Sortex, a business unit of the Buhler Group, has developed a new software package capable of performing an automatic health check on a production line's sorting capabilities.
This, claims the company, should enable trouble to be prevented before it can cause downtime.
The software, called Z Anyware, registers certain data of the sorter at regular intervals and transmits it to a centralised database. This allows malfunctions or poor performance to be detected immediately so that Sortex can correct a fault on site or remotely.
In fact the data of the sorter can be accessed from anywhere in the world. All the authorised engineer needs is a PC and an Internet link.
Z Anyware sends out two types of messages - checks and alarms. Thehealth check is preventive and is activated at regular intervals,depending on the total utilisation rate of the sorter in the productionfacility.
However, production line managers themselves may also prompt a data message if they feel the sorter is not running as it ought to. The alarm message is triggered if the system finds that one of the measured parameters is outside the selected standards.
Following this, an electronic help call issued by thesorter is then transmitted to the centralised database and the customer's local service point. This, claims Buhler, means that a problem may be corrected even before the customer knows it exists.
It is through this constant monitoring, says Buhler, that the system is capable of reducing downtime to an absolute minimum while controlling the sorting quality.
Another convenient feature of the product, says Buhler, is the downloading of new software to the sorter whenever needed, thanks to the link between the sorter and the database.
Buhler says that this is not done before customers have given their authorisation. The connection to the database is password-protected, and the link is established via the Internet using the customer's existing Internet connection or by calling a local provider at particularly low phone rates.
Buhler is a global technology group and system partner for food processing plant and equipment.