Batching Control System

Batching Control System

Food manufacturing of finished foods of almost types include the combining of a variety of ingredients into a “batch” prior to final production.  The entire process, especially key sections, need to be controlled and are commonly automated for efficiency, consistency in quality and cost.  One aspect of the food manufacturing automation is the Batching Control System.  This automation system can control many aspects of the food manufacturing process.  The Batching Control System is a key to business success.

If the food manufacturing process isn’t efficient and is hurting profits, this is where an expert in process control and automation, as well as the food manufacturing process, is needed to assist the food manufacturer. Sterling Systems & Controls recently was asked to help automate various aspects of a food manufacturer’s production, including the addition of an automated batching control system. In this case there are two manufacturing lines that need to be controlled, one for frozen food and the other for parbaked food.  Par-baking is a common process for a bread or dough based food product and wikipedia gives a good explanation of it.

In this automated control system control panels are provided for the control of the batching system feeding both production lines, and individual control panels for both the PLC’s and the starters or VFD’s involved with the ingredient batching production process.  The system architecture (shown above) illustrates this and is just one example of a successful Control System for food manufacturing.

Some important functions of the system include The Recipe Sequence, The Ingredient Screen, Bin Assignment, The Lot Table, The Batching Schedule, Security Manager, The Batching Process and Screen, and Mixer Control.  Below are some example screens for these functions.

Recipe Sequence

The Recipe Sequence is used to create, view and modify steps that define how a formula is made.
RECIPE SEQUENCE SCREEN

 

 

 

 

The Ingredient Screen

The Ingredient Screen displays usage and inventory data for all ingredients. As the batching control system runs the inventory is automatically reduced and usage increased.
INGREDIENT SCREEN

 

 

 

 

Bin Assignment

The Bin Assignment Table is used to associate an ingredient code with a physical location in the system.
BIN ASSIGNMENT

 

 

 

 

The Lot Table

The Ingredient Lot Table displays Ingredient Lot number, inventory, and associated ingredient code.LOT TABLE SCREEN

 

 

 

 

The Batching Schedule Screen

The Batching Schedule Screen defines what the batching control system should make when it is started. There is a separate screen for each mixer (if multiple exists), and the operator can choose which one to view.

BATCHING SCHEDULE SCREEN

 

 

 

 

 

Security Manager

Access to the various functions and features of the system application are controlled by a flexible and powerful security system. The Security Manager can control which features or screens are protected and who can access those features and screens.

SECURITY MANAGER

 

 

 

 

Batching Process and Screen

The Batching Screens provide a graphical display of the equipment used in the batching process. It is divided into multiple sections with each having its own dedicated screen. Detailed information that is specific to the sections may include equipment, batching status and other information.  Sections can include; Status Overview, Mixer(s), Scales, Loadout.

BATCH STATUS SCREEN

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPE STATUS SCREEN

 

 

 

 

 

Batching Mixer Control

The Batching Mixer Screen shows the bulk material mixer and liquid ingredient metering (if any).

MIXER CONTROL SCREEN

 

 

 

 

 

MIXER SCREEN WITH WATER ADJUSTMENTS

 

 

 

 

 

MIXER SCREEN HAND PROMPTING

 

 

 

 

 

 

For further information about this or your very specific Batching Control System application please contact Sterling Systems & Controls at 815-625-0852 or email at sci@sterlingcontrols.com.