Sustainability report 2017/18

Research and development

KHS' international success has always been preceded by intensive research and development work. Without proper basic groundwork, there is no further development and without further development, there is no increase in sustainability.

With our research and development projects, we want to create added value for our customers:

  • minimization of energy, supplies and operating materials
  • reduction of packaging materials
  • increased product quality

All attributes that aid our customers in running efficient production operations and that directly ensure sustainability.

In order to continuously increase efficiency, we develop completely new machine concepts or consistently further develop tried and test systems already on the market. At the same time, we take dynamic customer and market requirements into account (what is known as "market pull") as well as the potential of new technologies (what is known as "technology push").

 

In addition to customer requirements, the requirements of the various departments involved in the process of providing goods and rendering services must always be taken into consideration in the development of new products. The focus here is on sustainable solutions not only for our customers but for us as well. By reducing operating costs by using fewer resources, we directly promote sustainability efforts just as we do with optimized KHS in-house processes within the scope of standardized projects, for example.

Science and practice hand in hand

Together with renowned universities and well-known industrial partners, KHS utilizes research funding projects as an established platform to investigate new technological approaches and issues with regard to benefits for future products. An important focus of consortium projects is always a common understanding of the project goals and the expected results. The collaboration in a consortium enables the use of distributed know-how and promotes a learning process for all involved. Recent projects include for example

  • DnSPro sensor-based subsystems with decentralized cooperation for Industry 4.0 production systems: The ever-present topic of Industry 4.0 has been implemented quite specifically here on a small scale in an application example of bottle filling. Two practice-related patent applications have already been submitted. The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
    More on this project (German website)
  • CyProAssist: The focus here is first and foremost on the interaction between man and machine. Digitization creates new functionalities and added value, which successively change machines and systems and simplify process monitoring and machine diagnostics for example. In this case, we examine the question of what the relevant added value is for our customers and which business model will result for us. Our goal is to use artificial intelligence to develop self-learning and self-optimizing machines for highly efficient operation that do not make people redundant but support them to the greatest possible extent. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
    More on this project (German website)
  • DC-Industrie - an intelligent open direct current network in the industry for highly efficient system solutions with electric drives: Jointly with well-known industrial partners, we look into system configurations with smart, open DC networks. The aim is to redesign the supply of power to industrial systems using a smart, open DC network and to digitize the industrial energy supply structure. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
    More on this project (German website)
  • EnAP – user-oriented application of energy-efficient drive technology in production: The focus here is on optimizing drive systems. In cooperation with companies and institutes, energy saving concepts and system optimization procedures are developed that can be used in pneumatic and electric handling systems. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
    More on this project (German website)

In summary, it can be noted that all of KHS' current funding projects are in the relevant fields of research and provide direct, tangible results that are incorporated into the development of new machines in the future. Another benefit lies in the further training of our employees and colleagues who can often directly implement new impulses and ideas in the interest of continuous improvement (CIP).

Making our mark as a turnkey supplier

It goes without saying that KHS' core competency in providing our customers with comprehensive advice on complete systems is more in demand today than ever before. In light of the increasing variety of beverage - such as craft beers and craft drinks - and packaging variants, an ever increasing flexible usability of lines is required in many cases both in daily operation and in medium-term adaptability. In the future, systems should be capable of processing additional formats for example or be expandable to include new technologies such as those in the field of packaging. We pursue the concept of modular design of system solutions in order to offer our customers customized and at the same time economically attractive solutions.

Starting with consulting during the line layout phase to system operation, we consistently focus on sustainability together with our customers. We create added value jointly with customers by using energy, media and consumables efficiently and optimizing packaging design. We set a good example ourselves: for example, KHS has been using hydroelectrically generated power exclusively at all of its sites in Germany since 2016 and have thus reduced CO2 emissions by approx. 9,000 tons this year.

For me, sustainability at KHS means that we are improving the quality of people's life or even making it possible in the first place by enabling beverages to be produced, processed and packaged hygienically. At the same time, we all work every day to reduce the use of necessary resources.

Dr.-Ing. Matthias Schopp
Head of cross-divisional Engineering Systems
KHS GmbH