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SCADA benefits

31 January 2021

Melissa Topp highlights some of the benefits of SCADA solutions for the food and beverage industry. 

Food and beverage processors have multiple requirements when it comes to automating business processes. Foremost among these is ensuring traceability and accountability – being able to trace products from recipe creation to manufacturing to packaging to distribution and finding ways to reduce waste from the manufacturing process. It is also worth considering how to increase productivity and efficiency without making sacrifices within the first two areas.

The first consideration when looking at automation software solutions is adherence to relevant regulations, such as FDA Title 21 CFR Part 11, which ensures that electronic records and signatures mandated by the FDA are respected.

Another important driver is sustainability, which has become a major factor in consumer choice. Businesses face more pressure from governments to reduce emissions and resource usage. SCADA solutions can be employed to help identify inefficiencies and waste in production processes to save money as well as reduce water and energy usage, for example,

Production quality monitoring is another important task that can be handled by SCADA systems. It can help to manage production quality, creating graphs and trends as well as reporting products.

In addition to these three primary drivers for food and beverage process automation, additional concerns and solutions include:

• Recipe management: SCADA solutions can create and save recipes which speed up food and beverage production. Recipes can be used to monitor material needs and calculate costs of products and batches.

• Reporting: Reporting modules can be employed to push data into report spreadsheets and deliver reports to smart devices or viewed on-demand via an HMI screen – so data is always available when and where required.

HMI/SCADA software can help with the visualisation of data, as well as the monitoring and control of production processes in the food and beverage industry. The addition of further integrated solutions can help create a complete data management solution – making the invisible visible by discovering data within the many locations that it is created, transmitted, or stored and then working to get the most value out of it.

Melissa Topp is senior director of global marketing at ICONICS.

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