Supervision in the world of Food & Beverage

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Productivity flexibility, production line control, traceability and greater hygienic safety is now possible thanks to supervision systems. I4.0-oriented to reduce costs in energy and production management.

The national Industry 4.0 plan launched by the Italian government has boosted investments made by Italian companies in technology significantly. Food & Beverage companies, henceforth referred to as F&B, are among those who have profited by making their move in a particular way. Made in Italy has always been a guarantee of quality in the F&B industry. Exports have risen (for example 1 packet of pasta out of 3 is Italian) and control systems have become a ‘must have’ to increase efficiency and optimize productivity. Progea’s presence has grown strong in this sector due to its technology that is not only ideal for the needs of the F&B industry but also for all other industries with I4.0 related projects.
Different Machinery and complex production lines

F&B companies usually have machines of different makes and suppliers running in their production lines. For example, a salami packaging line is composed of an automatic slicing machine, molding machine and a weight control machine of different makes. In addition to this, there are other machines such as the dicing machine which are islands in their own right disconnected from the main production lines. When you work with heterogeneous machines like these, you need to use a technology that connects them to each other and collect production data specific to performing analysis that will allow you to improve the performance of your production lines. In order to achieve this, machine builders should be collaborative towards those who develop projects of this type by indicating precisely where data to connect to is located. Unfortunately, this is not always as easy as it seems. System Integrators have to be good at finding alternative ways to those that should be used, such as direct queries in certain PLC memory areas using a specific protocol or OPC UA.
Basically, process automation and control are now fundamental to the F&B industry for traceability, data retention, anomaly and non-compliancy detection as well as managing cold chains. Automation is already being used in pasta production and more specifically in the dough process where doser, pasteurizer, mixer and dryer machinery is used. Analogous to the pasta sector, dough mixers, ovens, conveyors, loading and unloading systems, coolers, dosers and sugar dispensers are also used amongst other machinery in the bakery sector.

Audit and Traceability

However, it is always necessary to install a system that permits products to be traced.  The product date and lot number should always be shown in the section relating to the product process period and lot number together with the electronic signature of the operator responsible and validation time stamp issued by the manager if required. The procedures should ensure that no errors are made and that the signatures are unique and traceable to their owners.  The records must be stored in a safe place and retained for an adequate period of time.  The must also be protected against unauthorized access.  This can all be done by using Progea’s SCADA platform which fully satisfies all the requirements of the CFR21 Part 11 norm.

Che soluzioni offre Progea?

The new Movicon.NExT software platform is correlated with the Pro.Lean and Pro.Energy function modules is the ideal tool for Industry 4.0 projects, as it offers Connectivity, Supervision and data collection solutions that are quick to implement.  Amongst other things, the platform has already been singled out and chosen by important production groups.  An important project has recently been started up in a confectionery manufacturing company. The project involves the supervision of the entire plant from a main server and various clients located in different points of the factory.  It connects all the Krapfen and ice cream production lines and fridge systems.  All the collected production data are sent to the managerial system and the management offices.  All the production data and plant systems can be viewed and monitored over the web with a browser or using the mobile device app.

The  Progea platform is positioned between the field, otherwise referred to as Operational technology (OT) and the managerial system, otherwise referred to as Information Technology (IT) and provides a suite of protocols to connect to all the field devices.  As future-proof projects are designed to last on a long term basis, the platform’s technology offers the best scalability and openness that is fundamental to business management to allow this.  As a scalable platform you can invest little on your project at the beginning and then integrate all the machinery and managerial systems you need as time goes on.   As an open platform you can insert third-party operating modules or applications effortlessly using the plug-in technology.  The OPC UA transmission technology is the most currently used for open and modern systems of today.

La reportistica integrata

 

A variety of tools are provided for performing Business Analytics, such as signal lists, detailed objects, various types of analytical charts and infographics.  Data analysis is performed using built-in reports that can be customized and exported in the most common formats used such as PDF, XLS, HTML, CSV and, TEXT. Among the analysis tools provided you will also find the preventive maintenance management whereby messages can be sent by SMS, Email or VOIP, to personnel to inform them of any foreseeable problems so that they can intervene and resolve them as quick as possible.

Are we ready for Augmented Reality?

Progea is constantly focused on new technologies and has integrated and manages devices for Augmented Reality in its platforms.

The augmented reality technology is continuously evolving.  La realtà aumentata è una tecnologia in continua evoluzione. In simple terms, it represents the user’s view of reality superimposed with artificial and virtual information.  In this way, those who wear augmented reality devices can see their surrounding environment superimposed with a series of information at their total discretion to use or change according to what they are looking at.  An operator in charge of production line or machine maintenance can therefore home in on a motor, for instance, and automatically receive technical information on operating times, coil status or parameters to set.  By wearing these wearable devices, operators have their hands free to perform maintenance interventions while receiving all the information they need to carry out their work.

Mauro Brandoli

Key Accounts Manager Progea srl

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