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Smart technologies for food and beverage manufacturers

Source:FoodPacific Manufacturing Journa     Date:2020-03-16
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WHEREAS other systems impose parameters and require manufacturers to comply, Aveva says its solutions are customer-friendly to meet specific needs. Its line-up is designed to help upgrade their clients’ asset and operations lifecycle, maximise return on capital investments, and increase profitability.

Providing the foundation to agile production processes is its Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). With the MES Operations, companies can improve production and inventory management as well as enforce quality and compliance. The run time module covers work order and job scheduling; resource allocation; enforcement of product and process specification; inventory and work-in-progress management; tracking for material, product genealogy, and labour; process data collection; and electronic record of all execution.

The MES Quality ensures sample plan execution to specification and notifications of non-conformance or rule violations in real-time. It includes quality specifications, sample plan definition and execution, and statistical process control. An automated in-line quality data collection enables faster corrective actions, thereby reducing quality losses, cost of compliance and the risk of recalls.

Another solution called the Historian is designed to summarise and consolidate plant records, and it has the capability to electronically store huge volumes of data generated from a facility. It will retrieve and securely deliver information to desktop or mobile devices, a feature that enables companies to analyse processes anywhere at any time. Historian allows critical process data to be captured and made available for troubleshooting and process analysis when necessary.

Smart technologies offer numerous benefits to F&B manufacturers, from enhanced efficiency to product safety. According to Aveva, customised solutions are based on a company's standards and resources. (Photo: Traimak Ivan  / Dreamstime.com)

Track and trace capability

The capability to track and trace is a critical component of food manufacturing given the increasingly complex web of ingredient and food supply these days, and the related concerns on contamination and product safety it brings.

The MES Operations makes it easy to track material and product genealogy because it can offer full material history, capture the materials consumed in a product and record material details, as well as facilitate understanding of what materials are used in a product and the materials or lots used in producing specific batches of products.

AVEVA’s MES Quality and Historian, work together in building consumer confidence in products by providing information on product make-up, full product history on material, processes and equipment as they capture data across the process and value chain.

Unified Collaboration Experience

Considered a complete automation solution, Aveva’s System Platform delivers 40% engineering efficiency gains by eliminating the need for scripting or customisation while leveraging reusable visualisations. It provides a single, scalable industrial platform designed to integrate new and existing operational and IT systems into a unified visualisation client called InTouch Operations Management Interface.

This collaboration platform is designed for continuous improvement initiatives. With it, a company ensures application integrity through corporate standardisation compliance across processes, functional teams, and sites. The entire system configuration, administration, and deployment can be managed locally or remotely.

The platform enables rapid change management to align with changing business or technology drivers, automatically propagating changes systematically across projects, while at the same time reducing risk and turnaround time for results.

As for Aveva’s AutoCoding Device Gateway, the following are provided: visibility and control of printing, coding, scanning and inspection devices from many different vendors, enabling awareness of device state, alarms and consumables status.

Customer experience

According to Aveva, their clients cite that the solutions make the systems work for them and not vice versa. Things are done to the companies’ standards and budget and in outputs that companies require. Connectivity, low cost of ownership, scalability and return on capital investments in a year or less are other factors influencing client sign-ups, they said.

One of their clients, F&N Dairies is an early adopter to smart manufacturing. Its Rojanta plant in Thailand worked with Aveva to develop its Process Nexus II process and quality data acquisition system. It has enabled F&N to attain significant improvements in operations efficiency and expand its reporting capabilities throughout the enterprise. MES, System Platform, Historian, and QI Analyst software are incorporated into Process Nexus II to meet F&N’s functional requirements including quality control, tracking and traceability.

A key feature of the system is to monitor and record Net Content Control, which measures product net weight and product loss during the manufacturing process. The captured net weight is plotted to show its trend, and from there, the operators at F&N Dairies are able to calculate overfill in real time and react immediately to address overfill issues to minimise loss.

According to the company, the system has also made it very convenient to summarise and consolidate the plant data as well as collect product traceability information for both the upstream and downstream functions of it process in real time.  

Quality monitoring & reporting

F&N is required to keep product quality documentation until the end of the product’s shelf life, which is typically two years. According to the company, before using Process Nexus II, it was easy to make mistakes during the review process because the reports were all hand written. It was a time-consuming process, with a high workload that involved developing the QA documentation of the processing line.

F&N added that previously, some 40 reports had to be generated daily, which included raw material receiving, processing control sheets, filling and packaging, as well as cleaning operation control sheets.

When quality parameter deviations were detected, operators had to manually trace the information in the paper-based operations sheets filed in the archive room. Whereas before it took more than four hours to complete one traceability report, now it only takes one minute.

A manager familiar with Process Nexus II said easy connectivity with other devices in the plant was one of the reasons F&N Dairies picked Aveva over other brands. Given the many processes and equipment types in place at its plant, he says, the AVEVA solutions provided easy connectivity with the other industrial automation devices, computers, and lab measuring instruments currently at F&N.

Total cost of ownership for system upgrades was also lower. “Because AVEVA software is Windows-based, it provides an easy upgrade path.  When Microsoft upgrades a version of Windows, or Aveva issues a software upgrade, the Process Nexus II software is automatically upgraded over all processes and locations.”

With Process Nexus II, the plant also achieved “100% First-Time Quality,” which is a lean metric that indicates what products are manufactured correctly the first time, without the need for inspection, rework, or replacement.

F&N added that the system has also reduced inventory in its warehouses, created cost savings, and achieved payback from its system investment within one year.

Return on investment

In the case of La Tortilla Factory, return on investment (ROI) was achieved in less than a year. By adopting Aveva’s System Platform and InTouch, it also improved yield by 5%.

With increased operational visibility, the company was able to run a more efficient and profitable operation. Long-term historical data trending and analysis from disparate systems, combined with long-term network analysis, has made it possible for the company to more accurately verify customer usage and future needs. They also enable the management team to better assess areas for improvement.

Aveva solutions not only help connect all the company’s equipment and reduce paperwork, they also pull useful, actionable data. This enables the team at La Tortilla Factory to address issues immediately for continued effective manufacturing operations.

Vital to these are the reports generated. They are in formats that work for team members and meeting company standards and budget.

“There are so many shop floor systems out there today that basically force companies to comply with how the system wants to show you your data,” said Katie Evans, Vice President of Operations, in a success story shared by AVEVA. “This really is a recipe for disaster because not all manufacturing operations and processes are the same. With Aveva, we’ve been able to access specific data and develop custom reports that our team wants to see, enabling us to continue to maintain and improve the quality of our product.”

Achieving ROI has also surpassed Ms. Evans’s expectations citing the company has achieved it in less than a year.


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