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Critical data for food manufacturer

Food manufacturer requires reliable access to critical process data

Critical data for food manufacturer

Our Client

International food manufacturer.

The Problem

In 2008 we were approached by a food manufacturer based in Wales, UK who were increasingly concerned about the difficulty they faced in capturing and presenting (often to Food Standards inspectors) process critical data.

Much of their plant was equipped with legacy controls and they had no common system for collecting and recording key data.

The Solution

A solution was required that could reliably capture, process critical data, from different legacy control systems, store this data securely and present it in appropriate ways for a variety of audiences.
We installed interfaces to process equipment (ovens and cookers) and provided an application that collected the data via Ethernet in real-time. The application provides a tabular and graphical presentation of the process data with alarm capability.

The Benefits

Whereas previously the company relied on manual recordings and unreliable dot matrix printed charts to monitor key process variables they now have a robust and secure method for capturing, storing and presenting critical manufacturing data.

Where historical data would require a manual search of folders and boxes of printed readings they are now available in seconds.

The Detail

A food manufacturer based in Wales, UK were concerned about their existing methods of collecting data from food processing equipment and their ability to provide current and historical data which is typically requested during inspections by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

While basic data was being collected by legacy systems, they realised that if an existing system were to fail they would not be able to repair or replace it directly and they would be left exposed. They also knew that the ability to view live and historical production data (until then only available in printed log form) would provide the opportunity to improve their existing processes.

We worked closely with the local IT team who had a limited budget to identify what their key requirements were. Following a site survey to evaluate the equipment to interface with we developed and integrated a system to meet their needs within their budget.

We deployed a ‘hot backup’ system due to the critical nature of the data and the requirement for high levels of availability.

Simple interactive screens were created to give technicians the ability to calibrate sensors following routine maintenance tasks.

Data continues to be collected by the system which now has several years of data available through graphical trends and reporting tools as and when the user requires it.