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Significantly improve machine efficiency with individual retrofit solutions

With modern retrofit solutions from W&H, older machines can be brought back up to the level of new machines. And new machines can also become even better: Innovative automation modules simplify work processes and increase plant efficiency. Completely new potential in particular offers the innovative IoT system RUBY, which uses machine data to improve packaging production. At W&H, around 50 employees are responsible for retrofit solutions for extrusion, printing and converting machines and provide customer-specific advice. In 2019 alone, more than 600 machines were modernized at customers around the world.

Efficiently functioning plants are a major factor for productivity in industry. Older machines often no longer meet the technical requirements necessary for efficient production. In order to keep up with technical progress, machines must therefore be modernized. The purchase of a new machine is not always the best solution. The more cost-effective alternative are retrofits. "A retrofit solution can be a retrofit to replace discontinued - i.e. no longer available - machine parts, such as a host computer. In addition, the functions of a machine can be expanded. There are various retrofit solutions for our different business areas to increase efficiency and productivity," explains Thorsten Uebbing, Product Manager Retrofits in Service.

New IoT system RUBY can retrofit even older machines

A classic example of a retrofit solution from the printing sector is the addition of an inline printing unit to a flexographic printing press, which among other things, can apply additional varnish to the printing webs. In the extrusion area, the productivity of a blown film line is increased many times over by using a modern high-performance cooling ring . Generally the addition of automation to the machine portfolio contributes to the increase in efficiency. In the converting area, for example, the "Easy Stop" add-on for tubers can save up to 2 minutes per reel change. "Completely new potentials for retrofitting machines are opened up with our new RUBY , with which we make data from our machines usable for monitoring, automation and improvement of packaging production. Even old machines can be retrofitted with RUBY", Uebbing continues.

In 2019 more than 600 machines were retrofitted

The Retrofit Service at Windmöller & Hölscher has been in existence since 2002. Up to 50 employees are processing an average of 500 orders per year: "We prepare an individual offer for each customer based on their requirements - starting with the 1:1 replacement of an obsolete machine part and ending with overall concepts," says Reinhard Kipp, Head of Service Construction & Retrofit. Retrofitting a machine can be done at very short notice within a few days, or can be planned over a long period of time, depending on the complexity of the order.