A vastly increasing number of food and beverage manufacturers have started incrementally upgrading their facilities in recent years. Typically, this process entails altering their production lines into a complex network of distributed control systems, namely (DCSs) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. With that in mind, integrating a mix of DCS and SCADA systems into one master platform comes with a multitude of benefits that many food manufacturers are just now realizing.
SCADA systems have been in use for some time now, and the earliest versions were independent. They provided no connectivity to other systems and were originally conceived for operating and monitoring factory production. The latest evolution of SCADA capabilities, however, means that you’ll encounter a new generation of more advanced systems that enable even greater efficiency. These upgraded solutions can remotely monitor and control your manufacturing operations with coded signals across varying communication channels while logging your critical data for auditing purposes.
But the increased supply of operational data isn’t without its unique challenges. DCS systems process a large amount of current information. The failure of just one controller, however, affects more than one loop and typically requires a skilled operator or engineer to mitigate the situation and minimize downtime.
In food production, as you’re aware, any period of downtime often has catastrophic effects that could result in permanently lost business. Fortunately, in light of some of these new challenges posed by segregated SCADA and DCS industrial automation solutions, unifying all your operations under a single umbrella is the key to improving efficiency while lowering operating expenses.
The accelerated rate of technological change and innovation along with rapidly changing consumer demands have forced food manufacturers to adapt quickly to retain their competitive edge. Consumers expect traceability throughout the entire supply chain, meaning the need for real-time continuous data is vital. Digital transformation in the food industry remains driven by these two fundamental trends.
So, what do these shifts mean? And how can a move toward an integrated digital operating environment benefit food manufacturers? Below, we’ll explore the implications of the latest food manufacturing technology and how leading-edge industrial automation solutions from EZSoft can benefit your operations.
Modernizing Your Facility Without Sacrificing Quality or Raising Costs
Modern food processing systems and their engineers are constantly seeking ways to increase efficiency and reduce your total cost of ownership without sacrificing quality. As processes change and legacy equipment ages, achieving the ideal control scenario can be a challenge. Investing in the latest technology may be necessary to fulfill your strategic goals, and should always be done in full consideration of the intended improvements and their long-term cost benefits.
While many industrial-scale bakeries continue to support manual operations, this, unfortunately, hinders their potential and makes it nearly impossible to experience the increase in production consistency, not to mention improved data collection, that automation provides.
As an experienced systems integrator specializing in industrial automation software and information controls, we have the right solutions to bring your manufacturing system up to date. Our proprietary ControlSuite™, Alarm Manager, and Batch Manager can altogether revolutionize your approach to the food production process while keeping it in compliance with national and local regulations. Our industrial automation software enables a more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective means of running your food manufacturing plant.
ControlSuite™ works within the process control systems, providing an efficient framework and engine for processing alarms. Alarm Manager, on the other hand, makes it easy to configure system alarms using ControlBuilder®, and provides an interface for external devices such as HMIs and SCADAs. Meanwhile, Batch Manager provides the framework and engine for line and unit-level control.
Batch Manager allows your recipes to be either stored locally within the controller or downloaded from a Microsoft SQL database using Recipe Manager™. This web-based database application is highly scalable and adheres to GMP regulations. It is, furthermore, compatible with GAMP5 and 21CFR11 guidelines, making it essential for developing a sufficiently modernized manufacturing facility.
Energy Consumption Reduction With More Efficient Designs
Modern automation software is rapidly transforming the food manufacturing sector. The technology continues to update traditional production processes, increase flexibility, and, most importantly, it lowers your operating costs. The latest custom automated food production equipment designs deliver process control solutions tailored to the specific needs of your factory, providing crucial efficiency and accuracy in every aspect of your operations.
These tools and technologies can minimize operational costs in the food industry by cutting the time and effort required to keep your manual operations going. This in turn improves production capacity, eliminating delays and ensuring a reliable output. Automation of bakery production processes also provides superior accuracy and precision while fostering increased adaptability, allowing you to adjust your operations quickly and easily while meeting abrupt changes in consumer demand.
Each of the aforementioned benefits is achievable only through proper equipment design. The automated bakery equipment design process will usually involve analysis and consultation with your clients and a strategic selection of components and solutions that work best for your specific applications. The overall goal is to provide the most effective and efficient control system, establishing the necessary data communication platform to provide the best quality ingredients with the utmost consistency.
The control system design must also provide a high degree of flexibility, permitting modified production processes following organic growth or changes in production scenarios. Modern-day automated bakery equipment is, likewise, engineered with a focus on energy consumption reduction, increased versatility, and cost-effectiveness while still delivering top-notch product outcomes.
The final design for such automated systems can range from a complete factory-wide installation with decentralized control and Fieldbus connectivity to a simple cabinet enclosure that controls the entire process. Regardless of the size of the solution, all components must combine to create a flexible, reliable, and cost-efficient control system.
Looking to Modernize Your Commercial Bakery?
EZSoft’s suite of industrial automation products and information control solutions help food manufacturing businesses like yours progress to the next level. Our Device Manager and Phase Manager tools provide optimal insight into your operations, letting you develop reliable and consistent processes to meet increasing customer demand. Both tools support business-friendly interfaces to external HMI and SCADA software, making them easy to integrate.
For more on how our automation software can help you meet your long-term strategic growth objectives, reach out to one of our food manufacturing specialists now by dialing (484) 568-5040. Or, leave us your contact information on our site, and we’ll have an automation specialist respond back right away.