Connected Data Helps the Milk Flow

Case Study

Three dairy manufacturers have successfully unlocked their possibilities to ongoing optimisation and improvement

In the dairy industry, the production is dynamic and commodity-driven. To help meet high demand, companies require a shift in thinking about what processes and technologies are used, as well as what new skills are needed. The challenges and opportunities are as varied as the companies themselves. The possibilities are endless, but they all need to begin with the basic step – get connected.
Advanced solutions and smart machines enabled by The Connected Enterprise empower makers to gain connectivity in equipment and insights into operations, resulting in automation with real-time controls.

Operational improvements
Milk Specialties Global needed help to keep up with high demand, therefore they invested in manufacturing intelligence to achieve real-time analytics and insights into its operations.
The company rolled out the FactoryTalk® VantagePoint® enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) software from Rockwell Automation across its three primary raw milk facilities in the US. The EMI software collects, correlates and displays real-time process, business and laboratory data. It has established a “system of record” that produces a set of facts upon which decisions can be made. This has helped justify operational changes and investments that are crucial to helping the company keep up with demands. Following the changes, the system showed improvements – a 7% increase in throughput.
Besides, the new analytics from the manufacturing intelligence system helped the facilities manage their water usage. Workers were able to monitor drain flows and water spikes, keep tabs on water usage and address issues such as leaks.

Continuous improvements
When Agropur Cooperative discovered that its Don Mills facility in Canada could no longer produce seamless data necessary to improve operations, they implemented an advanced solution from Rockwell Automation to modernise the facility. The solution included a set of Allen-Bradley® ControlLogix® controls, PowerFlex® drives and PanelView™ human machine interface (HMI) hardware. Each HMI ran FactoryTalk® View Site Edition software on a virtualised server. They could then convert reams of data into action.
The company also installed FactoryTalk AssetCentre software to manage automation assets and versions control, and keep documentation. The FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI then provided a new level of access to all data from disparate systems as the software exposed what occurred on the plant floor to the workers in charge of making improvements.
The integrated control and information solution provide the facility operators with the data they needed to make informed decisions about their operations. With a modern system, the facility can now get rid of the 2,500 hours of manual data collection each year.

Process Improvement
When Miraka decided to embark on process optimisation, they teamed up with Rockwell Automation to deploy a system to optimise their plant in New Zealand. The company had adopted the Pavilion8® model predictive control (MPC) software platform, which includes modules to control, analyse, monitor, visualise and integrate information and processes, to identify process improvements and maximise production.
The innovative solution increased more than 4% in capacity during the peak season, raised moisture targets by 0.04% and improved protein and fat control to reduce fat plus protein giveaway by more than 100 tons per year. In addition, optimisation of the machines resulted in energy savings of greater than 1% per ton of milk powder during peak production.
By equipping machinery to collect more data at the edge, businesses can gain insights into how to get the most out of their smart machines and predict failures before they happen. The optimised and connected processes in smart factories will deliver high-quality products, improve agility and increase revenue, giving smart manufacturers a competitive edge.


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july 2020
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