Packaging machinery manufacturer ULMA Packaging has introduced new features for its radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based maintenance system. 

This enhancement builds on the existing format control system, which was designed to prevent operational errors during format changes. 

The company, in a statement, said: “In line with the goal of maximising equipment availability to improve the OEE [overall equipment effectiveness] of the packaging lines, we are committed to developing new utilities that simplify machine operation and reduce downtime.” 

The new utility includes a cycle counter and alarm for each mould in the tray sealer. 

These alerts on the machine’s human-machine interface (HMI) enable the operator to organise appropriate maintenance tasks while preventing unexpected production stoppages. 

In 2022, the company launched an RFID-based format control system to maximise packaging machine availability. 

The verification system featuring wireless sensors identifies components within the packaging machine and verifies their suitability for the current recipe.  

It also provides visual guidance to assist machine operators, especially those unfamiliar with the processes, thereby ensuring that all components are appropriate for the intended format. 

The technology reduces downtime format change and avoids operator errors resulting from adding unsuitable components to the packaging machine. 

Last month, ULMA’s subsidiary in Thailand opened new facilities and a showroom in Bangkok.