The APAS workstation: people and robots working hand in hand
Connected automation reduces workload: focus on the operator
IT Shopfloor Solutions: scalable automation system to make production and logistics safer and more transparent
Stuttgart/Munich – At the international trade fair Automatica 2016, Bosch presents Connected Shopfloor Solutions, a combination of hard- and software solutions for flexible, networked manufacturing (hall A5, booth 306). These solutions are already in use today, at Bosch and elsewhere: human operators and mobile assistance systems are working hand in hand without the need for safety fences, while IT systems analyze, report on and control a wide range of production processes. Yet people remain at the center of it all: “Given the spectrum of work processes in today's manufacturing, people are now needed more than ever as decision-makers and overseers,” explains Volker Hartmann, Deputy Vice President Business Unit Assembly Systems and Special Machinery at Bosch. “Our robots collaborate with humans and help them with tasks that are potentially unsafe, overly simple and monotonous, or ergonomically challenging. Humans and machines complement each other.”
The APAS workstation adapts to operator needs The APAS workstation shown in Munich is consistently focused on operator needs. The first standardized workstation is equipped with a collaborative robot kinematics system (APAS safekin), which allows direct and safe man-machine collaboration. Protected by a sensor skin, the integrated robot kinematics system successfully combines the inimitable skills of the human hand with the strength, the tirelessness and precision offered by robots and delivers more efficient processes. The operator can enjoy an individually tailored, ergonomically optimized work setting: the worktable height and lighting automatically adjust to the operator. The flexible APAS workstation can be used with or without an integrated robot, and can network with further assistance systems as needed. The robot kinematics system, dubbed APAS safekin, can also be used independently of the mobile APAS base or an APAS workstation – then preferably as a fixed installation in a dedicated production segment. The new automation component can be easily integrated into a broad range of applications, allowing projects to be rapidly implemented, and existing facilities to be readily upgraded.
Collaborative robotics on the rise In addition to the APAS workstation, the APAS portfolio includes three mobile, collaborative assistance systems, all of which can interact with human operators without a safety fence. The APAS inspector is an automatic testing device for visual inspections, equipped with a high-resolution, high-speed camera and innovative 3D mapping technologies. Thanks to interchangeable testing modules, the station can be used for high-precision surface inspections or completeness testing. In turn, the APAS flexpress is the candidate of choice for highly flexible, high-precision joining, one of the most common work steps in production lines. Its integrated safety features ensure that it can seamlessly support its human operator. The same is true for the APAS assistant, the first assistance system to be certified by the German Social Accident Insurance Institution (Berufsgenossenschaft). No robotics programming is needed: all the jobs are prepared, configured and managed using a graphic interface. As an available option, the APAS speedswitch can be set to monitor an extended vicinity and vary the APAS assistant's operating speed, depending on whether or not human beings are nearby. Provided no employees are nearby, the kinematics system operates at maximum speed. If someone approaches the APAS assistant, it automatically drops to a safe speed. The result: increased productivity without the need for additional safety measures.
Software from Bosch manages production processes Meanwhile, behind the scenes Bosch's IT Shopfloor Solutions deliver safety, flexibility and transparency throughout the production chain. For more than 15 years now, the modular and scalable software solutions have been continually refined within the company and used to manage hundreds of production facilities around the globe. Thanks to a broad range of software modules for Shopfloor Management, machinery can be networked regardless of the product or brand, product defects and the need for maintenance can be recognized early on, and production data can be analyzed in real-time. In addition, maintenance-relevant parameters can now be called up on a range of mobile devices.
Improved hygienic design recognized by globally renowned quality mark
Compliance with North American standards and regulations
Strengthening position on the U.S. liquid food market
Augsburg, Germany – Bosch Packaging Technology has introduced an extended portfolio of liquid food filling and packaging machines to the North American market, compliant with 3-A Sanitary Standards (3-A SSI). Recognized as the most detailed and stringent design guidelines available, the 3-A SSI – an independent, not-for-profit corporation – is specifically dedicated to advancing hygienic equipment design for the food industry. Bosch’s Ampack carousel filling machine for dairy food in pre-formed bottles and cups was recently awarded the 3-A certificate, while the company is working on extending the certificate to its inline filling equipment in the near future.
