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We always have the same goal: reliable, smooth planning, installation and acceptance as well as machines with maximum efficiency. It doesn’t matter which system manufacturer or operator we work with, because we base our actions on facts. No one else in the market is more reliable and competent than we are at determining these facts.

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Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Gero Fiedler, Owner and Managing Director; Consultancy

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Our experience from analyses, approvals and optimisations of well over 500 different filling lines is constantly updated through approvals of the latest machine technology. During our worldwide assignments, we also familiarise ourselves with processes and parameters that are useful but not common in Germany.

Quick analyses

Direct presentation of initial results
and final reporting
within 5 days

Quick acceptance

Announcement of final results and presentation of ready-to-sign acceptance certificates directly after the acceptance test

Line efficiency according to DIN 8782 – the optimum is not magic.

Your path to permanently high efficiency

Filling and packaging account for a large proportion of the costs in the production of beverages and food. The focus of cost-optimised production should therefore also be on the high efficiency of the filling and packaging lines. However, the high efficiency of new systems cannot be maintained as their service life increases without checking their performance – in conjunction with corrective measures.
The story of line efficiency begins as early as the negotiations for the purchase of a new line. Among other things, efficiency levels are demanded and agreed here. These are the result of the buyer’s desire to operate a trouble-free system (100%) and the machine manufacturer’s knowledge of what is economically feasible and at the same time guaranteed (87-92%).
A performance is agreed that must be proven by acceptance over a more or less long period of time. This is often not representative of the way the system is utilised (e.g. 2 x 8 hours for systems that are operated in a three-shift system).

However, this efficiency is usually the efficiency of the machine part that can be achieved in the best case (with specification-compliant material, trained employees and machines set up by professionals), i.e. the degree of delivery according to DIN8782.
The nomenclature of the degree of delivery is often misinterpreted by the customer, as a so-called degree of delivery is also determined in the company, but this is comparable to the “degree of efficiency including all faults” according to DIN 8782. Due to the extended influence of interference sources, it is usually far below the purchased degree of delivery. This fact alone results in a not insignificant difference between the efficiency, which is the basis for production planning, and the actual achievable output.
Once acceptance has been passed, the contractually agreed efficiency is almost irrelevant.

For the operator, the sum of all sources of interference is then important.
Initially, the pure machine faults will remain at a low level, but the external faults (due to a lack of know-how or experience with the new units and possibly adapted behaviour and process rules) will have a significant performance-reducing effect.
What happens next? The filling team becomes more practised, the work processes interlock better, but … the line efficiency does not increase!
The reasons are complex, as the line is confronted with the full impact of day-to-day operations.

The optimum setting

It is no secret that operators of the individual shifts – each for themselves – often choose their own ” optimal” settings. However, it is fatal when this relates to sensitive mechanical adjustments (e.g. setting the gas symmetry of the shrink packer/packer). Units or even the entire system are often “immobilised” in order to ensure a pleasant working shift (preferably a night shift).

The small parts

Furthermore, worn or lost small parts are not replaced, as they are hardly noticed by anyone as individual parts. This applies, for example, to toggle bolts, ends of roller side guides, etc. The list is almost endless, and as every part has its own significance, every fault has a negative effect, even if only a minor one, but one that can have a significant negative impact in combination.

The workflows

Work processes are also simplified: in systems for returnables, for example, it can be seen that the manual removal of excess empty crates results in system downtimes due to crate shortages, as the number of crates removed is usually too high. This results in a long-lasting power fluctuation of the system.
Here too, the list of actual possibilities is long.

The potential savings

As previously reported, the system manufacturer provides specifications for the consumables to be used. In the best case, the quality of e.g. preforms, bottles, film labels, glue, closures etc. is precisely specified (unfortunately, the most precise specifications are often missing in practice, making it very difficult for the operator to find the “best case”). The use of these guarantees trouble-free operation. Unfortunately, these materials are usually the most expensive. There is therefore an immense potential for savings when using alternative products. However, the effects on line efficiency are rarely taken into account. It is not uncommon for the technician to have to explain to the purchasing department that seemingly identical products can have immense differences in processing capability.
Another very topical issue is belt lubrication. Here, too, there are minimum requirements from the machine supplier. These often contradict the statements made by the chemical suppliers. The consequences of turning this wheel insensitively are fatal for system performance.

The interim balance of line efficiency shows a negative trend.

The efficiency decreases in proportion to the age of the system. After acceptance of a new system and proven efficiency in accordance with the DIN 8782 performance indicator system, external system faults initially lead to performance losses. The system is subject to all the negative influencing factors of everyday operation.
As the positive wear reserve is used up, even if the main units are constantly overhauled, the proportion of faults in the purely mechanical part also increases successively.
Output rates of 35 to 70% are not uncommon, depending on the system type and situation. Experience shows that regularly analysed and optimised systems (including MW) can have a long-term efficiency of over 90% in conjunction with an output of over 80%. (Most recent example: 50,000 MW plant, oldest unit built in 1993, continuous optimisation; result of post-analysis: efficiency 92.9%; including all faults 83.8%).

