For any customer, unexpected downtime can be a costly and – if the reason is not immediately identifiable – frustrating experience. Having speedy and simple-to-analyze data at your fingertips can make an immediate difference to customers, leading to a rapid resolution to the difficulty. It is here that JBT’s integrated Internet-Of-Things (IoT) iOPs system has proven valuable to customers by providing a complete picture and making sure maximum uptime is maintained.
In the case of a Europe-based customer running JBT’s AsepTec® linear aseptic filler – a long-shelf life solution for sealed consumer or pharmaceutical products in supermarkets – iOPS was key to discovering why bottlenecks were occurring on an otherwise well-functioning line.
According to JBT’s Global IoT Commercial Manager, Auke Bouwense, after filling and sealing, bottles were emerging from the machine, but then getting blocked on the line further downstream, leading to customer concern about the overall effectiveness of the solution. However, iOPS proved key to identifying the root cause of the problem. “We used iOPS to collect data and the iOPS Dashboard to evaluate the reasons for downtime, and by looking at those results we could see very clear trends,” he explains. “We found the customer could double the amount of bottles being produced just by having more capacity downstream, and that increasing the capacity of their current system would make it a more viable solution for them.”
Bouwense says bringing iOPS on board has changed how JBT advises customers, enabling it to better solve any issues that customers may experience. “The Aseptic Linear Filler customer was surprised to see the trend so clearly in our findings and discussions on how to improve the process downstream have initiated from those results,” he says.
Having easy access to faster and more precise data through iOPS means that a process that would previously have required an engineer to download information from individual machines has become a one-minute job, explains Juan Martinez, JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Aseptic Systems. “Through iOPS, we can find the source of the issues without spending a lot of time and by comparing them with findings from other machines, we are able to see clear trends,” he says. “It also helps customers to improve their uptime and OEE.”
According to Martinez, iOPS can help easily identify the cause of sudden, inexplicable functionality issues. “If the line stops and there is no alarm on the filler, clearly the problem is elsewhere, so this will help identify where bottlenecks are happening on the processing line,” he says.
“You can see how much downtime is related to a specific problem,” adds Bouwense. “This makes calculations very simple for the customer when it comes to quantifying the Return on Investment, and we can advise them what they would gain by taking action.”