Engineer’s Guide to Efficient Changeovers

Inefficient changeovers slow down the entire production line, and waste both time and money. But there's no single way to go about making changeovers more efficient.

Automating Changeovers

Automation is crucial in the effort to reduce changeover times and minimize errors. Below are a few different methods of automating changeovers for the packaging industry.

Robotic Changeover Systems

Robotic systems can be programmed to perform tasks like tooling changeouts, adjustments, and setup procedures. Automating these otherwise manual processes can significantly reduce changeover time and the chance of human error. Robotic changeover systems can also be integrated with sensors and vision systems to ensure accurate positioning and alignment, to further enhance reliability and reduce the need for human oversight.

Computerized Control Systems

Advanced control systems, such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, offer an extremely reliable method of automating changeovers. These systems enable operators to acquire, store and analyze performance data of connected sensors and network devices. With this data, abnormal performance can be detected early and preventative maintenance can be performed. This helps entirely avoid unplanned downtime and significantly reduce the total amount of downtime for a given packaging line.

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