“We see growing market demand in the U.S. for simplified cleaning, minimized risk of cross contamination and reduced product waste,” explains Markus Schlumberger, managing director sales at Ampack GmbH, part of the Liquid Food product division at Bosch Packaging Technology. “These needs determine our commitment to hygienically designed filling and packaging equipment specifically tailored to the North American market.”
Answering the market’s needs As food safety regulations continue to strengthen, U.S. dairy producers are seeking ways to prevent product recalls. The 3-A SSI certificate gives them an assurance that their product will be handled hygienically through the filling and packaging process, contributing to high product quality and ultimately consumer safety. Manufacturers also benefit from easy cleaning – a positive side effect of sanitary design, streamlined to have fewer areas that can trap food and cause contamination. It is crucial that machines withstand vigorous cleaning and are self-draining, ultimately saving time and labor costs.
Customized solution for the North American dairy market After Bosch’s acquisition of Osgood Industries in 2015, a manufacturer of filling and sealing equipment for pre-formed containers in the food industry for liquids and pastes, the brand’s position in the North American market has already grown significantly. By extending the machine portfolio with the Ampack carousel filler complying with 3-A SSI standards, Bosch is taking another forward step towards adapting its portfolio to regional customers’ requirements, reassuring North American dairy manufacturers that equipment has been verified by an objective, independent organization and bears the globally-recognized quality mark. “Hygienic machine design allows food manufacturers to minimize downtime and product waste, ensure consistently high product quality and focus on what they do best – develop and deliver fresh and safe products to consumers. As a result of the certification, we can support our customers better in their journey towards safer dairy food,” concludes Markus Schlumberger.
Contact: Markus Schlumberger phone: +49 8231 6005-918
Contact person for press inquiries: Jela Grubesa phone: + 49 711 811-58507
Flexible use: compatible with all common filling systems
Optional 100% in-process control
Bosch Packaging Technology, a leading supplier of process and packaging technology, presented the latest generation of the ALF series at Pharmatag 2016 on May 10 and 11 in Crailsheim, Germany. In addition to many detail improvements, the new filling and closing machine offers an increased output of up to 600 ampoules per minute. “Not only regarding its output, the new ALF 5000 is situated in the high-performance range,” Tobias Göttler, product manager at Bosch Packaging Technology, emphasizes.
Optimized design, high process safety The improved pharmaceutical design of the new ALF 5000 is clearly visible: the machine table top is conceived without steps and interfering edges, providing a better sealing from the sterile area. Moreover, the machine’s improved accessibility ensures easy and reliable cleaning. In addition to the common right-hand version, the ALF 5000 is now also available as left-hand version, which enables optimal adaption to existing production sites and workflows such as internal itineraries.
„During the development process, we put special emphasis on even higher process safety,“ says Göttler. “For instance, the ampoule heads are removed sidewards during closing instead of from above.” This avoids machine movements above the open ampoules, making the process safer and more reliable. For a particularly gentle processing, it is now possible to use a carrying rake transport system that slightly lifts the glass containers to prevent them from rubbing against the machine guide.
Maximum flexibility Whether four, six, eight, ten or twelve filling points – all established filling systems such as peristaltic pump or time-pressure-filling system can be used with the new machine. In its combi version, the ALF 5000 optionally processes injection bottles in addition to ampoules, which further increases production flexibility for drug manufacturers and contract packers, combined with easy changeovers. As an option, customers can also choose between a statistical or a 100% in-process control, as well as different infeed and outfeed versions.
“We have used our expertise from more than 2,000 delivered filling and closing machines for ampoules and combined it with our successful technology from other machine series,” Göttler explains. “The result is an especially flexible solution that can be tailored to specific customer requirements.” Due to its compact design, the ALF 5000 is suited for wall mounting and integration into barrier systems without difficulty. Following Bosch’s pharmaceutical line competence approach, the new filling and closing machine can be combined with upstream and downstream equipment to form a complete line.
