GERMANY – International manufacturer of filling and packaging equipment KHS is using 3D software to demonstrate to customers how new packaging lines and equipment would add to their current facilities.

The company says potential clients are profiting from its virtual overviews before offers are even accepted.

Patrick Bürger, Head of Plant Design at KHS, explains the software helps skip unnecessary loops in the planning process, and additional costs can then be avoided early on.

By making a full switch to the 3D planning method, KHS says it can successively expand its portfolio of reliable services.

“Depicting machinery in 3D helps customers to pinpoint any geometric interference during the early offer phase. This improves planning security, as any spatial conflicts in the production shop are recognized and corrected right from the start,” outlines Bürger.

“We show customers how the line or machine fits into their existing environment. If required, we include the operators in the advance planning process and show them how they can later move around between the machines. Their feedback is of great value and enables us to devise an optimum layout.”

KHS is expected to showcase its new software-enhanced offerings at Drinktec 2022 in Munich, Germany.

New KHS software is also being employed that speeds up the 3D planning process. The system depicts relevant machines and conveyor elements in greater detail than in the previous 2D variants, which means production environments spread out across several floors or located in confined spaces can be clearly visualized.

To further improve planning security, KHS offers laser scans that can be easily integrated using the new software.

For instance, a 360° camera set up on a tripod can create a realistic, practically consistent photographic image of the relevant production environment.

“These individual images are then superimposed. This creates what’s known as a scatterplot that takes all geometries into account. Interferences and disruptive elements are reliably detected,” Bürger explains.

This process is also advantageous when integrating new systems into parts of buildings that already contain machinery as it prevents possible collisions with existing equipment.

Another advanced 3D planning option is to use mobile virtual reality (VR) goggles. Bürger claims that this is particularly beneficial in confined spaces as it shows where and how operators can move from machine to machine.

“VR simulation helps to provide simpler access to complex areas and clearly visualize these. We’re hoping to find a number of prototype customers by the end of the year who we can test this form of visualization within specific offer planning processes and present the benefits on the ‘live’ object.”

Bürger asserts that 3D line design by KHS is currently setting standards on the market. “We’re moving into the future together with our customers. The feedback we’ve had so far has been extremely positive.”

Liked this article? Subscribe to our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s packaging and printing industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.