A large food processing facility with nine individual, continuous process production lines engaged EAD to automate and optimize its consumer packaging lines. Products needed to be distributed to 31 different packaging lines and nine temporary storage areas via a complex conveyor matrix. Optimizing this matrix presented several challenges to EAD, including prevention of product co-mingling prior to packaging, minimization of waste products due to spillage caused by a breakdown of packaging lines, and integration of over 40 PLCs.
EAD implemented several upgrades to the matrix system, including adding new conveyors to allow products to be distributed to more packaging lines, installing gates to protect products from cross contamination, and installing new photo eyes on storage bins that were susceptible to dust accumulation. Other improvements included upgrading obsolete process controls systems to a new platform, utilizing SQL and OSI/Pi based database systems to monitor conditions and troubleshoot using historical data, and using barcode systems for lot tracking to ensure the right products are packaged in the right container.