• 1400 S. Sherman St, Suite 116, Richardson, TX 75081

Food & Beverage Manufacturer Doubles Production with Automation

As the bakery Ingredients industry incorporates more automation on the production floor, product dispensing, mixing, and blending systems are crucial to successful process automation. Mixing, blending, and dispensing of bakery ingredients can be a serious challenge for high volume production since each machine provides a highly specialized function. Often each machine is segregated and do not communicate for automated movement of product flow. Also, several aspects of the manufacturing of blending bakery ingredients is done manually by operators. Therefore, the operator controls a major percentage of the manufacturing process. IndustLabs has a develop a unique solution for high volume production of blending, mixing, and dispensing of bakery ingredients via automatic systems and custom software for optimizing production outputs.

Customer Benefits

  • Automatic dispensing, mixing, and blending of bakery Ingredients
  • Factory was able to operate the dispensing, mixing and blending of ingredients with 1 Operator for 2 production lines
  • Double the Production Output of existing Factory by Optimizing of Processes
  • Save customer the cost of building 1 new factory
  • Integration with existing packaging systems
  • Convert all Manual Process into Automated System
  • Simple controls and ease of use in production

Technologies

  • Allen Bradley CompactLogix Series PLC
  • Allen Bradley PanelView Plus Graphical Terminal
  • DeviceNet Network Communications
  • RSLogix 5000 PLC Programming Software
  • Mettler Toledo Load Cell Controller for weight dispensing

 

Solution

As a leading automation software service provider, IndustLabs was able to support the deployment of a custom blends of bakery ingredients system responsible for managing product in transit from dispensing, mixing, blending, to packaging. In partnership with mechanical design and service providers, IndustLabs served as the primary software developer for control of the Allen Bradley PLC and HMI Platform.

By developing flexible and reusable bakery blending, mixing, and dispensing controls, IndustLabs rapidly supported the successful deployment and commissioning of a mission-critical system. Before IndustLabs was commission for the project, the blending, mixing, and dispensing of the bakery ingredients was controlled by hand. The production line was staffed by 5 operators that would manually load the bakery ingredients into mixing equipment manually by pre determined weighted silos of 1000lbs of bakery ingredients. Also, the operators would have to keep track of the correct mixing time of the ingredients. And finally the operators would have to manually feed all bakery ingredients to packaging equipment. The management team of the factory realized that this process was costing revenue losses in terms of bad quality, rejects of product, high labor cost, and low production output.

IndustLabs developed a custom automated solution for the dispensing, blending, and mixing of bakery ingredients for 2 production lines. IndustLabs custom solution increased the production output of the bakery ingredients from 14,000 lbs. per production line per day to up to 30,000 lbs. per day. Doubling the manufacturing output utilizing the same system and same production lines. Prior to the IndustLabs proposal the customer was in the process of evaluating a second facility to build in order to meet customer demand.

In summary, IndustLabs develop custom software for the dispensing, mixing, and blending of high production of bakery ingredients. IndustLabs software solutions provided numerous benefits for the bakery,  mixing and dispending industry, but they also require a great deal of care and expertise to deploy successfully. IndustLabs goes beyond automating manufacturing process and offers expertise in optimizing production by utilizing well plan and executed manufacturing software. IndustLabs is committed to providing expert solutions in dynamic manufacturing environments by helping reduce risk in the deployment of complex custom solutions. Learn more about our Manufacturing Automation solutions.

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Industrial Automation to Save the Day

What is Industrial Automation?

Industrial Automation is the use of control system technology and engineering to make the production process more efficient. It helps create consistency in your production line, streamlines your production from start to finish, and maximizes the efficiency at your facility.

We are all impacted by industrial automation, from the cars we drive, to the food we eat, to the smart phones we use, to the shoes we wear. There is virtually no product in the modern world that was not impacted by industrial automation. It also helps us afford those products and services.

The development of Industrial Automation itself, is very recent in our history and it has its roots in the industry revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. It has helped transform countries from agricultural economies to industrialized powerhouses. It has catapulted small start-ups to some of the largest and most profitable companies on the planet. All of these companies started with an idea and were able to successfully carry it out by producing quality products.

We all have great ideas, but the implementation of those ideas is the difficult part. That is where Industrial Automation can help. You may have a quality product, but if you can’t replicate the same level of quality, at a specific scale, and time frame, you will not be able to make a profit from your ideas and work.

Before automation became industrialized, the key components were already being developed. The creation of interchangeable parts, the use of electric power, and the creations of standards in product lines. All of these aspects of Industrial Automation are essential to have a competitive business. Consistency in each and every one of the products produced at your facility crucial to your sucess. Inefficiencies in the production process can lead to delays, and over time their costs can have a deeper impact to your bottom line. Innovations in product creation such as the assembly line have helped car manufacturers thrive in the early 20th century.

We may look at our innovative past and forget that the present is just as innovative as it was then. We need to keep in mind the constant change taking place. Today large groups of factory workers have been replaced by robotic arms thanks to advances in this field.

