achieve the above-mentioned results, Lupi adds, «we need extreme care of details, attention to hygiene and cleanliness, constant efficient controls in each stage of the machine processing to ensure that any single operation has been successfully performed. Each phase is fully controlled, and any eventual reject is minimized through the control singularization. Cutting-edge sensors with embedded AI and algorithms, that operate in interpolated and deterministic way, contribute to the quality of the final product. The process automation, as quality check tool, is achieved also using advanced robotic systems. Handlings, verifications and other tasks are increasingly integrated into automatic machine processes».
Fully integrated logic and motion controlling
Furthermore, Lupi explains how Opem makes processing and line configuration phases more efficient, flexible and leaner. «The setup of plants’ logic processes is fully integrated. The integral automation that includes motion controlling and PLCs is a fundamental tool for the complete plant management. Each machine provides for the development of specific codes for the operation and the control itself of the system; at Opem everything is in-house processed by a team of dedicated engineers. All that must then turn out to the simplest and most understandable terms on the operator panel. Recipes, changeover parameters and code updating must be accessible from more points and updated quickly, securely and in a validated mode».
Finally, Opem contributes to design safer processes. «In each machine or production line, the process assessment is assured by control systems and by the monitoring they undergo. The aspects concerning plant safety must include both active and passive prevention systems. Operators’ safety through specific sensors and unsurmountable barriers must be always a priority and this is followed by the safety for tools themselves, achieved with constant monitoring of components’ use and health status. Current regulations are quite preventive and cautionary, but at Opem», Lupi ends, «we prefer paying further attention with integrated safety systems and rules that can allow users to run the machine or the line beyond conventional standards».