The standards of quality in hygienic filling are high – as is the cost of production downtime. It is thus important to carry out preventive maintenance on machines in order to detect any possible wear and microbiological risks in good time – and to avoid them. For high standards of quality and safety in the long term KHS provides a proven preventive maintenance system for both the linear and rotary version of its Innosept Asbofill aseptic filler – with fixed modules at fixed prices.
The established, optimized system is an important component in KHS’ holistic range of services, giving bottlers the safety and reliability they need in the production process. “In this way failure through wear is avoided, risks to product safety are detected well in advance and the availability of the system is ensured,” states Thomas Niehr, head of Aseptic Filling Technology for KHS in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. “Should just one single part of the machine fail, the financial and material loss can be vast if the bottler has a sterile product in the tank which has to be processed quickly, for instance.” For this reason KHS offers special maintenance modules which Niehr describes as being comparable to a service for a car. The intervals are always gauged by certain time cycles and machine operating hours, with KHS providing the material packages and engineers.
Overall machine state inspected
During maintenance not only are smaller wear parts replaced; the overall condition of the machine is inspected and settings are corrected where applicable. The customer is given detailed information on all results in a concluding machine status report. The Dortmund systems supplier provides fixed maintenance packages for all of its aseptic machines at a set price which varies depending on the required intensity of maintenance and fulfillment of certain service tasks by KHS. “If KHS takes on the entire management during servicing, this has many benefits for the customer. The replacement of wear parts can’t be avoided. Preventive maintenance, however, ensures smooth production as all processes and machine data are consistently read out and monitored by our engineers,” says Niehr. “We then coordinate the entire maintenance management process together with the customer. This again increases machine and production safety and reliability. A dairy, for instance, can’t afford long downtimes." The more regularly and intensively a system is monitored by KHS, the shorter any downtimes are. The practiced course of events executed between the bottler and KHS’ engineers also cuts down on the amount of administrative effort, thus further reducing costs, claims Niehr.
This generates a number of calculable advantages for the operator, as fixed costs also enable budgets to be securely planned, with identical installments paid at pre-specified intervals. Niehr emphasizes, “Customers know exactly how much maintenance costs them. It’s also possible to compute costs according to the number of bottles filled, with a fixed allocation of maintenance costs to product giving bottlers planning security.” As an option KHS also supplies additional spare part and emergency packages beside the replacement of wear parts within the scope of its maintenance modules.
“Preventative maintenance thus has many benefits,” smiles Niehr. By avoiding unplanned downtime the overall cost of production is lowered in the long term. Unlike an unscheduled system standstill, preventive maintenance can be sensibly integrated into the production plan. “It’s a prudent investment,” concludes Niehr, who also points out that KHS is constantly further developing its system of maintenance. “The aim is to fully equip the machines with sensors in the future so that they’re monitored online by the electronics. With this form of preventive maintenance the amount of downtime will be reduced even further and production will become even more efficient and cost effective.”