Ricola’s world famous herbal sweets have been produced in accordance with an old family tradition for more than 75 years in Laufen, Switzerland. Ricola has trusted the production line expertise of Bosch Packaging Technology for more than four decades.
Bosch machinery is in use at each of Ricola’s eight continuous hard candy production lines. Bosch has worked closely with Ricola for many years in order to develop solutions that are adapted precisely to the production conditions at the plant, such as the equipment for die-forming the herbal sweets. In total Ricola has more than 30 die-heads in use for forming the candies. To ensure their durability and because format changes only take three minutes, Ricola replaces the die-heads every six instead of the industry-wide eight hours. Ricola requested a storage shelf system for the die-heads from Bosch in order to facilitate the process for handling the die-heads and make more efficient use of the storage spaces in the plant. “More than 30 die-heads and the cart associated with this soon became unmanageable and cramped in the plant. The new die-head storage has meant that we now have faster access to the die-heads and can make more efficient use of the space that we previously required”, says Thomas Fringeli, head of the Ricola plant.
Presented for the first time at interpack 2017, an Industry 4.0 pilot solution for managing die-heads has been installed at Ricola with the aim of increasing overall equipment effectiveness. The solution consists of RFID tags which are attached to the die-heads, an IoT gateway plus Condition Monitoring software from Bosch. This records, displays and saves the daily and overall service performance of the die-heads.
“Ricola is on course for growth, and we are perfectly prepared for this through our collaboration with Bosch. We can look to the challenges of the future feeling relaxed as a result of our continuous process of learning and rethinking things together”, summarizes Fringeli.
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