Krones company is a global supplier of the best automatic production lines for filling and packaging. Its main North American engineering center is located in Franklin, Wisconsin, USA. The machine park at Krones Corporation was expanded with the recent purchase of a 3D scanner SMARTTECH3D UNIVERSE 5Mpix, with an automated rotary table.
The specifics of this Krones adoption case can be seen clearly in the example of a bottled beer production line, where the entire technological process is focused on the bottle itself. Each project starts with the creation of a bottle prototype. A range of equipment is then selected for particular applications, in order to create a unique production line.
Krones engineers often encounter technological and design barriers. Clients want packaging to have an original look and high quality. After the physical prototype model (which is often 3D printed) has been accepted by the client, specialists at Krones have to digitalize it to develop the appropriate production forms and quality control tests.
In the past, measurements were made by using a manual measurement arm with a laser scanner. However, this process was very time-consuming and faced several issues due to the number of manual measurements that were needed. INTO3D – a North American distributor of SMARTTECH 3D scanners – was given the opportunity to provide demonstration measurement for several bottles. All 3D scanning was carried out on site at the Krones factory, using a SMARTTECH3D UNIVERSE 5Mpix scanner.
After implementing the new 3D scanner in the design process, Krones estimated that throughput and accuracy doubled, compared to the previous measurement method. Another aspect in which 3D scanners turned out to be very helpful are the errors on the product made during production. Even a small change in the shape of the bottle is associated with the risk of errors on the production line.
Therefore, the decision was made to carry out bottle geometry checks by scanning the sample bottle from each batch. The scanned samples are compared with a CAD model, and thanks to the Geomagic ControlX software, all changes are presented as a color map of deviations. This way, the 3D scanner gained an additional application that previously engineers did not assume.