Food manufacturing of finished foods of almost all types include the combining of a variety of ingredients into a “batch” prior to baking or processing for final production. The entire process, especially key sections, need to be controlled and are commonly automated for efficiency, as well as consistency in quality and cost. One aspect of the food manufacturing process automation is the Batching Control System. The food process 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/VFD’s involved with the ingredient batching production process. The system architecture (shown above) illustrates this and is just one example of a successful Batching 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.
The Recipe Sequence is used to create, view and modify steps that define how a formula is made.
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.
The Bin Assignment Table is used to associate an ingredient code with a physical location in the system.
The Lot Table
The Ingredient Lot Table displays Ingredient Lot number, inventory, and associated ingredient code.
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.
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.
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.
Batching Mixer Control
The Batching Mixer Screen shows the bulk material mixer and liquid ingredient metering (if any).
Give us a call today to talk about your business and process objectives and see how Sterling Systems & Controls can provide a custom engineered solution. You can reach us by phone at 1-815-625-0852, toll-free in the USA 1-800-257-7214, or by email at email@example.com.
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