Automation Helps Manufacturer Increase Production by 35% and Ensure Consistent Quality
A division of Japan’s leading manufacturer of mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces and related products, needed to improve its current manufacturing process in order to meet the quality standards of the parent company, which is seeking to expand sales in the United States. The United States based facility manufactures and private labels a variety of dressings, marinades and sauces.
The customer identified a number of process improvement areas and created a three-year upgrade plan for the plant. In particular, the customer focused on improving safety, product quality and production efficiency, while eliminating operator errors and reducing waste. The company selected Omron to manage and coordinate these efforts.
When Omron began to work with the plant, the production lines had little to no automation. Operators performed manual inspections of products moving along the conveyors and other manual production tasks such as removing and reconnecting pneumatic hoses on the air valves. These processes caused quality inconsistencies and prompted the customer to seek a solution to protect its brand reputation.
Overall, the customer required a comprehensive solution to improve operating efficiency and quality by modernizing their assets and training their operating personnel on new equipment. Due to the plant’s lack of automation, Omron needed to help the operators and maintenance staff learn how to operate the automated equipment and be comfortable using it.
Omron has completed several stages of the plant improvement project, including the automation of several mixer machines, the raw materials distribution system and a filler machine. All of the existing mixer tank controls have been retrofitted with an NJ Series Controller and an NA Series HMI to enable recipe control and networking with the local server. These technologies will facilitate integration with process management software in the future.
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