Grantek’s packaging automation expertise extends through the food, beverage, pharma, and consumer goods industries. Our expert staff has successfully implemented projects throughout the world from: machine upgrades, upgrades to an existing line, adding a new line, or integrating the automation for a whole new facility. At Grantek we have experience working on both green field and brown field projects.
Before we start, we perform an audit of your operations to fully understand your processes and currently implemented technologies. This is necessary to develop the best strategy for the current project and ensuring it meets your needs for today and tomorrow. We develop a detailed specification that identifies the work required and provides our customer with a clear roadmap of the project.
A summary of our process methodology includes the following:
- Performing a comprehensive site survey of available power and electrical utilities, the assets currently on the production line, and the status of the electrical control panels for every asset.
- Performing a hardware risk analysis to determine if equipment needs to be upgraded to handle future planned capacity or identifying assets that may pose a risk to your business and making the necessary recommendations to support a cost-effective migration.
- Performing a safety assessment to ensure that the equipment meets current codes and best practices for safe operation. We also perform complete machine safeguarding evaluations where we learn the functional requirements of your equipment, identify all hazards and provide complete turn-key risk remediation plans.
- Uploading copies of all available programs related to every asset. More specifically, PLC/HMI software, Servo Drive/VFD configurations, robotic controllers and machine vision applications.
- Regenerating schematics or machine electrical diagrams as required, if the original as-built drawings have been lost or are no longer accurate, providing you with a complete drawing set at the completion of the project.
- Performing center-lining activities to register all recipe parameters for every asset for every product. This allows us to replicate the existing recipes on the new equipment in an efficient manner.
- Grantek can assist with dismantling if appropriate. We generate detailed notes on the equipment being dismantled, and ensure all wires and cables are tagged to provide a clear picture for reassembly.
- At the new/expanded site, Grantek works with the pneumatics and compressed gas specialists to help ensure that the new/relocated equipment is properly assembled with the input utilities needed for each machine. Grantek will futher work with your local hydro supplier to upgrade sub-stations and/or design a turn-key power distribution tailored to your needs.
- Grantek will work with your R&D team to develop the process flow charts required for designing your production floor layout.
- Grantek will modify existing control panels to meet your requirements as well as design & build new control panels as part of our turnkey solution. When required, we will also provide electrical construction management services.
- Providing complete software automation services associated to programming PLCs, operator interface screens, servo motion control, vision identification and robotics.
- Building network connectivity infrastructures as needed to meet the increasing demand on industrial automation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). By securely connecting your assets along with proper I/O network traffic segregation, you will benefit from implementing datacenters, SCADA solutions, remote access to your assets and overall equipment efficiency software platforms (OEE). Grantek provides a comprehensive I/O check for every device, including sensors, valves, motors, pumps, etc. We also assist with the execution of IQ/OQ/PQs to validate the system in a pharmaceutical environment.
Our automation designs also include safety features—depending on the need and the your preferences, we can add emergency-stops that stop the entire line or isolated safety E-stops at the machine, to stop production intelligently. To reduce restart time, we implement smart technology that stops production but keeps power on until the problem is resolved. We can also reprogram assets if required, allowing the software to perform a soft stop depending the application and the results of a risk assessment
At the programming level, Grantek does it all: from modifying PLCs to complete rewrites of machine programming. We are certified partners with all the major automation partners and can work with other OEMs to program equipment that meets your needs. Every vendor uses their own language at the machine level, and Grantek has experience with all of the commonly used applications.
At the SCADA level, we can export the collected data to a SQL database and generate reports as required by our customers. Thus, providing you with all the information that you need to help make data driven decisions.
At the machine level, Grantek can work with a mechanical engineering partner to replace cam-driven machines with sensors. To help reduce cost, we evaluate the condition of your current equipment and recommend upgrades where practical. This allows existing equipment to remain in operation and interconnect with your business systems along with your new equipment. We can upgrade older machines in many cases by adding additional sensor capability. We determine your requirements and design improvements for older equipment if it makes economic sense to do so.
Grantek’s automation capabilities also include vision system integration, including barcoding and serialization, date codes and expiry information. We follow the GAMP-5 workflow for pharmaceutical packaging facilities and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), along with customer specifications, for food and beverage packaging.
We can also design robotics and palletizing solutions. At Grantek we work with you to provide tools and analysis to verify cycle time and identify ways to speed production. We can use high-speed cameras and vision systems to analyze the line with the goal of improving speed and efficiency.
We can also assist with R&D, such as making a materials change—we can modify the equipment programming for the new material, do a trial run, and use our reporting capabilities to collect data for confirmation that the process using the new material still meets specifications.
We look forward to assisting with your next packaging automation project.