Emballator improves production with AI solutionsPosted 2023-01-17
An industry changing demands new solutions on todays – and tomorrows – challenges. Is it possible to solve in an efficient, digital, and more data driven way? At Emballator in Ulricehamn, AI has become a part of the solution.
With the help of AI, 5G and self-driving vehicles, the movement towards Industry 4.0 is underway. The goal is to create a more efficient production and make improvements where possible.
The packaging group Emballator is no exception. In the production in Ulricehamn, improvements are made on an ongoing basis and when the opportunity to be able to take help of AI competence from the owner Herenco, it was above all an idea and a question that came up; How can you make the printing press process more efficient and reduce setup time?
“Set-up time, i.e. the time when the machine is stationary while operators prepare for the next production order, depends heavily on the order in which the production orders are run. Both color changes and plate formats play a role, and the previous planning was complex, time-consuming, and difficult to get maximum results from”, says Johan Gustafsson, COO at Emballator in Ulricehamn.
The solution, which has been in operation since spring 2022, involves a flow where the planner selects production orders for the following week. An AI algorithm uses a heuristic estimate and finds the shortest total setup time. The operators’ expertise has been an important part of the solution.
“The logic is somewhat like the shortest path algorithm used in map services. For me, that project has meant several lessons, not least about the manufacturing process. We have also learned a lot about what is required to take a project from idea to an implemented AI solution”, says Jonatan Flyckt, Data Scientist at Herenco.
For Emballator in Ulricehamn, the solution means several advantages. Above all, the company can produce more units per hour, reduce changeover time, reduce waste from production, and work more energy efficiently.
“There are fewer uncertainties now and a simpler process. The operator contributes with their specialist knowledge and double-checks that the planning looks good”, says Johan Gustafsson.
What more AI solutions do you see yourself implementing?
“In one way or another, AI will of course hit the industry, but I think that in the short term it will be about forecasting tools and understanding customer behavior. We have many ideas on how we can use AI in more ways”, says Johan Gustafsson.Back to news