By Sheila Kennedy, Contributing Writer
The acquisition of an entirely manual milk powder plant created a unique but welcome challenge for a national dairy producer: how to transform the facility into a fully automated manufacturing operation with improved milk production, advanced water conservation, and modern electronic records and compliance reporting, all while achieving its financial goals.
The outdated plant’s throughput was hampered by challenges with operator traffic flow, product storage capacity and the timely unloading of milk. Its legacy milk handling, processing and cleaning systems were driven by labor-intensive processes, introducing the potential for inconsistencies in product quality, yield, and traceability.
The paper-based records and chart recorders used to track crucial Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) compliance were vulnerable to loss, damage and human error.
To solve these problems, the dairy producer engaged the services of St. Louis, Missouri-based Rockwell Automation Gold System Integrator Malisko Engineering, who helped design, develop, document and implement state-of-the-art process control and automation solutions along with electronic data collection, storage and reporting capabilities. The difference between the before and after state is extraordinary and so are the benefits being realized at the plant.
Performance Optimization Opportunities
The dairy producer targeted manual processes for replacement and articulated high-level guidance on desired process control and reporting requirements. For example, reliance on paper records for PMO compliance had to be eliminated.