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Brand owner viewpoints at Automation Conference & Expo

Chobani, Land O’Lakes, and Pinnacle Foods will headline the program at this don’t-miss conference on all things automation and controls.

EXTENDING PLANT MONITORING AND CONTROL CAPABILITIES WITH MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES AT CHOBANI
Hugh Roddy, Head of Global Engineering, Chobani
All manufacturing activities can be simply and efficiently monitored in real time at all Chobani plants thanks to Ignition, an industrial application platform from Inductive Automation. Inductive Automation refers to Ignition as “the new SCADA” because unlike SCADA software of the past, which tends to be built on technology sold under restrictive licensing arrangements, Ignition is modular, Web-based, and scalable. According to Inductive Automation, while old SCADA offerings might lock an enterprise into an expensive cycle of replacing obsolete technology, Ignition lets an enterprise expand its use of new technologies to increase innovation. From tracking downtime, to scheduling production runs, to track and trace, there’s something for just about everyone in the suite of modules that Ignition comprises. “The opportunities for what this system can do are endless,” says Chobani’s Hugh Roddy.

THE OEE STARTER TOOL AND OEE BENEFIT CALCULATOR: PRIORITIZING IMPROVEMENTS THAT DELIVER MEASURABLE RESULTS
Mark Hanley, Senior Asset Reliability Manager, Land O’Lakes

Another dairy industry representative scheduled for the AC&E is Mark Hanley of Land O’Lakes. Chair of the Operational Reliability Solutions Group of PMMI’s OpX—a community of manufacturing, engineering, and operations professionals dedicated to sharing and collaborating their way to operational excellence—Hanley has been deeply involved in developing the OEE Benefit Calculator and the OEE Starter Tool. His presentation at AC&E will highlight key benefits of both.

The OEE Starter Tool, says Hanley, is all about quickly calculating the size of the prize. He explains: “What it amounts to is it’s an inexpensive and convenient way to be able to go to top management and say with some certainty that this is the savings we can expect to achieve. If management likes what they see, you can move right into the actual OEE Benefit Tool, which is an OEE tracking and improvement program that provides a much richer and detailed look.”

Hanley is a big believer in the pervasively beneficial impact that improved OEE can bring to the enterprise. Its value extends to areas such as customer service and delivery, quality variation and defect loss, raw material scrap reduction, labor efficiency, and equipment repair and maintenance cost reduction. “Everybody talks about being able to accurately know the savings you’ll get from a project rather than guessing,” says Hanley. “Here’s a tool that brings you the answers. Any Consumer Packaged Goods company out there that sees this should jump right on it.”

Those interested in taking a good look at either the OEE Starter Tool or the OEE Benefit Calculator should visit www.opxleadershipnetwork.org. “Just enter company name, your name, and your email,” says Hanley.

INSIDE THE CONVERGENCE OF INFORMATION AND OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGY AT PINNACLE FOODS
Matt Rung, Corporate Controls Engineer, Pinnacle Foods

Last but not least among the prominent speakers scheduled for presentations at the AC&E is Matt Rung of Parsippany, NJ-based Pinnacle Foods, owner of such iconic brands as Wish-Bone, Log Cabin, Duncan Hines, and Birds Eye to name just a few. When Pinnacle acquired the Wish-Bone brand from Unilever, the whole idea was to greatly automate the processing and packaging operations behind the well known brand. What that meant on the packaging side of things is two new PET filling and packaging lines engineered by Sidel. What it meant from a controls and automation perspective is a uniquely successful virtualized infrastructure where three host servers run multiple virtual machines. Essentially it’s a gateway-type concept that bridges the gap between Operations Technology and Information Technology.

Playing a key role in creating this gateway approach was ECS Solutions. What ECS and Rung came up with is an SQL server-based solution that is integrated with Pinnacle’s ERP system in such a way that production orders migrate electronically from ERP out to the processing and packaging lines. So the packaging lines know the formula and batch ID coming to them from the kitchen. And the packaging line operators know which bottles, labels, and caps need to be made ready. Once a pallet (packaging) or batch (processing) is completed , the system collects data on raw goods consumed so that the ERP system can be updated in real time This networked connectivity extends to the forklift operators who move pallets from the packaging lines to the warehouse, and a warehouse management application tells the driver where to put the pallet. The overall system was designed from the forefront for lot traceability.

For detailed information about the Automation Conference & Expo, including registration information, visit www.theautomationconference.com

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