Contact: Tobias Göttler Telefon: +49 7951 402-619
Contact person for press inquiries: Christin Pönisch Telefon: +49 711 811-58502
Paper bags produced and sealed on VFFS machine for the first time
Packaging protects food products and keeps supermarket shelves clean
Sustainable packaging conserves resources and enables recycling
Waiblingen, Germany – Bosch Packaging Technology and BillerudKorsnäs developed the world´s first Sealed Paper Packaging. Instead of using polymer film, a new solution enables production of dust-tight packaging for dry products such as sugar, grains, flour or powders using sustainable mono-material paper, which contains no additional polymer fractions. As a result, retailers and consumers profit from clean shelves, high product protection and improved product quality. Swedish paper specialist BillerudKorsnäs contributed its expertise to the optimization of the mechanical properties of the paper, while Bosch Packaging Technology proved its competence as a leading provider of packaging technology. The paper packaging is produced on the first vertical form, fill and seal machine (VFFS) with the so-called ZAP-Module. The module allows coating with the sealing agent on a minimal surface area, preserving the paper`s mono-material character. The solution is based on the proven “PME” machine concept from Bosch. The new solution combines this technology with the Axello®ZAP paper from BillerudKorsnäs. “This revolutionary concept would not have been implemented without the collaborative effort of both companies. Together we have developed a solution that will change the packaging market,” said Joachim Dittrich, head of Liquid Food product division at Bosch Packaging Technology, responsible for the VFFS ZAP portfolio.
Great offer for environmentally conscious consumers Compared to conventional paper, Axello®ZAP is substantially more durable, while retaining its natural paper characteristics and advantages from source to recycling. The sustainable characteristics of the material increase its appeal to eco-conscious consumers. With the Axello®ZAP paper, BillerudKorsnäs has developed a new, better packaging material which reliably withstands the stronger mechanical requirements in processing. “The combination of the strength, flexibility and stiffness of Axello®ZAP paper fits perfectly with Bosch’s technology,” said Ole Paulussen, sales director at BillerudKorsnäs.
More flexibility for formats and pack styles Until now, the production of mono-material paper packaging was only possible with glued pre-made bags or formed paper bags on mandrel wheel technology. The VFFS concept, more flexible regarding formats and pack styles and thus popular on the market, so far only allowed bag production using polymer film or fully coated paper. With the ZAP-Module from Bosch it is now possible to process mono-material paper on VFFS technology with dust-tight sealing. The secret lies in the characteristics of the Axello®ZAP paper, which was specially developed for this application, as well as in the ZAP-Module, which applies a minimal amount of the sealing agent during the packaging process to enable heatsealing of the paper on the VFFS machine.
Revolution in the dry food market The solution meets the growing demand for sustainable packaging for dry foods such as sugar, flour, grains and powders. Moreover, the machine is user-friendly and allows versatile packaging styles, including pillow, gusseted and block bottom bags with gable or flat top closure. “We are positive that our solution, supported by several years of development, not only addresses today’s challenges for our customers but also gives them the possibility to enter completely new markets and areas of application using sustainable packaging,” said Marcus Velezmoro, sales responsible for the VFFS ZAP portfolio at Bosch Packaging Technology.
Contact: Marcus Velezmoro phone: +49 711 811-57850 Ole Paulussen phone: +49 170 9211013
Contact person for press inquiries: Christin Poenisch phone: +49 711 811-58502
Information about Bosch Packaging Technology Based in Waiblingen near Stuttgart, Germany, and employing 6,200 associates, the Bosch Packaging Technology division is one of the leading suppliers of process and packaging technology. At over 30 locations in more than 15 countries worldwide, a highly-qualified workforce develops and produces complete solutions for the pharmaceuticals, food, and confectionery industries. These solutions are complemented by a comprehensive after-sales service portfolio. A global service and sales network provides customers with local points of contact.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”
Information about BillerudKorsnäs BillerudKorsnäs develops and distributes packaging materials and solutions for a sustainable future. The company is a leading global supplier of packaging materials based on primary fiber with customers in over 100 countries. The company has eight production sites in Sweden, Finland and the UK and employs over 4,200 associates in more than 13 countries. BillerudKorsnäs has an annual turnover of about 22 billion SEK and is listed on NASDAQ Stockholm.