Boosting Batch Performance at a Salad Dressing Plant
A well-known line of salad dressings was recently acquired by a major food manufacturer with the plan to establish a fully automated, paperless manufacturing process for the production. To do this efficiently and cost-effectively
represented a significant challenge.
Documenting Your Manufacturing Ecosystem
Understanding your manufacturing ecosystem is one thing, but documenting it is just as important. Having extensive documentation of the manufacturing ecosystem, helps those who aren’t involved in daily, plant-floor operations make informed decisions. Your manufacturing ecosystem is the system you use for making your product(s), and fully documenting and understanding this ecosystem will help the decision-making process of your organization.
Material Dosing Geneology
The Food industry uses batch manufacturing extensively and therefore requires traceability for material ingredients, i.e. the ability to follow the movement of a food product and its’ constituents all through the production process.
This capability not only largely prevents unsafe foods from reaching the consumer but also improves product quality and efficiency in the event of a recall.
Large Consumer Goods Case Study
ECS was hired to upgrade and replace a CIP control system in one of the manufacturing areas for a large consumer goods company. The scope of work included a new control enclosure containing an upgrade from a SLC5 controller to a ControlLogix controller. The upgrade also consisted of all IO and connections within the enclosure. Additionally, the company wanted to solve the problem of inefficiencies in its CIP process by implementing FactoryTalk Batch and Batch control within this updated CIP system.
The Benefits of Off-The-Shelf SOP Management Software
Being able to keep track of every step and every bit of data is a major necessity for every organization. An off-the-shelf standard operating procedure software is one way to implement new processes and keep track of business operating standards.
Tracking manual operations in discrete, batch, and continuous manufacturing processes can greatly benefit from off-the-shelf products. Clearly specifying your procedures, enforcing their execution, and capturing pertinent data are all major benefits that can be quickly and easily be obtained by implementing off-the-shelf, procedure management software.
Flexible and Modular CIP and SIP Automation Enables Continuous Improvements
Clean In Place (CIP) and Steam in Place (SIP) constitute critical aspects of the bottom line of a manufacturing process, just as important as the products manufactured with the assets, CIP and SIP play a very important role in the product quality as well as the overall availability of the equipment to manufacture these products. Being able to consistently execute the required cleaning step regardless of the equipment level of automation is paramount, and being able to clearly specify and enforce the steps required are critical regardless of how these tasks are executed. Operators and equipment should seamlessly perform their task to ensure the desired cleaning procedures are executed in an optimum manner.
Bardstown Bourbon Company Case Study
Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBC) is a Bourbon Distillery located in Bardstown Kentucky. Utilizing two mash cookers, 32 fermenters, two distillation stills, and nine cistern holding tanks, BBC produces a wide variety of high-quality whiskeys and bourbons. (more…)
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.
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.
Improve Cooking Quality Utilizing the Lethality Factor Principles
Cooking (thermal processing) is critically important for controlling the levels of foodborne pathogens in products. Cooking is an effective process for eliminating, or at least reducing to acceptable levels, any pathogenic bacteria that may be present in the products. Today thermal processing is applied to literally hundreds of types of manufacturing processes from hams to jerky and many other industries.
There is a wide variety of processes, schedules, and equipment used in cooking areas. Furthermore, the products have unique compositions, e.g., fat and moisture content, ingredients, and other characteristics that can create different responses to the thermal processing technology used. It becomes important to appreciate how different processing systems and schedules affect product lethality, i.e., the capacity to cause death or serious harm to the non-desirable.