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3D Planning Visualizes New Machine & Line Layout

With 3D line design and new software from KHS, production environments spread out across several floors or in extremely confined spaces can be simply and clearly visualized. A 360° camera can scan the shop environment to ensure a clean “fit” without collisions with existing equipment. (Photo: KHS)

With the use of 3D modeling software, KHS can show a potential customer in detail how a new PET stretch-blow molder or packaging line under consideration would fit into the plant environment. New, easy-to-use software is said to speed up the 3D planning process and depicts the relevant machines and conveyors in greater detail than previous 2D planning methods. This means that production spread out across multiple floors or located in extremely confined spaces can be visualized simply and clearly, KHS says. This service is available for any KHS products, including PET bottle machines and complete filling and packaging lines for plastic, metal or glass bottles, cans and kegs.

“Depicting machinery in 3D helps customers to pinpoint any geometric interference during the early offer phase,” says Patrick Bürger, head of Plant Design at KHS. “this improves planning security, as any spatial conflicts in the production shop are recognized and corrected right from the start. 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 helps us devise an optimum layout.”

In addition, KHS offers laser scans that can be easily integrated using the new software. A 360° camera set up on a tripod creates a realistic photographic image of the production environment. This is especially helpful at predicting and preventing possible collisions with existing equipment.

Ancillary options include supplying rendered images of machines or lines for system visualization together with live MES data on a production monitor. Bürger sees increasing demand for such images from customers. Also, 3D data can be used for building information modeling (BIM), in which all assets – including piping and ventilation systems – as well as energy utilization can be compiled and displayed in a single model.

One more option is to use mobile virtual-reality (VR) goggles to help operators visualize how to move from machine to machine in confined spaces. Notes Bürger, “We’re hoping to find a number of prototype customers by the end of the year who can test this form of visualization within specific offer-planning processes.”

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