The problem that faced TreValli was related to an unforeseen stop on the production lines, due to a sudden breakdown of one conveyor or to a machine along the lines that goes out of service. In such case, for some dairy products, there was a 5 minute timeframe to solve the problem and restart the line. In case they were unable to solve the issue in time, the whole line has to be stopped and in the worst case everything that was currently inside the filling machine had to be disposed.
To ease the possibility of covering the majority of the possible error cases the team decided to execute a simulation for each error case simultaneously. The main goal of the experiment was to help the end user to identify potentials to extend the 5 minute timeframe as much as possible to avoid wasting the material.
To achieve that goal the realtime simulation software industrialPhysics was used to simulate the error cases simultaneously and independently of each other.
For TreValli Cooperlat, a sharp predictive maintenance helps to have better results. Being impossible to prevent all the failures, the aim is to minimize the reaction time of the maintenance team. We also want to foreseen if a failure can be solved in the time span in which some devices help to keep the production running or if it is mandatory to stop the filling machine.
The food industry is often based on highly automated and very fast machineries. For the dairy industry the main issue is that the products usually processed are “alive”: this means that both a raw product and a treated product (for instance heat treated) have a certain timespan in which they have to be worked and packaged. Should a problem arise anywhere in the production area, the product can deteriorate and in the worst case scenario it has to be disposed. The expectation from the project is the possibility of having a deeper knowledge of the behaviour of the production plant, turned into a reduction of the food waste due to unnecessary stoppages of the production lines.
With this experiment TreValli Cooperlat has gained a deeper knowledge in the reaction time that is necessary to stay within to solve any issue that may arise during the production. This can help to let the production lines run, avoiding stoppages of the filling machines hence, reducing the unnecessary food waste.