connecting comPETence THREE:17
in our conversations with the CEOs and Managing Directors of KHS, Netstal, Engel, Otto Hofstetter, Otto Systems and BMB for this issue, we kept coming back to the same underlying idea: the system. However, this system took different forms – from a packaging unit with a bottle and cap, preform and bottle or six pack to a blow-fill-block, preform or capping system. That production requires the precise coordination of processes, moulds and machines is nothing new. Yet at the same time, we can see a new self-understanding and a new self-awareness beginning to emerge. As we consider our thoughts and ideas for solutions in combination with the potential offered by digitalisation and try to take full advantage of the technical and technological possibilities, we find ourselves at the threshold. It seems that we want to push the limits of what is physically possible. But when we think in terms of systems, not even these limits appear to be carved in stone. Engineers and visionaries – yes, they exist in our industry – are striving to set new benchmarks. Thanks to this drive and the close attention paid to the customers’ requirements and products, the system concept is more central than ever before. By delving deep into the interdependencies of the system and coming to understand them better, it is possible to take the machine, the mould, the process and the customer’s product to the next level. A change is underway in our industry.
The human body is a prime example of an optimal system – it displays a brilliance we can aspire to, and yet it is also vulnerable. This is what inspired the cover for this issue. As in medicine, knowledge is advancing in the areas of technology and data processing. As in medicine, we are coming to better understand the smallest and most delicate connections and interactions. Like physicians, we engineers are increasingly turning to the system concept – to the benefit of components, machines and processes. And to the benefit of products, profitability and sustainability.
drinktec 2017 is fast approaching. Both there and at the PETnology Conference, we will encounter new developments emerging from the system concept. I look forward to discussing these issues with you.
Dr. Otto Appel