Aviko Rixona: HAI software “spider in the web” for production
HAI software “spider in the web” with data from SAP, MES, lab instruments and Scada
Aviko Rixona expanded the use of the HAI software in its facilities for the production of dried potato products in The Netherlands. Data about production and product quality come together automatically in the HAI dashboard. It concerns data from SAP enterprise software, MES-software for production order handling, process control systems, and various types of lab instruments to measure product quality.
The result is sublime in its simplicity: a dashboard with a real-time visualization of current process compliance and product quality compliance. AND: a database where they can look up all inforrmation on processing conditions and product quality test results. Why is this so important for them? And how do they benefit from this in their daily operations?
With just a glance, lab technician Jersysito can oversee process and product quality compliance
At the Rixona factory in Warffum they produce potato granules, from … yes indeed… potatoes. The production process consists of various steps. Large volumes of potatoes are washed, sliced, cooked, dried and sieved. The potato granules from Rixona are used as ingredients in snack products like stackable chips and in bakery products, or as binding agents in soups and sauces.
“The industry puts increasingly higher demands on the quality of the granulate”, says Hans Draijer, process technologist at Rixona. “With an ever-changing composition and quality of the incoming potatoes, it’s a challenge to ensure the desired quality of granulate time and again. We manage to do this by using our in-process product quality test results. These measurements help us to determine on-the-spot how to adjust our production process to meet the quality specifications. This requires a real-time monitoring of the test-results for operators, quality department and myself. This is exactly what we have done with the HAI software.”
“Moreover”, Hans adds, “we measure the end-result at the end of a batch, and so we can instantaneously see if the batch is within specifications. By including the setpoints of the main parameters in the logging, we can easily see which adjustments have been made during production, including its consequences for the batch quality. This proves to be quite useful for a 24/7 process.”
Gerrard Meihuizen is Quality Manager in Warffum. We want to know from him how the Quality Dept. benefits from the HAI software. “We now have all information on production and quality easily combined in one dashboard. So, at a glance, we see any deviations. And if we need information, it is easy to look it up. Quick and simple. Even trending, graphs and data comparison is done in just a few simple steps, also for people who have no affinity with IT. Ideal for me and my team. In the old days, we had to look up information in different systems. Then it’s difficult to obtain an overall picture, and it is very time consuming.”
Considerable time savings and less risk of errors
Gerrard’s team carries out a broad variety of tests to closely monitor product quality, also during production. Test results of colour and sulphites content are entered manually into the database. The majority of the lab instruments, however, send the test results automatically to the HAI database. This includes NIR-measurements and other instruments to measure contents of moisture, viscosity and sugar. “This means considerable time savings and less risk of errors”, says Gerrard.
“Our HAI consultant, René Danker, provided practical assistance during the software implementation at Rixona”, says Gerrard. “It was obvious that René has an in-depth knowledge and a lot of experience when it comes to daily factory operations. He thought along with us and came up with all types of practical solutions. For instance, an automated coding of testresults, to ensure that the measurements are automatically connected to the right batch.”
The HAI dashboard can be considered a central collection point of information. Information from SAP QM where quality inspection master data is maintained, and where eventually the batch release (use decision) must be done. Information from MES (Manufacturing Execution System), where process orders are started, production lines are controlled and eventually process orders completed. It includes also the test results from lab instruments connected to the righ batch.
“The trick is”, René explains, “to structure all this information in a natural way for all Rixona factory personnel to see the information they need. This, of course, depends on the role people play in the organization. Moreover, we included a number of (real-time) calculated values. For example, a weighted average of the quality test results and cumulatives on output and downtime. In fact, you could consider this real-time reporting.”
An important KPI (Key Performance Indicator) for the Rixona factory is the FTQ-rate (First Time Quality). Jan Zijlstra, Plant Manager, explains: “This KPI indicates to which extent we have been able to produce directly within specification for the main quality tests. That is: without the necessity to blend batches to meet quality specifications. Of course, additional blending puts up the cost price, so we want to avoid this. The First Time Quality report is an important indication of factory performance. The HAI software provides us with automatic calculation of our First Time Quality performance.”
SAP, MES, process control (SCADA) and lab instruments each play their own role in supporting and monitoring the production process. “The HAI software provides a simple and transparant overview on the big picture, AND the possibility to zoom in on the details”, concludes Gerrard. So the result is more than the sum of its parts
** For this project HAI partnered with Actemium for the integration with MES (Plant Apps, iHistorian).
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