Artificial Intelligence Delivers Precise Production and Eliminates Waste
With TechniBlend’s new system, brewers can accelerate production with run speeds between 100 to 600 cans a minute while achieving precise and consistent filling volumes. The ProFill V triples the level of filling accuracy compared to mechanical fillers enabling brewers to maintain volume within a half percent of their set point.
“Tighter volume control and improved accuracy reduces product waste. More product goes into the cans and less down the drain,” says TechniBlend’s Jon Breidenbach, manager-Filling Systems. “The system’s embedded artificial intelligence (AI) technology detects and autocorrects volumes outside the set point range as error correction algorithms monitor and optimize each filling valve’s performance.”
That precision and reduced waste is especially important as an increasing number of breweries pursue co-packing contracts in which they fill and package products for other brew and beverage customers.
Rockwell Automation Technologies are “The Brains of the System”
TechniBlend, which is an OEM member of Rockwell Automation’s PartnerNetwork™, developed the ProFill V system with a number of Rockwell Automation technologies.
“We lean toward Rockwell for its ease of use and feature rich products. They’ve been a very strong partner,” Breidenbach says. “A lot of our customers are already using equipment with Rockwell components so when we use Rockwell in our machines it makes it easier to pair them up and talk to other equipment across the processing line.”
The ProFill V series features Rockwell Automation’s Micro850® programmable logic controllers (PLC), which Breidenbach describes as, “the brains of the system controlling how much and automatically correcting volume with the AI logic we’ve programmed into those PLCs.”
Safety is also a major element with Rockwell Automation Compact GuardLogix® 5380 controllers and Compact I/O™ modules. TechniBlend plans to use the ProFill V as a test bed for integrated safety control and how it could be expanded to its other offerings.
“We’re constantly reviewing our beverage filling equipment and how we can provide a safer solution for packing line operators,” Breidenbach says. “The ProFill V has dedicated safety logic and interlocks that we’ve implemented across the board to help prevent any unexpected operation and injury. This is one of the safest machines we’ve developed.”
Local Brewer First to Install
A local craft brewing company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the first customer to use the ProFill V system. The brewery produces beers, seltzers, and canned waters for distribution in several midwestern states.
“This brewer wanted to increase production but had an older filler that ran a bit slower, so they were looking to upgrade to a more advanced system. They’re also getting into the co-packing market which gives them the opportunity to use the new filler to bring in more revenue,” explains Breidenbach. “What makes this brewery a great first customer is their variety of products, which allows us to demonstrate the system’s flexibility and versatility.”
The ProFill V is designed to fill cans in multiple sizes with a wide array of beverages and liquids. Quickly and easily, operators can make recipe-based changeovers with the system’s intuitive HMI technologies from Rockwell Automation, including PanelView™ 5000 Graphic Terminals.