While the trend for large manufacturers is to automate a new plant in its entirety, small and medium-sized food and beverage processors rarely have the funds to automate their plants, turning them into lights-out facilities. Even some tier-one processors may find areas in certain operations where it may not make sense to over-automate.
You add up the mass of raw materials your facility consumes each day, look at the products it’s made, and the numbers just don’t balance—until you look at skids of rework and a dumpster topped off with the day’s malformed products and/or damaged packages.
In the face of coming regulations, as well as forecasts calling for increases in food production and decreases in food waste, the task at hand for food and beverage processors appears to be a monumental one.
For some time, industrial manufacturing companies have been looking for ways to bring together the seemingly divergent needs of enterprise networking systems and the real-time requirements of plant floor communications systems.