Changes are constant and rapid, robotics will soon be updated and enhanced with data analytics. Instead of a variety of different systems, all systems will be interconnected to produce maximum efficiency. The data revolution is already here. There are many other nascent technologies that will create the future of tomorrow. It is very possible our fuel sources will experience a dramatic shift in the very near future. Whether we agree or disagree, government and private investors are shifting towards green technologies.

How are you preparing your company for the future? Innovations can mean the difference between a profitable quarter, or a loss. In a world of razor-thin profit margins, tariffs, globalization and constant technological advances, it is of utmost importance to be as lean, efficient, and flexible as possible.  Industlabs (Industrial Labs) is dedicated to your success and is ready to bring industrial automation to you. We believe in a consultative approach to industrial automation. Our experience in various sectors and industries help us bring those insights into your factory or facility. Whether your needs involve incorporating PLC controls, printing, bottling, metal forging , semi conductor, packaging, robotics, water filtration, waste water treatment,  or Variable Frequency Drives (VFD), we can offer solutions for you.

Right now, at this very moment, there are small and large adjustments that can be made to improve your existing infrastructure. What is your production process like? What changes would you like to see incorporated? Are you maximizing the square footage in your facility? Let us bring our industrial engineering and industrial automation expertise to your facility. Here are five key service areas that you can expect from us as we evaluate your process:

  1. Technology.
  2. Safety and standards.
  3. Full – Turnkey [Hardware (control panels and various control brands)], software (custom made code), and services (field services)
  4. Consultative approach to the industrial automation.
  5. High quality solutions and experience.

At Industlabs we follow three basic principles when it comes to the development of your systems: See, think, and do. Your systems will be able to adjust based on what it ‘sees’. It will be able to “think” about the data, and then will act to maximize efficiency.

In many cases, we can evaluate and upgrade your existing systems to add value to the tools that you’ve already invested. There is a place for industrial automation in every aspect of your business. You can streamline your products, create economies of scale, address the inefficiencies and maximize the proficiency.

Let us be your partner in taking your company to the next level, or simply ensuring that you are operating at your best capacity. We will explore various technologies for your situation. Let us help you maintain optimum safety and quality standards. Whether it is Hardware or customized software, we are ‘Your Automation Specialist’.

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Case Study: IndustLabs Reduces Product Waste in Automated Manufacturing

Industry: Food & Beverage

Customer Profile: 

Quality Cup Systems, which also operates under the name Tazza Pronto, is located in Tyler, Texas. This organization primarily operates in the Coffee Extracts business / industry within the Food and Kindred Products sector. This organization has been operating for approximately 4 years. Quality Cup Systems is estimated to generate $21.4 million in annual revenues, and employs approximately 150 people at this single location.

Challenge: 

Waste of up to 10% of product (coffee grounds) due to the improper seal in a single cup coffee serving pod (i.e. the small single serving coffee containers used by machines like Keurigs.) This refers specifically to the lid that prevents the ground coffee contents from spilling during the automated process whereby each container is filled and sealed. This customer faced many challenges, including maintain contractual obligations with Wal-Mart.

  1. Facility in Tyler, TX was running two production lines 24 Hours Per Day 7 Days a Week of Single Cup Coffee Containers producing 10,000 cups per line per day
  2. For every batch of Single Cups of Coffee containers, the company was throwing away 10% of product due to improper seal of coffee cup container.
  3. The company was losing in excess of $30,000 per month in waste product

 

How product efficiency was achieved:

IndustLabs was able to eliminate 90% of the waste of the Single Cup Coffee Filled Operation by implementing a precise temperature control system. The temperature control system involved 32 Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) feedback loops for temperature control, a Human-to-Machine interface, and all custom software to operate and run equipment. Before IndustLabs temperature control system Tazza Pronto was operating all 32 Coffee Fillers/Sealers with a +/-15 degrees temperature fluctuations. Due to the high variability in the temperature system Tazza Pronto’s product defect and rejects was at an all-time high causing them a $30,000 lost each month.  The temperature control system that IndustLabs designed can control temperature set point within +/- 0.01 of a degree of temperature variability from set point. Our temperature control system allowed Tazza Pronto to eliminate the high temperature fluctuations therefore the product defects and rejects were drastically reduced to below two percent of production output.

Results:

  1. Able to Control all 32 Individual Coffee Fillers / Sealers independent from one another via Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) feedback loop.
  2. Designed and Installed a touchscreen program for user interface of machine
  3. Our temperature control system can control temperature setpoint with in +/- 0.01 of a degree of temperature variability from set point.
  4. Implemented auto tune features to the temperature control feedback loop which eliminates the time to tune each Coffee Filler/Sealer.
  5. Eliminated the $30,000 lost per month of wasted product.
  6. The customer was operating improved equipment with very minimum down time.
  7. System RIO was paid off in less than 6 months of saving
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