Background

Our Fortune 100 client needed to modernize a high-volume packaging line for their most profitable, in-demand product in order to meet new regulatory requirements and accommodate new packaging configurations.

Foth was initially engaged to evaluate the line’s overall performance and operation. Later we were  asked to develop conceptual system architecture, a project master plan and budgetary costs for project implementation. Based on those appropriation grade documents, projects were approved and funding secured to implement all of Foth’s recommended upgrades.

Work on this project included upgrading the system’s overall control, inspection/rejection tracking and operator interface systems with current technologies. The production value of the line required precise project deadlines and minimal downtime.

Approach

Foth was responsible for developing an efficient line layout to maximize throughput and the plant’s first major platform change to Control Logix PLC and new safety technology. This included the coordination and total integration of major equipment vendors from Europe who were required to standardize their PLC, Safety, HMI and VFD platforms to conform to the client’s standards. We also provided construction/installation documentation and construction management, and supported the quality process and production startup for this GMP operation. Finally, Foth trained operators and maintenance personnel on this new technology.

Results

The line modernization made producing new packaging configurations possible and helped our client meet required quality standards while increasing productivity, operational efficiency and production speeds. In addition, the new control and safety system architecture allowed for improved systems maintenance and reduced capital costs by minimizing electrical wiring to I/O and VFD drives.

Competency Used

  • Electrical & Controls
  • Packaging systems integration
  • Process & Utilities
  • Safety zoning systems
  • Structural engineering
  • Line simulation
  • Network database integration
  • Integration of a bottle filler/capper, inspection/rejection system, cap feed system, labeler, neck bander/heat tunnel, accumulator, bottle lane distribution system, case packer and all the interconnecting conveyors
  • Control system design, including control devices for line automation and a complete filler control system with programming