How do you ensure to follow the correct cleaning and sterilization procedures and the integrity of the associated data for reporting purposes?
In the case of a typical food and beverage manufacturing facility, containers need to be sterilized on a cyclic basis, and have that data reported to both internal and external users
Validation schemes require reliable updating and acquisition of real-time data pertaining to the when and how often the containers need to return to the sterilization process.
Regulations require cleaning validation
Manual validation schemes are costly
Improperly sterilized containers in process are unacceptable and are especially costly
1. PLC Controller
2. Operator Light Stack
3. UHF Stationary Reader
4. UHF Antennas
5. UHF Transponder (high-temperature to withstand sterilization process temperatures)
6. Host Computer with Relational Database (optional)
Process flow diagram involving RFID in sterilization
By reading the unique EPC ID on an RFID tag affixed to each container, it is possible for a data lookup to occur which informs the control system at each process when the container requires sterilization. For instance, before a handling procedure at a mixer station, sterilization status could be verified. After the mixer process, the control system could check handling count then inform the database if the container needs to be routed to sterilization. In simple cases where a relational database is not required for reporting, the process cycle counts may even be stored directly on the RFID tag.
At any given time, notification via an operator light stack can be made to plant personnel regarding the container’s sterilization status.
100% reliable identification and verification of containers
Transponders can be covered in food grade dust and still be read (non-line of sight)
Straightforward, feature-rich integration to control systems
How can the various ingredients be verified for correctness before being added to the process?
Many manufacturing processes involve the mixing or blending of different components/ingredients. This is applicable in a wide range of industries such as food and beverage, dry goods, pharmaceuticals and chemicals to name a few. In addition, once these ingredients are mixed, they need to be packaged for use.
Often, the ingredients to be mixed or blended look very similar. Also, the final products may look similar, but have very different properties.
How can the various ingredients be verified for correctness before being added to the process
How can the final mixture be identified to ensure it is packaged correctly
How can the use of paper travelers be eliminated
5. UHF Transponder
Placing a RFID tag on the material handling container allows that container, and its contents, to be uniquely identified. The RFID tag can be used as a license plate for the container, or actual ingredient information can be stored on the RFID tag. At the station where the material handling container is filled, a RFID reader will read/write the container’s tag and identify the contents. When the material handling container is then moved to the next operation, its RFID tag is read to identify the contents. If the correct container is present, the contents are added to the process. If the correct container is not present, the operator is alerted and/or the process is halted.
A real world application is cake mixes. Wheeled carts are manually positioned under an overhead hopper where they are filled with various ingredients such as flour, sugar and cocoa. After a cart is filled, the RFID tag on the cart is updated with data that identifies the cart contents. The loaded cart is then manually moved to a packaging machine. Before the cart is unloaded, the RFID tag is read to verify the correct cart with the correct contents is being used at the packaging machine.
Eliminate incorrect ingredient errors
Eliminate scrap and/or rework
Automate a manual process
How can processes be refined using real-time data for more flexibility and efficiency?
Standardized manufacturing and logistics processes within F&B organizations are significantly informed by the current best practice(s) of those processes. Of great interest to an organization is the potential for continuous improvement, through the utilization of the work-in-process (WIP) data itself to inform decisions at all levels including engineering, production control, and business management.
As a rule, F&B organizations need to understand the full impact of the decisions made when designing the manufacturing and logistics process.
Are the processes themselves efficient?
Can they be made more profitable and flexible?
How can best practices be refined using real-time data from the processes themselves?
Can the real-time data inform automatic adjustments in the process thus supporting continuous improvement as well more flexible for JIT (Just-In-
Human-Machine Interface (HMI)
UHF Stationary Reader
Host Computer with Relational Database (optional)
RFID-enabled pallets of work-in-process beverages
RFID tags affixed to the carrier/vessel or manufactured component itself can contain structured memory regions holding any manner of complex data. An RFID system thus can serve as a powerful mechanism for gathering decision-making data. This data upon receipt in the organization’s host application becomes valuable grist for a venerable mill of work-in-process (WIP) improvement decisions.
In a real-world example involving a beverage WIP tracking: Containers containing a WIP beverage enter in from the warehouse and are directed to a specific process line (1 or 2). These full containers are automatically identified via RFID and weighed (and compared to previous value stored on RFID tag) and emptied according to the amount specified on the RFID tag. Material loss is also accounted for. If the container is damaged, the RFID data is updated and consequently triggers a Reject. At the filling station, the RFID data automatically informs the JIT recipe management system of the required beverage, then after filling, consequently updates the weight data on the RFID tag and informs the forklift driver where to store it in the warehouse.
