Improving Quality for Food and Beverage Producers

Emerson's Christian Grossenbacher

Consumers have come to expect only the highest quality when it comes to the food and beverages they purchase. Automation has driven the variability of the products way down over the years. But even with these improvements, the average food & beverage producer takes almost a full day to respond to shipments with quality issues.

The key to improving quality is to measure quality parameters on-line to address issues before off-spec products are created. Avoiding the quality excursions during production also heads off costly recalls after the fact.

I caught up with Emerson’s Christian Grossenbacher about ways food & beverage manufacturers can better address these quality issues. He described three areas to help ensure on-spec products and guard against costly losses.  Continue Reading

How Digital Transformation Initiatives Affect Existing Facilities

This past fall, the AIChE organization for chemical engineering professionals held an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Applications and Industry 4.0 Forum as part of their 2018 Annual Meeting.

Emerson’s Tim Olsen (center) moderated a video recorded session with Dow’s Leo Chiang (right) and MIT’s Richard Braatz (left). This 5:10 session, Predictions for “Industry 4.0”, explored how digital transformation initiatives will affect existing manufacturing facilities. Continue Reading

Shifting Toward Real-Time Predictive Manufacturing

Last week we shared a post about the COP24 conference and the need for more sustainable manufacturing. Emerson’s Chris Hamlin also attended this conference held in Poland in early December. In an Energetyka 24 video interview, Chris explained how we are now undergoing a huge, transformative shift where data and information are available almost anywhere you want it, in whatever quantity you need, at almost zero cost.

These technology advancements mean that manufacturers can fundamentally change the way they run their manufacturing operations. Instead of current practices of reacting to emerging conditions in the process, experts can now watch conditions in real time with advanced analytics to help assess what might occur. Continue Reading

Fostering Organizational Collaboration in the Life Sciences

Emerson's Will Goetz

Emerson's Ron Rossbach

As automation technologies continue to incorporate commercial off the shelf technologies and cybersecurity concerns grow, the need for manufacturers’ Information Technology (IT), Operational Technology (OT) and Quality teams to collaborate grows.

In a PharmTech article, Improving Production: How IT, OT, and Quality Can Collaborate, Emerson’s Will Goetz and Ron Rossbach describe how the different groups must work together to use the data from the plant to improve performance.

They open citing an IndustryWeek survey that:

…suggests a need to more closely align IIoT [Industrial Internet of Things] pilots with business objectives. According to the survey (2), 60% of respondents were exploring or investing in IIoT pilot projects, but only 5% said they were investing against a clear business case for how to best implement the technology. Another problem, which amplifies the challenges, is that these projects were often not assigned a clear functional owner within the business—28% of respondents cited operations as leaders in IIoT, followed by IT and engineering at 24% each.

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Improving Food and Beverage Manufacturing Reliability

Food & beverage manufacturers are driven by consumers not only to maintain high levels of consistency with existing products, but also to develop and deliver new, experiential products.

Emerson's Dennis Belanger

Maintaining consistency and running new production lines require reliable operations to stay competitive and deliver returns to fund new developments. Emerson’s Dennis Belanger , a reliability expert and member of the Operational Certainty Consulting team, shared ways food & beverage manufacturers can increase overall operational reliability.

Increasing reliability means reducing the frequency, duration and impact of planned and unplanned events. Important in these reliability improvements is capture data from the production lines and convert this data into enhanced insights through advanced analytics to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and reduce downtime.

Dennis highlighted opportunities in three areas: flow instrumentation and performance monitoring, condition monitoring of assets, and building a culture of reliability through changes in work practices and incorporation of new technologies. Continue Reading