APD Ltd worked with Chivas Brothers on a one-off project (which lasted 2 years) carried out in conjunction with a Dutch ‘Bottling Line’ equipment manufacturer. The plant consists of 4 high speed bottling lines (5 bottles/sec on each line). Each line is made up of 13 components, from a De-palletiser at the incoming end through Filling, Labelling and Packaging machines to a fully automatic Palletiser and Loading bay at the outgoing end. At no stage in the entire process is any bottle touched by human hand. With the line running at such a high speed it does not take long for the line to entirely grind to a halt if one machine has a breakdown, it is therefore important to be able to identify the fault as quickly as possible.
We provided a system which categorised each machine with up to 64 automatically detected faults. A SCADA Server was located at the end of each line communicating with each of the 13 PLC’s waiting for a fault code or a fault clear signal to be transmitted. Our system then logged these to a purpose written database which continually processed this data to provide Operators with a real-time ‘Top 10’ list of downtime for each machine and a ‘Top 10’ list of downtime for the entire line. This information proves to be invaluable and has resulted in much improved efficiencies at the plant.