Count on connectivity: 3 ways upgrading your food packaging system with remote access improves serviceability
posted on 5 November, 2021 by Thiago Roriz - Chief Sales Officer
Over the last decade, advances in remote connectivity have revolutionised the way we service and maintain food processing and packaging equipment. For manufacturers, this means phone consultations and on-the-ground maintenance and service visits are a thing of the past. Now, remote access – where an authorised technician is given access to food processing and packaging systems remotely through a secure network connection – has become a key part of manufacturers’ toolkits – and for good reason. Here, we outline three ways upgrading your food packaging system to include remote connectivity features can improve downtime and equipment serviceability.
- Expert advice – anytime, anyplace
One of the main benefits of choosing a solution that features remote connectivity on your production line is the ability to collaborate with experts across the world. This is especially important at times when manufacturers may not have a full team of staff at their disposal or if travel restrictions are in place. By sharing equipment control screens with an authorised person in a different location via the shared network, operators can receive real-time expert advice. This means production managers and technicians can view the status of the processing or packaging equipment quickly and easily despite not being on-site. As you can imagine, this saves valuable time and resources by removing the requirement for in-person site visits for commissioning, inspections or equipment servicing. Instead, useful decisions can be made based on real-time status information.
- Smart diagnostics for faster support
Inevitably, there will be times when equipment is not running at its peak and technical advice is needed to avoid costly downtime. But did you know that around 60-70% of machine operational problems only need some simple parameter changes to fix issues? With remote access, operators can take control of the system and make these changes – virtually! Integrated display controllers allow for easier remote equipment maintenance, while real-time data transfer enables technicians to access log files, diagnose difficult-to-trace faults and provide feedback, quickly.
- Protecting your assets
Remote access is usually established using a secure software solution like a VPN (Virtual Private Network) through an on-site router. VPN software encrypts internet traffic before it’s delivered between servers – allowing a device to operate as if it has been plugged into a local ethernet port. Crucially, this makes sharing a control screen not only handy but safe, as only remote technicians who have been granted the necessary permissions can access equipment information via the encrypted connection.
As well as incorporating remote connectivity into workflows, opting for equipment with a streamlined design or which uses common core components, like drives and controls can also help to improve production up-time and equipment serviceability. Such upgrades help reduce the number and variety of spare parts required, make equipment easier to service and reduce total cost of ownership.
The ’smart’ way to go
Remote connectivity can offer numerous advantages to manufacturers – particularly in a post-COVID world. In the wake of continued global disruption, brands are placing greater emphasis on improving line performance and profitability, while readying their operations for whatever the future may bring. tna solutions offers brands all the benefits of remote connectivity, along with game-changing performance standards with the tna robag® FX 3e – the latest iteration of its flagship VFFS (vertical form fill and seal) packaging series. Explore the power of the tna robag® FX 3e in more detail here.