BAK Food Equipment

BAK Food Equipment

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Don’t Get Stranded on An Automation Island

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You’ve finally bought into automating a portion of your food processing operation. That’s great! We’re excited about the gains you’re about to see. But do you know what you should keep in mind now to ensure success in the long run?

All too often, we see processors focus on their first automation project in a vacuum, fixating on the single piece(s) that they’re implementing. But if you put this piece of equipment in today, will it work well with the conveyor you’re planning to install in two years?

Once you’ve bought into the notion of automating your food processing operations, the next most important step is to step back and take a holistic view of your process. Using a holistic approach in the early stages will help you understand where your process is, where it’s going, and what the future could hold. It’s essential to consult with a supplier, like BAK Food Equipment, during these initial planning stages to avoid creating disparate systems that cannot communicate or integrate with each other. These are known as islands of automation, and they could cause you a big headache down the road.

Organizations that don’t properly plan their automation projects are often faced with the challenge of bridging those islands of automation to integrate their process data together. When a facility is broken into several automation islands, it can be difficult to develop a clear view of a process. As automation systems and software have become more advanced, bridging these islands of automation has become easier, but it’s still best to avoid creating them.

At BAK Food Equipment, we pride ourselves on working hand-in-hand with food processors to review each unique process and deliver solutions that are right for your operation today, tomorrow, and into the future. In fact, our equipment is designed to allow for integration with other systems, and can include options such as:

  • Modern microprocessor control systems with communication over industrial network protocols
  • 7-inch touch-screen control panels
  • Industrial PCs
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) packages
  • Remote diagnostics
  • RFID wireless identification systems

NOMA, formerly Nowicki Food Machinery System Data - 800

Why Should My Systems Communicate?

The 21st century has brought immense changes to the way food processors manage their operations. Data can drive so many operational decisions, but only if it’s available. When all pieces of equipment in a food processing facility can share data with each other, processors gain a comprehensive view of their overall operations, allowing for data-driven decisions that increase uptime, production volumes, and overall quality.

Communication is also an enabler for predictive maintenance. To avoid machine breakdowns during peak production, data analysis of machine conditions can help predict when a failure might occur, so maintenance can schedule repair to avoid peak production times.

For example, VPN gateways facilitate data collection from programmable logic controllers in NOMA, formerly Nowicki Food Machinery equipment, which enables remote diagnostics by the technical service department. As a result, NOMA, formerly Nowicki Food Machinery machines can efficiently and proactively analyze the process, minimizing operational downtime and product losses, while also increasing product quality and optimizing the process. NOMA, formerly Nowicki Food Machinery can even set up automatic notifications and part orders based off this data.

Integrations don’t stop with maintenance. When integrated with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES), NOMA, formerly Nowicki Food Machinery machines can provide data about machine health, production, and even operational business. Via MQTT protocol, NOMA, formerly Nowicki Food Machinery equipment can send that data into your cloud system — like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud — for processing and analysis from anywhere in the world.

If you’re considering automated food processing equipment, contact us now to find out where to get started.

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