Assistance systems for machine operators
Development of assistance systems to support operators of processing and packaging machinery
Product safety and process efficiency are the top priorities in the production of foods and pharmaceuticals. Realizing these objectives depends significantly on the effective collection and processing of process data. Process-related simulations identify the operating parameters for individual processing steps and enable, for example, optimal responses to variable packaging and product properties. The basis for this is seamless data exchange along the whole value-creation chain.
We develop solutions for the digitalization of food processing. With the aid of machine learning and simulations, adaptive systems are being developed in the area of film processing and cleaning. In order to support employees with the changing workplace of Industry 4.0, we are developing assistance systems to support, for example, the cognitive skills of machine operators.
We are helping customers optimize their processing chain and cleaning processes by analyzing their processes and the generated data, by identifying weak points, and by implementing suitable digitalization solutions.
The efficiency of processing machinery often depends on the experience of the machine operators. There is still, however, an inadequate exchange of knowledge and experience in most work environments. The self-learning assistance system for machine operators (SAM) combines machine learning with human experience in order to reduce production faults and increase the machine/plant efficiency.
As a plant operator or manufacturer you benefit from professional analysis of the efficiency of your processing machinery. We are your expert, independent partner and help you increase the efficiency of your production processes.
We employ the most advanced analysis methods and possess in-depth knowledge of processes. As such we are able to identify potential technical and organization enhancements for your production operations.
The bringing together of interdisciplinary expertise from mechanical engineering, automation technology, and engineering psychology is enabling us to eliminate the gap between data availability and interface design. By analyzing the different operating tasks within the framework of domain requirements we are able to adapt the quantity, composition, and degree of detail of information on the HMI to the relevant task and information need. Knowledge from the area of psychology is also being used to optimize the display of information for human perception, cognition, and actions.
HMI concepts are usually developed by automation experts and design specialists. As a result, the availability of data and an optically attractive design are often the technical priorities for user interfaces. There is, however, a gap between the data and design which can be eliminated with a functional abstraction layer taking into account engineering psychology aspects.
Improved availability and coherence of the displayed information makes the system more transparent and easier to understand. This means less training for new operators. Tasks can be performed easily, rapidly, and error-free and the OEE positively influenced.
To realize this objective we provide you with intelligent sealing tools that allow adaptive sealing and real-time evaluation of the packaging quality.
Adaptive cleaning systems guarantee effective, cost-saving cleaning with minimum use of resources and with continuous monitoring of the cleaning process.
We are experts in using numerical simulation as a tool to analyze, develop, and optimize materials, processes, and machinery. Specific for your application we analyze and identify the key steps, develop suitable material and process models, and use these for studies or optimizations.
You benefit from increased process understanding, cost and time savings, and improved process stability and efficiency.
We evaluate existing material models for their suitability for specific applications and determine parameters for simulating the real behavior. For this purpose we use established thermal and mechanical test methods such as DSC, uniaxial tensile testing, and compressive testing. We also continually develop new test methods and equipment, for example the biaxial tensile strength test rig, contamination sensors, and the bubble inflation test. We develop effective material models based on the selection and combination of suitable test methods and specially developed characterization methods. Our expertise in the area of material modeling ranges from rigid bodies to elastic, viscoplastic, and fluid materials. Our focus here is on the characterization of plastic films and sheets, plastic-based hybrid materials, and fluid flows.
The relevant components are modeled based on analysis of the process. We possess a variety of commercially available and open source numerical simulation programs that enable us to study thermal, structural, fluid mechanical, and coupled issues. Our longstanding expertise covers element selection and networking, model selection and contact definition, and definition of boundary conditions and loads.
Using the process model we are able to simulate your process and acquire detailed insight into temperature and flow fields and stress and deformation parameters. Experimental limitations due to opaque walls, high temperatures, and aggressive media become a thing of the past. The effects of changed material and process parameters and geometry details can be predicted, whilst reducing production times and costs. Based on this we identify optimal design and process parameters (for example for sealing and thermoforming), we maximize the cleaning effect (for example via geometrical changes), and we use our increased process understanding to develop improved, innovative processes and technologies.
At present the design of cleaning systems is largely based on empirical knowledge and on iterative modifications to prototypes. In order to simplify and accelerate this for the demanding process of spray cleaning, simulation software was developed in a BMBF funded project. This software is a powerful optimization tool for designers of spray cleaning systems. Besides allowing the design and evaluation of static and dynamic spray cleaning systems (e.g. for tank cleaning), the user-friendly CAD tool allows prediction of the effect of complex cleaning systems in which the jet impact and the run-off fluid are taken into account as cleaning components . Utilize innovative CAD software for your design process. As a service we can perform simulations for you or can provide you with relevant training and can help you with the measurement and database integration of nozzles.
We offer simulation services for various objectives: