The Excellence Center is one of six, including Formulation, Blending and Packaging, Supply Chain, Quality, and Finance, created over the past year to give customers a platform covering all the processes needed to produce F&B products anywhere in the world.
Optimizing production control plants
It is tied to the PPB concept (Portable Powder Blending) which it started using in its own plants, but given its usefulness extended it to customers that want to buy or rent the tool.
Juan Sánchez, manager, IT Excellence Center, told FoodProductionDaily, the platform brings together all the knowledge and experience of the company in optimizing production control plants for food ingredients through its software PPB SCADA-MES.
The firm has three PPB plants; India, Spain and is currently installing one in Mexico.
“Portable Powder Blending is the commercial name of a portable factory, designed by us and internationally patented, that allows the production of food powder blends anywhere in the world near the raw materials or the final destination of the production,” said Sánchez.
“The concept of mobility of this plant enables the optimization, in cost and time, of the supply chain, reducing the costs of transportation of raw materials and final products, import tariffs, raw material inventories, etc., of the food producers or food blenders using it.
Spain, India & Mexico
“Often, companies buy raw materials in Thailand, bring it to Europe to blend with other ingredients and send the resulting blend to Pakistan. This is not optimal and usually, the cost of the blend ends up being very high for the final market.
“With PPB, our clients can have a production facility in the ideal location in accordance to their needs, in a short period of time. To date, we have installed it in Spain and India, and we are at an advanced stage of negotiations for installing another in Mexico.”
Speaking about the concept, Sánchezsaid in the beginning, Blendhub Corp had several software tools in its factories to control its production plants, but it was difficult to collect information.
“When we developed PPB, we knew we had to develop a more powerful tool to control and manage these mobile plants remotely and in a safe way,” he added.
He said currently, the PPB plants only need people in the production area, while all the planning and controlling can be done from its main offices.
“This way, we send our production plant wherever it is needed and we are able to control the execution of the production plan from our head office, knowing exactly what is happening in real time, and taking immediate decisions with this information,” said Sánchez.
“Our Supply Chain Excellent Center and Blending & Packaging Excellent center manage all our production processes. They decide and control what to produce and where. Once they make the production plan in our ERP system, the PPB receives the information and we are able to know what is happening in our remote factories.”
Barcode and RFID readers
He added the entire production processes in its PPB have barcode readers as well as RFID readers in the containers.
All the raw material batches arriving at the plant have to be identified in the warehouse reception process, while all the production orders have to be identified with the barcode and RFID during the production process.
The system does not allow the operators to continue with the job if the barcode or RFID code is incorrect. Additionally, its MES system is connected and stores information from PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) about the production process.
“Three years ago we installed a PPB in India, with European quality standards, to serve some of our customers in the Middle East. We developed all the software for these facilities and, during the process, we acquired experience in the challenges and problems that its integration with other production control systems may pose,” added Sánchez.
“Since then, we have been controlling and managing this factory. We use secure lines VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect to our Indian factory and they are executing the production plan for our Middle East customers.”