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Batch Forensics by ECS Solutions

The term forensics refers to the application of scientific knowledge to problems, especially scientific analysis, and data analysis of physical evidence.  In a plant environment, data and scientific analysis can be the key to discovering opportunities to improve the automation solution that exists, forensic tools can be implemented in all phases of the life cycle of a system, but ideally, they should be considered during the design phase.

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Read More | Posted In: Bakery Industry, Beverage Industry, Blogs, Chemical Industry, Distilleries, Food Industry, Life Science Industry, Metals

Securing your Intellectual Property

Production procedures and formula values property

How secure is the intellectual property of your products?

Many degrees of automation exist in manufacturing plants, but they all have a common requirement– specifying the activities and the order in which they need to occur as well as the key setpoints such as materials, amounts, tolerances, temperatures, durations, etc.

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Read More | Posted In: Bakery Industry, Batch Boosters, Beverage Industry, Chemical Industry, Distilleries, Food Industry, Life Science Industry, MES, Metals, White Papers

The Importance of Material Tracing

Traceability on a processing or production line is incredibly important, especially when it comes to food products, where having the ability to track every ingredient down to the source is crucial to the health and safety of the consumers.

As parts of the country begin to move out of COVID-19 shutdowns, we have been hearing about “contact tracing” as a tool for containing a secondary spread of the disease. Material, lot tracing, or traceability has been part of producing safe food products for a long time. The concepts behind contact tracing and material tracing are similar.

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Read More | Posted In: Bakery Industry, Beverage Industry, Blogs, Chemical Industry, Distilleries, Food Industry, Life Science Industry, Metals

Automated Procedures for Manual Processes

Process customers do not need to automate their equipment to start taking advantage of some of the important benefits that off-the-shelf automation products possess. Processes that are typically operated manually can benefit from automating their procedural execution, meaning that the activities that operator typically perform by following printed Standard Operating Procedures can be Specified, Enforced, and Verified in electronic form.

Off-the-shelf products allow us to Specify recipes that can span multiple unit procedures.  These can be enforced by prompting the operator or operators of the different areas to perform the required manual activities in the order specified, information normally captured on a sheet of paper or batch log can be annotated and journaled electronically and then this information can be instantly used to make decisions on the active recipe (i.e. adjust the amount of material to be added based on a sample analysis).

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Read More | Posted In: Bakery Industry, Batch Boosters, Beverage Industry, Chemical Industry, Distilleries, Food Industry, Life Science Industry, Metals, White Papers

Leveraging ISA-88 Standards for Discrete Manufacturing

Tracking manual discrete manufacturing processes can greatly benefit from off-the-shelf products.

Often, discrete manufacturing processes requiring a high level of manual operator activities that rely on paper-based Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to specify how to manufacture their products.

Operators are responsible to perform the tasks as specified by the SOP as well as capturing the required data when requested. It is not uncommon to find plants that have automated components of the manufacturing process but require the operators to input the setpoints before initiating the required tasks. These operators are also responsible for capturing the required data and writing it on the SOPs, some of these SOP steps require capturing a date stamp as well as information of the person that performed a task or captured the data.  Some customers require tracking these activities with more reliability and would like to capture information with much greater granularity.

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Read More | Posted In: Bakery Industry, Batch Boosters, Chemical Industry, Distilleries, Food Industry, Life Science Industry, Metals, White Papers