Plant Automation in Food ManufacturingHarvill Industries
I’d like to put the focus on the process side of food manufacturing for a minute. Who executes your company’s specific manufacturing processes better than your most efficient employees, with or without automation? If you said “no one”, then you answered correctly.
These great workers have a tremendous amount of pride in producing the best products of the highest quality for your company, while doing it in the most efficient way possible. They like to take ownership of the creation process and they report often to the QA labs and maintenance teams.
Your best operators streamline your operation — but your best operators can’t be at the plant 24 hours a day. Other less experienced or knowledgeable employees will need to fill in, and the plant manager will expect the same consistent high quality and output goals to be met. If a food manufacturer is looking “where” to apply automation “effectively” to streamline their operation, then simply grab your best operators and examine the areas that have the greatest effect on consistent food quality and the output rate of high-quality salable product.
Your best operators and your QA lab will quickly tell you where the most sensitive parts of the process exist. Apply automation at these critical places in the process and experience the greatest impact on streamlining your process. The investment might include installing additional instrumentation, so your control system can “see,” “touch” and “feel” what goes on in the process in order to make sound decisions just like your best operators. The investment most likely will also include automatic data collection and information display of key performance indicators (KPIs) and critical control parameters (CCPs). Working as a collective team can help identify the areas to apply automation to most effectively streamline the plant’s unique operation.