Nowadays, billion-euro investment decisions in the plastics production and processing industry are taken in a very short time. According to Rochus Hofmann, Managing Director of Zeppelin Systems, the time between an investment decision and commissioning is less than half of what it was a few years ago. These challenges can only be met with better and faster planning.
The plant engineering specialist from Friedrichshafen will demonstrate its new approach to planning and designing plants for the plastics industry at the K 2016. Zeppelin Systems is a plant architect with extensive knowledge of all processes and acts as systems integrator. This allows a significant reduction in the time to market period. "We are now thinking like architects in order to implement our customers' ideas into a working concept," Hofmann describes. "We impartially advise our customer on the best possible solution. The customer then decides what he wants and we make sure all elements fit together perfectly." For the customer this is a double win: he can select from a larger variety of products and the overall process will be optimized.
While a traditional machine construction company focuses on the machine, a plant engineering company's planning will keep the total plant in mind. To do so, Zeppelin Systems makes use of various modern planning tools. One of them is the Zeppelin Value Engineering concept which enables extensive discussions and the optimization of the plant concept in digital form at a very early stage. This leads to better concept solutions such as optimized piping, improved room layout or perfect positioning of all components, and shorter distances. An innovative planning software supports this process. "We use the same tools as international contractors, planning every plant using 3D technology," Hofmann explains. This experience is also useful for revamping. With the help of a 3D laser scanner, an accurate model of an existing plant can be created. This is always helpful in cases where building alterations have not been recorded over time, data formats are not convertible or when the drawings do not correspond to reality. Informed decisions can then be taken regarding the components that will remain in the old plant or be relocated and those that will be disassembled during modernization. Rebuilding a plant can therefore be planned accurately and performed with little production downtime and a high level of security. Zeppelin Systems supports plants for the production and processing of plastics from the first planning steps to realization, covering the complete lifecycle including modernization.
In the future, focus will be set on innovatively developing the planning process, for example by further improving digitalization – not only when planning, but also with the use of components which can communicate in a digital network. Therefore, Zeppelin focuses its
component development on this new product segment named "smart components" and will also present new ideas regarding Industry 4.0 at the K 2016, hall 9, booth B41 in Düsseldorf.