Case Study: Upgrades for a Large Taste & Nutrition Company
A large taste and nutrition company that produces flavored breadcrumbs requested assistance from ECS Solutions to install and upgrade a mixer associated with their breadcrumb line 1. The company had purchased the same type of mixer that is presently used in production but wanted the controls to operate in the same way as those in the existing mixer. Assistance was also requested to reconfigure two lines; the aforementioned breadcrumb line 1 & an additional bread crumb line.
The company had purchased a new mixer from Peerless Food Equipment and required assistance with its’ installation into the breadcrumb 1 line and modification to the controls. The mixer was the same type as that being operated in the line, but the company wanted the controls to operate in the same way as those for the existing mixer 2. The new mixer was equipped with an HMI which ECS decommissioned and then programmed the existing mixer 2 HMI to operate both mixers. The operator interface terminal was also programmed to switch between the two mixers. The large taste and nutrition company had determined that these changes could significantly reduce the downtime being experienced by the line.
ECS Solutions provided electrical design drawings as required to aid in the installation of the new mixer and integration into the existing controls. It was also necessary to design and construct the power feed for the mixer, and to engineer the network to connect to the plant. Further programming was provided to improve the storage/retrieval of recipes and make it easier for the company to modify or add recipes.
The manufacturing process involves the mixing of dough to be baked in one of two ovens. The baked bread is pulverized, and the crumbs relayed to a set of sifters to control their size before flavoring ready for sale. In the processes, the pulverized bread from one oven is relayed to one set of sifters while the crumbs from the second oven go to a second set of sifters. The large taste and nutrition company wanted to be able to crisscross these steps and not assign a sifter to one particular oven, believing that this would avoid problems with one of the ovens interrupting production.
To improve the line setup ECS Solutions programmed the HMI to specify the configuration of the line and how it was required to operate. Pipes in the system were manually disconnected and reconnected and sensors were installed on the pipes and programmed to confirm that the arrangement was correct. Hence the operators would be able to select the proper set-up and confirm that it is correctly arranged. Originally the large taste and nutrition company had considered adding a valving system rather than physically moving the valve or the pipes. However, the costs and time to implement were too high and they postponed this improvement.