KHS integrates third-party equipment into own service processes
By integrating third-party equipment into KHS’ service business, spare parts deliveries, overhauls and conversions are now all available from a single source. This speeds up and simplifies the process for bottling plants and at the same time reduces the time and effort they need for coordination.
“As is usual in our branch of industry, as a supplier of turnkey systems KHS also integrates a considerable amount of third-party equipment into its lines,” says Frank Maevus, who heads the Large Machine, Labeler, Conveyor and Third-party Equipment Product Division in Service. “This is chiefly because certain applications on a filling line are managed by specialists whom KHS works with as partners. What’s more, machines for specific tasks especially are usually not required in a quantity that would justify running a separate organizational unit just for them.” As a line supplier, it is thus important to provide all the technology as a one-stop shop. This applies to service in particular. “When our customers want spare parts, a general overhaul or a conversion, they shouldn’t have to deal with ten or more companies but instead with just one. KHS has taken on this role.”
On the one hand, third-party equipment refers to integrated products that are a composite part of a KHS machine, such as glue pumps on labelers. On the other, this can include autonomous components such as can seamers, pallet wrappers, all kinds of closure conveyor, printers or dosing stations for nitrogen, for example. This is the category Frank Maevus’ team works with. To this end, a process has been implemented that, by establishing a dedicated organizational unit and adapting various structures, has clearly boosted efficiency and shortened lead times.
Fair and marketable
The desired result was achieved by setting up a section for third-party equipment spare parts in the KHS Connect online shop where the prices charged by KHS’ main business partners are also shown. With them, KHS has agreed terms and conditions that enable fair and marketable prices to be further allocated. Beverage producers who operate KHS lines proactively receive an offer for suitable spare and wear part packages that also include the relevant components for the third-party equipment built into their lines. The same applies to the range of available conversions that encompasses not just machines and parts supplied by KHS but also by all third-party manufacturers. The appropriate documentation for all non-KHS components is of course also provided by the KHS team. Furthermore, in the future third-party equipment will also be incorporated into KHS’ system of discontinuation management in order to inform customers of pending discontinued components or controllers along the entire line in good time.
If we take a look at the statistics, we can see how complex this topic was to date and how great the benefits for beverage producers now are. All told, Maevus estimates that KHS procures third-party equipment for its plant engineering from around 180 different suppliers. About 80% of this volume is covered by 30 top companies, with the number of preferred suppliers including Ferrum for can seamers, Gassner for closure feed systems and H.F. Meyer for can turners and rinsers.
Now that all third-party equipment has been successfully integrated into the service processes at KHS headquarters in Dortmund, Germany, attention will be turned to its various subsidiaries worldwide. Through the successive international SAP rollout, it is now possible for everyone involved to work together in a uniform system landscape. With standardized workflows in place, inquiries can also be processed more quickly and more easily. From now on, maintenance or a general overhaul of a KHS line can be managed through just one contact from the initial offer to actual implementation.
KHS’ integrated third-party equipment service from a single source is particularly appreciated by beverage producers outside Europe especially. “In many cases, the suppliers of the third-party equipment we use are companies who don’t always have a global infrastructure like ours,” Maevus explains. “Just imagine: bottlers not only have to communicate with a number of different contacts but also coordinate with suppliers overseas. KHS’ integrated third-party equipment service with its one-stop-shop philosophy therefore really helps our customers to save precious time.”