Packaging without failure

Harnessing Industry 4.0 potential as partners

How well does my packaging machine actually perform? How do I make inexpensive adjustments in order to optimize productivity, quality and efficiency? Users can answer these questions with Industry 4.0 tools. But how to get started? The ” Condition Monitoring Services” complete service helps users get introduced to the subject and bundles the technical know-how from Bosch Packaging Technology and Bosch Rexroth.


Making the black box transparent

High-performance packaging machines are complex structures, which can usually only be optimized with the relevant expertise. Medium-sized companies are therefore looking for cost-effective ways to monitor and improve their processes, without ordering a complete overhaul and readjustment. An economical alternative to repetitive ramp-ups is condition monitoring. Just how effective this tool belonging to the large Industry 4.0 toolbox really is depends to a large extent on how it is able to integrate technical expertise. In addition, technical hurdles, such connecting to the machines, need to be overcome. As the analysis system is only able to provide meaningful information and recommend the appropriate action with a sufficient database.


Learning from a specific use case

How can users estimate their Industry 4.0 potential at a reasonable cost, tap into it and get fully on board with a manageable investment? Bosch Packaging Technology asked itself this question and developed a complete service in cooperation with Bosch Rexroth. The goal of Bosch Packaging Condition Monitoring Services is to implement a specific use case over a period of six months together with the customer.  With expert advice and support, training and other services, the complete package focuses on the two influential factors – machine and operator. A possible objective of the individual use case may be to assess the productivity of the packaging machine and increase the stock of spare parts, thus reducing fixed costs and/or reduce maintenance costs.


Preparation of the Bosch Condition Monitoring Services

In an initial workshop focusing on packaging machines and processes, two consultants with experience in projects and IT helped users define the use case, create a list of requirements and prepare the project. Later on, the required field devices will be provided and data connectivity prepared. The experts also provide support when it comes to network configuration, connection testing and commissioning. As a technical partner for connectivity, sensors and the IoT Gateway, the service package draws on the expertise of Bosch Rexroth, which is based on over 150 intra-company IoT projects.



Connecting via the IoT gateway

IoT-GatewayTo support the user’s project team in the best possible way, the complete package includes not only the installation and configuration of the necessary hardware, including IoT gateway host, bus housing and the peripheral, but also the corresponding rights of use for six months. The IoT Gateway collects the necessary sensor and controller data, filters it if needed and forwards the data to the central database for analysis. The Rexroth experts have the appropriate packages ready for connecting to the sensor level or they use drives as virtual sensors. Using drive parameter traces, torque and safety clearance can be detected. 3-sensor nodes, such as Bosch XDK or CiSS, provide the acceleration data, humidity and temperature values. The Bosch Rexroth IoT Gateway also works with third-party controllers from Beckhoff, Rockwell and Siemens, as well as with the open Industry 4.0 standard OPC UA.



Productivity analysis and recommended actions

In accordance with the agreed upon use case, the Bosch Packaging Technology system creates a Health Report from the collected data. As a basis for optimization, it contains different evaluations, hypotheses and recommendations for taking action. By comparing the values with the target production, it is possible to determine when a drop in performance occurred and due to which probable cause. On the left  is an example: As the comparison of the target and actual productivity shows, there was a sharp slump in the sample period from July 13 to 20. The reason lies in the higher level of poorly produced goods. The recommendation is therefore to quickly call a Bosch engineer to come and overhaul, service and repair the machine if necessary.





Evaluating active messages

Active messages are another source of information for the optimization of the packaging machine. The evaluation of the top 10 over the period from June to July shows a high degree of similarity in the error distribution. The most common message is “Wait for Infeed”. In the daily display during the month of July, this message, which has the number 81, appears daily and, as such, is conspicuous. This leads to the assumption that the errors underlying this problem are not yet resolved. The Health Report therefore recommends appointing a software engineer to eliminate the cause of the error.







The top 10 error messages and the daily detailed list of active messages enable conclusions about the causes of declines in performance.


Identifying peaks and valleys in productivity

When clusters are formed from millions of pieces of data, even more accurate knowledge on the productivity can be drawn, such as above or below average production, which can then be evaluated according to the day of the week or the time of day. The illustration on the left shows the bad production [pcs./min.] correlated to the weekdays [d] for the month of July. The weakest production days were thus each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Health Report recommends monitoring the phenomenon over the project period and initiating training activities, where appropriate, to increase production. Similar clustering is also possible throughout the day.



Targeted measures rather than recurring ramp-ups

The Bosch Packaging Condition Monitoring Services  complete package gives users the ability to assess the potential of Industry 4.0 for their individual machines and to make the packaging process more transparent. Continuous monitoring and targeted optimization can then replace the costly practice of repeating ramp-ups and can identify performance degradation through systematic analysis early on and thus eliminate it.



Melanie Beck
Head of Connected Industry – Services Food
+41 58 674-7268


Melanie BeckMelanie Beck is Head of Connected Industry – Services Food at Bosch Packaging Systems. Since graduating as an engineer for pharmaceutical engineering (FH), she specialized in the packaging industry and acquired profound professional expertise in the areas of product and project management, business development and strategy development including Industry 4.0. In 2017 she completed an MBA degree at the International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef – Bonn.

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