greatest challenges. The microbiological content of the packaged foods must be reduced in order to achieve this, having a direct effect on packaging and cleaning processes, as well as on the design of machinery.
At the same time, the constant price pressure faced by food and beverages producers’ demands considerably quicker machinery equipping times when switching between types or packaging sizes, as well as higher packaging plant cycle speeds.
A major key for meeting both challenges simultaneously is to use coordinated modern sensors that set new hygiene standards whilst possessing robust electronics and more efficient communication solutions. This has been made possible by combining the classic requirements of factory and process automation. Whereby process automation provides the typical robust materials (such as stainless steel, which meets high demands regarding harsh environments), the familiar hygiene certificates for the process side (such as EHEDG), and output signals generated via a single binary signal. Whereas factory automation contributes miniaturized housings, easy device selection, the simplest possible commissioning and operation, very rapid sensor reaction times, remote parameterization, as well as tightness levels of IP69K and the cleaning of housings in line with standards such as ECOLAB and Johnson Diversey.
The current challenges for packaging and filling processes can thus be met using a new generation of sensors taking a comprehensive technical approach. Whereby the classic advantages of both factory and process automation are combined – corresponding to the hybrid nature of the packaging industry’s applications. Of decisive importance hereby are the lower level of complexity and the reduced need for maintenance, without compromises regarding robustness and hygienic standards.