Dispatches from Anuga FoodTec 2015

Rockwell Automation partners with food firm to implement Connected Enterprise across 100 plants worldwide

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

David Lefebvre, industry sales manager, Rockwell Automation
David Lefebvre, industry sales manager, Rockwell Automation

Related tags: Rockwell automation, Enterprise resource planning

Rockwell Automation has secured a contract with a large food manufacturer to implement its Connected Enterprise across 100 plants worldwide.

David Lefebvre, industry sales manager, Rockwell Automation, told FoodProductiondaily he could not disclose which company it was, due to confidentiality agreements, but it would be configuring its software, in partnership with Cisco, on 150 lines over the next five years. 

More people will exit poverty than ever before

It takes time and a lot of resources to implement because each plant has different specifications​,” he said. 

We are working with the food manufacturer to make this a reality. Machines from multiple vendors will be equipped with a standard functionality for a common reporting of machine configuration and performance like OEE​. 

All its machines will communicate in real time using CIP (Common Industrial Protocol – supported by ODVA), as well as configuration of all H&S procedures shared via the Cloud. When it is completed, the company will have a shared network across 100 plants worldwide​.” 

Speaking at Anuga FoodTec, Lefebvre said market trends over the next five to 10 years will see a number of different dynamics in emerging markets and population growth. 

He added, the global population will exceed 7bn, more people will exit poverty than ever before, and 70m people a year will move into an emerging middle class, which will add to $1tr of customer spending.

More pressure on manufacturing resources

This puts a lot of pressure on manufacturing resources and infrastructure and more raw material for food procuring​,” said Lefebvre. 

It’s no surprise economic price pressures will drive inefficiencies out to stay competitive, so how can we meet these challenges using the internet, cloud, mobility, while adhering to Government initiatives such as Industrie 4.0 in Germany, and the Smart Manufacturing Coalition in the US, which is leading us to the next generation of manufacturing strategy​. 

Connected Enterprise is our roadmap to implement these government initiatives, bringing people, processes and technology together, operation intelligence, integrated optimization and secure technology from smart sensors to machinery and equipment across the supply chain to enable manufacturers to drive value out of their operations​.” 

He said the way Rockwell Automation will implement its Connected Enterprise is a convergence of disciplines within an organization through its IT information technology (bringing together transactional information, ERP system, financial logistics, inventory management, order and supply chain) and OT, operations technology (ie real time data, machine controllers, sensors, machine actuators and safety of the individual). 

It plans to converge these two disciplines through a three-core delivery platform; integrated architecture, intelligent motor control and solutions and services.

Five stage Connected Enterprise execution model 

When you look at our portfolio we go all the way down from the bottom level up to the enterprise system. We want to make sure all our devices are smarter, and our software gives you a higher level of productivity using a key secure network,​” added Lefebvre. 

In terms of implementation we have developed a five stage Connected Enterprise execution model; to asses your plant, to see where a manufacturer is in terms of maturity in adopting this technology; securing the network infrastructure; understanding what is the working data capital you need to make the right decision in your business; to drive the analytics forward and to look at a more collaborative environment where IT and OT work together with suppliers getting more involved in the business, to collaborate more efficiently with partners and suppliers​. 

Stage five is being developed but needs to be implemented through various phases. We have a roll-out programme dependent on the status of the operation, and we have aligned ourselves with other companies to drive the vision, including Microsoft, Endress + Hauser, FANUC, Panduit, at&t, for better adoption of this technology​."

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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