AI, machine learning and other modern control system features – Pet Food Processing

This article was published in the June 2022 issue of  Dog Food Running . Read it and other articles from this issue in our  June digital edition .

In the pet food industry, industrial handle systems automate and enhance the processes for production plus material flow. Any efficiencies or inefficiencies in this particular process are much more visible than legacy systems, so good control techniques amplify productivity in a good process, therefore impacting overall production efficiency in dog food and treat processing applications.

Today’s control systems are usually all about utilizing 21st century technology, with smart handle systems and connectivity being top of mind for all pet food companies.

Modern control systems give manufacturers access to historical and simultaneous equipment performance data, allowing for a more proactive approach to process adjustments. Modern control systems give manufacturers access to historical plus simultaneous equipment performance data, allowing with regard to a more proactive approach to process adjustments. (Source: Shick Esteve)

“Smart control systems contain proven and purpose-built handle elements that are easily connected into live plus historical information, ” said Chris Wiley, account executive, pet meals for Shick Esteve, Kansas City, Mo. “This enables production tools such as mobile dashboards, advanced process controls and predictive analytics. ”

Matt Lueger, vice president of sales, NorthWind Technical Services, Sabetha, Kan., noted the industry is working to update its approach to control systems to make them more attractive in order to a younger workforce, such as having operational screens on mobile devices that look more like the particular apps they use every day and provide situational information relevant to what they need to know based upon current conditions.

“We’ve changed our general method of touch screens to utilize high-performance graphics that highlight only pertinent info and have worked with business partners in order to incorporate smart notifications based on machine parameters, ” he said. “Additionally, we are currently updating our BatchLOGIX software to a web-based application that will allow for better mobility moving forward. We think that having a mobile operator workforce will help put operators and maintenance personnel close to the issues plus help reduce downtime. ”

Today’s technology can connect people to the plant just regarding anywhere. When communication technology is connected to the internet, mobile devices and new visual interfaces, it allows production teams to become more collaborative and effective, and the operating and servicing support areas to grow in order to multiple facilities.

In older systems, costly communications bandwidth were installed and data was stored on premise with large servers. Programs were written to concentrate data and “squeeze out” maximum electronic equipment utilization.

The goal of advanced control systems is to improve the performance of human operators where possible, and eliminate the need for human interaction altogether if possible. The goal associated with advanced manage systems is to improve the performance of human providers where possible, and eliminate the need regarding human interaction altogether if possible. (Source: Shick Esteve)

“When internet technology began to spill over into the industrial space communications, controls were purchased along with additional ethernet capabilities, plus standard configurations made installation more intuitive and predictable, ” Wiley said. “Communications and data storage became easier and more affordable. Now cloud storage, augmented reality, digital twins, electronic asset management, and an entire virtual platform are considered with smart control techniques. ”

Industry 4. 0

Susan R. Newman, Ph. D., director associated with professional services, METER Group, Inc., a Pullman, Wash. -based instrument provider in order to the family pet food market, noted hands down, the latest trends emerging revolve around industry 4. 0, which refers to  a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that will focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning plus real-time information.

“COVID has made staffing difficult and, more compared to ever, pet food processors are reaching out intended for automation plus closed-loop control systems that rely on fewer, yet more skilled workers, ” she stated. “If the machine may replace a human, dog food processors are in. ”

The particular emerging technologies most valued are the internet of things (IoT) to connect data to actionable information, big-data analytics and machine learning to enhance performance and make adjustments at optimal times, and global access in order to data using cloud-based storage.

“Artificial intelligence plus machine learning are changing the face of manufacturing and control systems, ” said Susan Newman, Ph. Deb., METER Team, Inc.

“Artificial intelligence and device learning are usually changing the particular face associated with manufacturing plus control techniques, ” Newman said. “People and companies that are adept in quickly adapting and maximizing results from intelligent machines will have astronomical advantages well into the future. ”

Whereas old systems worked by looking from data through the rearview mirror and trying to adjust inside the next batch, today’s new solutions are bringing data with the micro-second interval plus layering machine learning in order to make small, in-process adjustments that optimize production outcomes as well as result in safer products to get pets.

Matthieu Garnier, vice president of operations, ADM Animal Nutrition, Decatur, Ill., noted technological advances in manufacturing control systems possess improved calculation power, technical connectivity and data integration.

“Human Machine Interface (HMI) is designed for high performance, including properly designed screens plus intelligent-use functions such as alarms and event logging, ” this individual said. “Connecting to mobile devices like tablets plus smartphones supports field activities. ”

Additionally , acquiring and integrating information with automated enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution systems (MES) enhances efficiencies plus optimizes processes.

“In addition to our policies and procedures, we depend on a system that fits perfectly to the procedure it controls, ” Garnier said. “For our animal and family pet nutrition products, coordination and synchronization associated with simple line processes speeds up production rates, and ultimately improves service and reactivity. ”

Tech in action

METER Group works with pet foods companies to utilize some of these much-needed technologies. The company has made a strategic initiative to create an intelligent production system with two key facets: making use of AI to improve human overall performance at tasks that can’t be automatic, and eliminating the need for human involvement within tasks that can be automated.

