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SERVING THE BEVERAGE INDUSTRY WITH PACKAGING EQUIPMENT & PARTS SINCE 1992

How Technology Is Making Machines Safer

Authored by Bevcorp

For sheet metal fabricator Marlin Steel, spending money on safety technology makes dollars and sense. President Drew Greenblatt says the Baltimore, Maryland-based company invests millions in automation because it increases productivity, cuts cycle time and improves quality. It also makes manufacturing better in other ways.

“We’re able to ship product that’s made in a safer fashion because our employees are less likely to get hurt,” Greenblatt says. “We’ve gone more than 2,295 days without a safety incident. We attribute a lot of that to the technology and the robots.”

A non-automated company of a similar size would typically have had 18 to 30 injuries over that same span, according to Greenblatt. Thanks to its safety record, Marlin Steel saves money in insurance premiums and is better able to retain skilled employees, who value a company that demonstrates it values them.

But, at the same time, there are aspects of safety technology that Greenblatt would like to see improved. Chief among these are alerts that warn of attempts to defeat or bypass safety systems. Another desired innovation involves better sensors and systems, largely as a means to allow humans and robots to work more closely together.

Safety in numbers

As Greenblatt demonstrates, there’s a demand for safety technology, particularly if it’s part of an overall automation and productivity package. However, there also is room for improvement.

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Sales of safety sensors and switches will reach $3.3 billion yearly worldwide by 2020, according to a new report from analyst firm IndustryARC. The heavy machinery used in manufacturing has the potential to crush, amputate, burn or blind, causing severe workplace injuries. That makes the use of sensors a necessity to protect workers, and it explains the 3.1% compound annual growth rate in sales, says Industry Consultant Ravi Medichelmela.

Willoughby, Ohio-based Bevcorp is one reason for the growth in safety-related technology. That is due to a philosophy followed by the maker of rotary fillers, blending equipment and handling parts for the beverage industry (Figure 1).

“We design for safety-standard compliance, but we go above that by adding features and functionality and using the latest technologies, which gives the flexibility to maximize uptime,” says Eric Hendrickson, engineering manager for electrical and mechanical.

On the technology front, the company makes use of Ethernet-based safety PLCs and similar controls, finding this improves diagnostics and adds flexibility. Because of the technology, something like a door, for example, can be added without having to run so many wires. That gives the OEM the capability to better adapt a machine to a specific customer or situation.

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img-22As for other design changes technology now enables, Hendrickson cites what was done with a bowl used in the filling process. The product within it has to be maintained at a certain level, with more periodically added in a foam-free fashion. Previously, a product change or adjustment required stopping a machine, opening up guarding, making a mechanical adjustment, closing up the machine and starting it up again—a time-consuming sequence that might have to be repeated. Now, an electronic level control system that sits inside the guarding and communicates wirelessly enables adjustments to be made without stopping the machine at all.

Bevcorp uses products from Rockwell Automation, and Hendrickson says these offerings have evolved over time. That allows OEMs to offer more diagnostics and options. Looking forward, Hendrickson notes that safety technology vendors are trying to make devices that cannot be circumvented through the addition of redundancy and double-checking of conditions, all to better spot attempts at altering or bypassing safeguards (Figure 2).

Matthew Miller, a machine safety specialist at ABB Jokab Safety Products, notes that making a true calculation about the cost and payback of safety should account for everything, and that leads to one conclusion (Figure 3). “The rewards easily outweigh the investment,” says Miller. “An unsafe machine can result in injured employees, production downtime, paying workers’ compensation, lawsuits and fines and increased insurance premiums, just to name a few.”

Breaking News: Rockwell Manufacturing Safety Excellence Award: Congratulations to the 2014 Winners!

Authored by Bevcorp

Rockwell Automation named Corning Environmental Technologies and Bevcorp as recipients of its 2014 Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards. The winners were recognized at the Safety Leadership Conference on October 27 – 29, 2014 in Indianapolis.