Reliable accounting of material loss
Automatic informing of process control and recipe parameters
Process flexibility and adaptation possibilities
In manufacturing facilities which utilize automatic weighing systems, the tracking and managing of the Work in Process (WIP) and container tare weights cannot only reduce loss, but inform and improve the process itself.
The ability to properly measure the amount of materialthroughout its process often depends on accuracy at theweigh scale systems. In automatic weighing system,the tare weight of the container must be factored intothe equation. Also, material loss must be identified,managed, tracked, and reported in real-time to control/host systems in order to minimize their impact andadapt accordingly.
Tare weight needs to be factored into calculations
Material loss must be identified, managed, tracked,and reported in real-time
Process must adapt accordingly
1. PLC Controller2. Operator Light Stack3. UHF Stationary Reader4. UHF Antennas5. UHF Transponder6. Host Computer with Relational Database(optional)
An RFID tag affixed to each container can hold the tare weight value in the RFID memory. This tare weight canbe read as the load is being weighed and fed into thecalculation for producing an accurate material weight.The resultant material weight can consequently be written back to the RFID tag, allowing for subsequent processes to read it and track material loss. RFID system integration with PC (or networked PLC) host systems can be leveraged to provide notification to operators and management when material loss exceeds defined limits. Along with these notifications, the process may also be automatically adapted in accordance with business rules.
In a real-world example involving a tobacco tracking:Containers containing work-in-process tobacco are weighed at multiple stations throughout the process. An IP65-rated EPCgen2 UHF tag affixed to the container contains the tare weight. The tare weight is read and used by the controlling PLC to accurate calculate the material weight. The material weight is written back onto the RFID tag, so that at subsequent weigh stations, material loss can be ascertained
Reliable verification of container tare weights
Accurate material weighing
Material loss tracking and management
Straightforward, feature-rich integration tocontrol systems
In a brewery kegs are playing a significant role in production and logistics. There is a constant movement of kegs throughout the production, storage, and incoming and outgoing processes.Keg identification helps maintain transparency and provides a reliable tracking system for breweries to use.
Tracking and tracing of production batches in the beverage industry requires scalable and reliable RFID components. Some challenges faced by the brewing industry are:
Steadily increasing cost pressure
Complex coordination between customer demands, filling orders, and brews.
Increasing variety of products and recipes
High quality demand
High seasonal changes
Do you want to know where your assets (kegs) are and how many are available at any given time?
Do you want to reduce complaints and failures?
Do you want to minimize costs and maximize utilization of your asset fleet?
Human Machine Interface (HMI)
Diagram of the different areas of a brewery. Typical operations and read points in the brewery logistics.
The solution is an RFID Portal that consists of one reader and four antennas. When multiple incoming kegs are empty they each contain an RFID tag and can be tracked automatically at once. The kegs are then booked to the empties warehouse and determined ready to use.
Every single keg can be captured automatically when put on the conveyor to the filling line. After the kegs are refilled they get captured again and production data for every keg to start track & trace can be connected (e.g. batch number). After the filling process, the kegs get dispatched into trade so the product is booked to the fulls warehouse and thus available for sales.
Track, manage, and understand the behavior of yourasset fleet
Information about population and losses of the entireasset fleet- Reduce investment into new assets
Fill to fill cycle time, fill to return cycle time, circulationfrequency- Optimize utilization of your assets
Transparency in logistics processes by automatic tracing of the movements- Improve transportation processes
Case Study: SIMATIC Ident - Traceability of jamón ibérico de bellota
Thanks to RFID technology from Siemens, Jamones Lazo has met its needs for production traceability and control at its factory in Cortegana, Huelva. Download the case study and learn more.
Case Study: SIMATIC Ident- Transparent loop
In order to optimize logistics processes as well as the handling of pallets and products, the Sachsenmilch AG has outfitted the powder bagging area with RFID pallets and UHF readers.The result: Increased flexibility, elimination of read errors and complete batch tracking and tracing.Download the case study below and learn more
Case Study: SIMATIC Ident - Just what you knead – new system saves dough
Reliable, non-contact identification of mixing vessels – using wireless technology – improves the variety and quality of bakery products and helps a bakery control system to maintain an overview of all mixtures by automatically checking recipe data, kneading times, temperatures and resting times of all dough mixtures without any errors. Download the case study below and learn more
Case Study: SIMATIC Sensors- Grupo Leche Pascual
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) makes an important contribution in helping companies to comply with consumer protection regulations and EU directives aimed at ensuring maximum safety in the food and beverage industry. It enables products and processes to be tracked by means of automatic identification and continuous documentation. Grupo Leche Pascual Alimentación uses RFID technology for keeping track of liquid egg products.