The company’s aforementioned intelligent manufacturing execution system is called SKALA. It helps companies transition from analog sensors plus data collection to real-time, cloud-based machines learning, allows unsupervised self-optimizing control pertaining to drying and cooking, plus many some other industry four. 0 benefits – all with an elegant UX/UI that will includes bank-level security and SOC 2 compliance.

METER Group’s SKALA system measures real-time drying data to drive actionable insights for improving efficiency, food safety and consistency. METER Group’s SKALA system measures current drying data to drive actionable insights for improving efficiency, food safety plus consistency. (Source: METER Group, Inc. )

The particular company’s solutions span the particular production process. From incoming ingredient testing, using the most accurate and fast water activity and moisture analyzers (AQUALAB 3 and ROS 1) available on the market, in order to helping research and development with formulation and shelf-life optimization along with the Vapor Sorption Analyzer (VSA), METER has designed its handle systems meant for cloud-based ease and the particular delivery associated with results.  

“In production, METER Group offers received patents for closed-loop drying techniques that use machine learning how to predict in-process water activity plus make modifications to zones for optimizing safety while well because yields via delivering perfectly dried product every batch, ” Newman said. “In packaging, we employ model learning integrated with a simple software module to address overpack and identify when rework makes more sense by means of analyzing labor, packaging, and other rolled up costs. ”

Shick Esteve engineers full-system automation solutions. From batch to continuous meals manufacturing or process administration, the company is dedicated to helping industry leaders around the world exceed standards designed for productivity plus safety.

“We provide innovative solutions just for data incorporation, process control and ingredient storage for our partners in food-related industries, ” Wiley said.

The organization combines wise devices and data with food component automation, using a “food centric” approach in order to reduce complexity and risk to capture historical plus real-time information. With each control program, Shick Esteve utilizes Clarity Process Management, an integrated data and procedure control tool.

“Clarity focuses on giving customers greater access to their information in a food production context, ” Wiley said. “Clarity integrates along with new and existing automated ingredient handling systems. This software provides recipe plus batch management, process manage, production scheduling, lot tracking/traceability, and process data acquisition. It can integrate with various front-end administration software seamlessly. All data can be stored onsite or within the impair, allowing for the purpose of extensive and complete recordkeeping. ”

Lueger said that today’s technologies allows for a lot more usable information.

“More field components are usually becoming ‘smart’ components with ethernet connectivity and their own IoT notifications, ” he or she said. “For processing programs, our BatchLOGIX recipe management system will be critical in order to validation of ingredients since they relate to the current process plus traceability throughout the facility. ”

Impacting efficiency 

Closed-loop systems make adjustments at the perfect time to reduce down time and manufacture a product exactly the same way every time, despite environmental and other variation that may occur naturally.  

Leveraging state-of-the art technologies assists ensure the particular unsurpassed quality and foods safety associated with ADM pet nutrition items, Garnier mentioned.

“We see increased efficiencies with improved traceability, automatically tracking materials throughout the process, which usually quickens our response to alerts, ” he said. “We also have higher control of procedure standards and are preparing for the sector 4. 0 transition. ”

Wiley observed the company’s Clarity Process Management enables customers to make real-time decisions that will maximize their production efficiencies.

“Controls technology offers data to act predictive instead of reactive, ” said Chris Wiley, Shick Esteve.  

“Controls technology provides data to behave predictive rather than reactive, ” he stated. “More data is available anywhere in order to respond to actionable notifications. If information is clear, reliable plus quickly noticeable, anomalies can be detected and action can become planned. ”

METER Group’s solutions, like SKALA, bring the best practices for pet food manufacturing onto a single digital platform.

“Harnessing the power and accuracy of precision machine studying, a powerful form of AI, SKALA outperforms even the best operator, ” Newman mentioned.

With SKALA’s machine understanding and closed-loop control systems, many of METER Group’s clients have seen a good average 30% reduction in moisture variance and 6% reduction in energy consumption. Additionally, 100% first pass yield is another popular efficiency benefit, according to Newman.

“Because we are able to connect to PLCs and other cloud-based sensor data, we can make second-by-second calculations to make sure every continuous line or even batch oven is completely performing and producing high-quality, high-profit products, ” Newman said. “Plus, SKALA never calls within sick, takes breaks, takes vacations, needs training, or takes selfies during the 24/7/365 shift. ”

The current pet models are operating upon tight margins. Even a 0. 5% increase or decrease in yield quickly adds up to make or even break a company. Good handle systems are the difference between winning plus losing in today’s market, and industry 4. 0 is required to create continuous improvements in well-designed processes.

Find more articles about the latest  pet food processing technologies  on our Equipment page.