Created in 2013, the annual awards celebrate the world’s safest manufacturing companies – specifically those that realize the widespread benefits of a holistic approach to safety. They are given to companies that make people and machinery safety a core business value by incorporating the three key pillars of a comprehensive safety program:

  • A strong safety culture
  • A formalized compliance strategy, and
  • Capital investments in technologies that help improve worker safety and plant productivity

The awards also recognize collaboration between environmental health and safety (EHS) and engineering departments to help ensure compliance, worker safety and plant productivity.

The awards are open to manufacturers, machine builders (OEMs) or system integrators, as long as they demonstrate a true commitment to safety. The next call for nominations will open in the summer of 2015.

Bevcorp LLC Acquires Adcor Packaging Group LLC’s Crown Filling Intellectual Property

Bevcorp LLC has acquired the beverage filling intellectual property and inventory of Adcor Packaging Group LLC. The acquisition strengthens Bevcorp’s commitment to the beverage equipment marketplace, providing increased services to domestic and worldwide customers by expanding their resources and capabilities in engineering, sales, parts, and service. This acquisition also allows Bevcorp LLC to become the owner of the OEM technology to provide customers OEM quality filling equipment and parts manufactured using the original Crown Cork & Seal and Crown Simplimatic intellectual property owned by Adcor since 2000.

According to Chris Pascarella, President of Bevcorp LLC, “We are excited to expand and improve upon the legacy of Crown filling technology as exclusive owners of the intellectual property providing all customers with the security of knowing their Crown filler investments are fully supported by Bevcorp. The purchase of the IP from the Adcor Packaging Group LLC along with our recent acquisition of FCI Inc. Container Handling Division, combined with our MicroBlend Blending Division enables us to increase product offerings, inventory, and services to all customers. Bevcorp is committed to constant improvement and investments within our organization to continue to be a leader in beverage filling, blending and container handling.”

Bevcorp LLC will continue to service all current and new customers out of the Willoughby Ohio corporate offices and manufacturing site.

Adcor Packaging Group LLC inquiries for filler parts and filler service please contact:

Filler Parts Sales: 440-954-3505 | Filler Service: 440-954-3506 | Main Line: 440-954-3500

Email: sales@bevcorp.com

Bevcorp, LLC, Acquires FCI, Inc., Expanding Capabilities of the Beverage Parts Industry Powerhouse

Authored by Bevcorp

Cleveland, OH…In a strategic move to increase comprehensive customer solutions, Bevcorp, LLC, recently acquired FCI Inc., of Cleveland Ohio, a manufacturer of aftermarket change parts to the beverage industry and supplier of specialized industrial parts.

The acquisition of FCI, apremierchange parts supplier for more than 50 years, builds upon Bevcorp’s established handling equipment and processing reputation in the beverage industry by offering the following additional capabilities and benefits to new and existing customers.

  • Change parts for numerous European and North American fillers, cappers and other packaging equipment
  • Increased customer productivity and changeover reduction through efficient handling equipment and conversion packages
  • Increased engineering and machining capacity that promote speed to market for new package production lines

FCI is industry-recognized and will continue to advance Standard Bolt-on Change Parts, E-Z Fit Tool-less Quick Change Parts and Neck Control for PET bottles along with innovative products to decrease changeover time and increase filling line productivity.

These additional capabilities, coupled with Bevcorp’s reputation for unparalleled service in the filling and blending industry, will now provide customer solutions as FCI Container Handling Division of Bevcorp.

“It’s a win-win for FCI and Bevcorp customers,” said Chris Pascarella, President of Bevcorp LLC.  “Bevcorp’s manufacturing expertise will supplement the strong FCI industrial parts group, and the increased machining capabilities will better serve FCI’s current customers.”

Pascarella said the advantage of the combined organizations will manifest in outstanding opportunities for all customers to achieve greater value from their packaging investments with blending, rotary rinsing, filling, capping, seaming and container handling solutions under one umbrella of ownership.

“Combining the depth of the talent pool of both organizations will provide valuable solutions and added resources to all customers when it comes to product package design, handling andcustomersupport,” said Pascarella.