• 1400 S. Sherman St, Suite 116, Richardson, TX 75081
Double Door Electrical Control Panel

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 does not communicate for automated movement of product flow. Also, several aspects of the manufacturing of blending bakery ingredients are done manually by operators. Therefore, the operator controls a major percentage of the manufacturing process. IndustLabs developed 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 the 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 developed 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 dispensing 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 a well planned 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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Why Is System Integration Important for Your Business?

System integrators create direct lines of communication between automated systems that allow plant equipment to more efficiently communicate with operators and other machinery. Many industries, especially those that rely on information technology, computer networking, and automated machinery, implement system integration to achieve more efficient processes.

Integrating your systems also helps make devices compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT). This helps you better coordinate between systems and appliances to get an edge in your business practices. Doing so will also make your automated manufacturing processes more efficient, as integrated machinery can more effectively communicate and resolve issues and information across the system without having to rely on operators.

Understanding Industrial Control System Integration

Industrial control systems help automate production processes, and integration often functions to bring these control systems closer together by combining the workloads of each individual component, including software infrastructure and network security.

One of the most prevalent types of system integration is supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), which combines software and hardware elements to allow companies to control and monitor their industrial processes locally or remotely. These systems also facilitate real-time data processing and monitoring.

System integration centers on the use of electrical control panels. These panels include customizable components like programmable logic controllers (PLCs), variable frequency drives (VFDs), and silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) power thermal systems.

Types of System Integration

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Many methods exist to achieve optimal system integration. We’ve listed a few of the most notable ones below:

  • SCADA integration: Web HMIs allow you to create user interfaces that can interact with real-time server data, which makes various applications available on any device that can connect to the internet. HMI systems can be integrated with SCADA systems that are already in use.
  • Automation components: Customizable components incorporated in each control panel can automate machine-level tasks, such as motor speed, start/stop operations, and other intelligence-based operations.
  • PLC: System integrators can develop, program, and configure PLCs and remote terminal unit (RTU)-based control systems in industrial applications like wastewater collection. Efficiently integrated PLC technology can automate flare stack operations within a production oil field by using sensors within the stack to feed data to the system. This helps evaluate key performance indicators (KPIs) that assess gas and pressure buildup within wells. By leveraging the KPIs that detect ignition failure in the stack, these procedures result in increased productivity and profits.
  • VFD: Clean-powered VFDs perform well in extreme weather conditions, including deserts and mountainous regions. The benefits of VFDs include:
    • Compensation for changing irrigation demands, which lowers energy costs
    • Reduced maintenance costs
    • Increased productivity, which improves crop quality

VFDs most commonly occur in water pump systems in wastewater treatment facilities. These systems monitor pressure to help control the pump speed in an attempt to maintain optimal operating conditions. Efficiency upgrades, including variable speed drives, can help subsidize up to half of a project’s total cost.

How System Integration Benefits Manufacturing Automation

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Integrating your automated manufacturing systems results in a smoother workflow and more efficient production processes. Allowing your production machinery to communicate between different areas will help your overall system better navigate conditions within your plant as they emerge.

For example, if the system notices a defective process in one area, it can automatically adjust its components to successfully navigate around the area. Additionally, integrated production machinery can automatically calibrate itself to conform to new production parameters should your needs change over time.

What to Expect From a System Integrator

There are many system integrators out there, but finding one that can understand the unique needs of your facility is essential to creating a positive working relationship. Good systems integrators aren’t afraid to take the time to listen to their clients’ needs. Your own engineers will always be the ones most familiar with your facility’s needs, so it’s important to work with a provider that puts your goals ahead of its ambitions.

Industrial System Integration With IndustLabs

IndustLabs brings more than a decade of experience in building custom automation solutions for manufacturing partners across a number of industries. Contracting us for your next system integration project will help you

  • Reduce costs
  • Save time
  • Eliminate waste
  • Increase the scale of your manufacturing process

food-beverage-k-cups-manufacturingWe bring a time-tested track record of quality service to all our projects. For example, we worked with a coffee extracts business called Tazza Pronto (located in Tyler, TX) to help them achieve more efficient automated processes. They chose to work with us due to our proficiency in working with SCR power thermal systems. Because temperature regulation plays such an important role in their line of work, it was important to find effective ways for their systems to automatically determine the best temperature settings for each stage of the production process.

SCR systems control the flow of electricity to a facility’s heating system from the greater electrical grid. Knowing when to alternate temperatures in industrial ovens, furnaces, and other thermal processing equipment results in better products and less waste. Working with Tazza Pronto’s engineers to determine the best heating strategies for their coffee grounds and extracts, we were able to reduce up to 90% of the waste associated with their production processes!

Quality System Integration at IndustLabs

At IndustLabs, we help customers automate their production processes to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. We do so by taking advantage of the latest technological advances in system integration.

Our solutions-focused domain experts will assist you with designing, building, installing, and maintaining new and retrofitted automation systems, helping deliver integrated solutions for your applications and processes. If you would like to learn more about our innovative methods and techniques, contact us and request a quote today!

 

 

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Industrial Automation to Save the Day

manufacturing line automation

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 smartphones 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 industrial 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.

Production Automation

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 success. Inefficiencies in the production process can lead to delays, and over time their costs can have a deeper impact on your bottom line. Innovations in product creation such as the assembly line have helped car manufacturers thrive in the early 20th century.

industrial automation roboticsThe Future of Industrial Automation: Robotics, Data Analytics, and Green Technologies

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, semiconductor, packaging, robotics, water filtration, wastewater 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’. Contact Us today.

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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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