What can we do?

The basis for increasing efficiency is knowledge of the original performance-reducing factors and their targeted elimination.
In practice, these factors are identified using automatic or manual line analysis procedures; their elimination is achieved by implementing the conclusions formulated from the analyses in our consulting services.

Automatic line monitoring

Various line efficiency visualisation systems are integrated in many plants. Depending on the type and complexity of the installation, these provide information about the susceptibility of units to faults and their impact on efficiency.
Unfortunately, these systems are only as good as their integrated signals and the evaluation by employees. Conclusions and implementation are still required. However, there is often not enough time for this. At best, an action plan is only drawn up for units that are clearly susceptible to faults.
But how meaningful are such peaks determined by monitoring systems in the running profile of the plant?

As already mentioned, data is recorded by sensors in conjunction with the signals from the individual machines. In this way, it is now possible to clearly determine which unit is causing a momentary filler standstill, for example.
However, the weak points and misinterpretations of these systems are complex, as they only analyse signals that do not in themselves represent an analytical basis.
The misinterpretation rate of automated line efficiency systems is immense.
Even with further developments that are still at the scientific stage, this rate is over 40 %.

  • Due to the type of recording, it is not possible to differentiate between a machine-related or a material-, supply- or operator-related incident. Simultaneous operator records are also usually of no analytical significance, as there is no neutral, comprehensive and professional assessment.

  • Faults can only be recorded where they are detected by signalling technology. Large areas of the system are not covered by automatic systems. In particular, only a few sensors are implemented in transport. As a result, data acquisition systems do not detect disruptions to the transport, such as the formation of clusters, beading gaps, localised congestion, but also foreign objects carried over and faulty ejections, etc. This means that sources of disruption cannot be properly and originally assigned. Consequently, sources of interference cannot be correctly and originally allocated.

  • Causes such as worn transfer plates, faulty lateral guides, blocking rollers, skipping chain links and inadequate belt lubrication often only have an effect on the downstream unit and lead to a fault message there. This incorrect allocation is implemented in the analysis and prevents targeted action.

  • Neighbouring/superordinate systems, supply and disposal, logistics and storage, production planning and changeover times, product quality, operator qualifications and much more are not recorded.

Constant evaluation and checking of the recorded data by the company’s own employees is absolutely essential and leads to a not inconsiderable additional workload.

Manual performance and weak point analyses

Compared to automatic line analysis systems, which receive their signals online and continuously, manual analyses only record a specific observation period.
However, this is of secondary importance for the determination of symptomatic performance-reducing factors (and only these are the focus of optimisation), the occurrence of which is recurring, if the observation period is selected to be representative.
In the manual line analysis, all causes of malfunctions are recorded without gaps and originally assigned. The time lag between cause and effect is fully taken into account. A clear distinction is made between “external to the system” and “caused by the system” and other negative influencing factors and higher-level or upstream and downstream systems are taken into account. This provides a detailed multi-moment recording with correlation analysis (3D system analysis), which can be used to formulate optimisation potential and create a targeted catalogue of measures. The extensive practical experience of the team of experts from a large number of different systems and machines is fully taken into account here.

In general, a manual system analysis takes 7 to 10 working days from the start of a 2 to 5-day on-site activity to the submission of the detailed report. It is not necessary to involve the company’s own employees during this time. At best, initial optimisation measures can already be implemented on site during the analysis in cooperation with the maintenance department.
As our advice does not have a negative impact on operational processes and the additional workload for employees and management is very low due to the self-sufficient form of analysis, such analyses can also be carried out during seasonal and campaign periods. The results can be incorporated directly into investment planning.

The costs of a manual analysis are highly dependent on the observation period, the local conditions and the different providers. However, it can be assumed that the increase in line efficiency and the possible optimisation of operational processes and the low deployment of in-house personnel will result in significant added value after a short period of time.


Fiedler Engineering Services Filling line acceptance optimisation DIN 8782
  • A new system acceptance test in accordance with DIN8782 in conjunction with the testing of other important key performance indicators is an initial basis for sustainably high efficiency levels.

  • High efficiency levels of new and existing systems cannot be maintained when their service life increases without checking their performance and taking corrective measures.

  • Automated line efficiency analysis tools can describe a general performance status and detect exposed sources of disruption. High acquisition costs are associated with a high level of involvement of operational personnel. The analytically correct validity is questionable due to the limits of what is technically feasible.

  • Manual performance analyses provide a very precise picture of the running behaviour with analytical integration of organisational and operational features. Operational processes and ongoing production are not hindered; some of the findings on troubleshooting can be implemented directly. Extensive experience of the expert team is implemented. Fast, comprehensive and meaningful results lead to targeted and therefore cost-effective measures.

  • The informative value of a manual analysis far exceeds the results that can be derived from automatic line efficiency systems. A catalogue of measures is used to gradually increase efficiency according to urgency, investment and expenditure volume. A rapid amortisation of the analysis costs can be expected.

  • Recurring analyses lead to a permanently high efficiency of the filling system and thus to the optimisation of key business figures