Open Industry 4.0 Alliance Practical Example: How the packaging industry is taking its transformation into its own hands

Reinach, Switzerland, May 17, 2021 – Transformation in the food industry ostensibly offers the advantage of auditability to identifythe production history behind each individual batch. But for the suppliers of manufacturing plants in this market, the transformation of vertical and horizontal production chains means reaching a new level of economic efficiency and increased business processes. It is not only individual vertical chains that are to be orchestrated in the cloud, but entire ecosystems.

An example of this includes a Swedish sausage manufacturer, who now benefits from reliable data from production. While initially from the network between the slicing and packaging machine – with cloud architecture in place there is the prospect of more data becoming avaliable. To this end, Multivac and Schiwa have joined forces as members of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance to collaborate on one project.

"With the basis of a common customer in Sweden and membership in the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, Multivac and Schiwa set out to generate added value for customers," explains Simon Stark, Workgroup Lead Process Industry, Food & Beverage of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance and Business Development Manager at the Multivac Group. "Our goal is to show the maximum availability of production at the customer's site, identify bottlenecks and keep an eye on production-relevant key figures."

"In our capacity as members of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance on this project, we are looking for the right interface through which the information can be clearly identified and processed, which ultimately provides the best conditions for reproducibility," explains Michael Riester, Workgroup Lead and Member of Technical Committee at the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance and Senior Enterprise Architect IIoT at Endress+Hauser.

"For smaller members, the advantage is that within the Alliance, properties are created 'outof-the-box' without having to create their own cloud solution. The automated production chain can also be extended - not only cutting machines are integrated, but also, filling systems, counting and weighing technology, and labelling solutions."

The current project status

The infrastructure is currently in place. Multivac has already connected its thermoforming machines at the customer's site to the cloud using an edge device and is offering its socalled SmartServices here in order to provide the customer with the best possible transparency. The Schiwa high-performance cutting system uses OPC-UA to send data to the cloud via the Multivac Thermoformer Edge Device. The recipe for the Schiwa OEE Press release of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, page 2 (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is set and the first OEE reports from the Cloud cold storage are available to both Schiwa and the customer.

Connecting Tier-2 and Tier-3 to the cloud services

Schiwa, the manufacturer of the high-performance cutting system upstream of the thermoformer, has not yet developed any SmartServices - but does offer an OPC-UA interface. Together, under the banner of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, Multivac and Schiwa are working on a solution that offers customers digital services via two identical production lines.

At line level, the aim is to enable the customer to collect OEE data from all the players represented on the line. This creates a holistic view of the customer's production. The hub for digital services will be the customer portal "myMULTIVAC", specially developed by Multivac.

Developed around customer benefits and interoperablity, this line service will herald a new era in the packaging industry and offer both the customer and the machine manufacturers themselves interesting new opportunities. For the customer, it will allow them to keep a close eye on their production, regardless of the manufacturer or their machines, in order to assess how the production line is performing. The machine manufacturer, in turn, can better understand their machines and also proactively take countermeasures. In this way, the expertise of the equipment manufacturer can be shared optimally and in real time with the customer.


  • Open Industry 4.0 Alliance Practical Example: How the packaging industry is taking its transformation into its own hands
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