Sequencia Corp. (Phoenix, AZ) has a multi-site agreement with Morinaga Milk Industry Co. (Tokyo) to implement Sequencia’s OpenBatch recipe-management software. The first application is at Morinaga’s cheese plant near Yokohama. Morinaga operates 17 plants, employs nearly 4,000 people, and produces a vast range of fluid milk, cheese, ice cream, desserts, baby foods, and specialty proteins such as lactoferrin (a bacteriostat against pathogenic bacteria). OpenBatch complies with the ISA S88 international batch control standard, which separates the equipment definition from the procedural definition, offering the flexibility to create recipes “at the click of a mouse.”

According to Akitoshi (Tony) Sugiura, assistant general manager of Morinaga, OpenBatch was first implemented in March to control formulation, blending and cooking of a Kraft process cheese for McDonald’s, whose market is expanding in Japan. The system currently produces up to 48 batches per day, blending ingredients supplied from eight tanks.

After evaluating several batch-control software packages, Morinaga selected OpenBatch because it complies with S88, “gives us much flexibility” and integrates with Morinaga’s own Windows NT-based STAGEONE user-oriented process control system, which requires no programming. STAGE ONE allows engineers and operators to create and control their own process control, human-machine interface (HMI) and data logging systems, and integrates with the company’s ERP system.

Sugiura plans to apply OpenBatch in additional plants as well. The second OpenBatch project, currently underway, will batch dessert products such as fruits and fruit yogurts for retorting in hermetically sealed transparent plastic cups.

The non-refrigerated shelf-stable products are coded for 180-day shelf life.