Data monitoring of bottling and packaging plant – milk industry

DMK Deutsches Milchkontor is the biggest dairy company operating in Germany. There are more than 8.900 active milk producer and 7400 employees working for the DMK GROUP. Today DMK processes 6,8 billion kilograms of milk on 17 dairy locations.

Cost savings through traceability, error prevention and effectiveness analysis (OEE) with Manufacturing Execution System (MES) by inray Industriesoftware.

Variety of dairy products
At the DMK locations Neubörger and Zeven in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), the milk is processed into yoghurt, fermented milk products, buttermilk, sour cream, crème fraîche, curd and milk powder. The products with various recipes are filled in containers of different sizes – from big bags up to 1000 kilogram, in 5 or 10 kilogram-buckets to small cups.

Data from the SAP system through database to the control system
As so-called “production portal” the Factory Application Server FAS by inray Industriesoftware GmbH, unites all MES-applications on a single web interface, for facilitating and assuring the work in production. For this purpose inray Industriesoftware developed and implemented together with DMK the process control system LiMo-Pro for order management and the DMK
weighing data portal for monitoring the filling quantity. The laboratory mangament system WinLaisy and modules for traceability and OEE are fixed components in DMK locations.
For a new order, the data from the central SAP system will be processed by a Microsoft SQL Server and transferred to the process control system LiMo-Pro. All the information required for conducting the new order are available in the central system: type of product including a list of items and the needed quantity, line- and equipment information.

Bottling fruit yoghurt in cups
In the production of bottled fruit yoghurt, first the initial phase will be carried out in the weighing data by inray Industriesoftware´s portal, in order to ensure that the bottled quantity is in accordance with the packaging regulations. As soon as the exact capacity of yoghurt is set on the machines, the actual production process starts.
Thus, via the information in the process control system LiMo-Pro, it is defined how many cups per crate should be filled. During the production process, the cups are automatically labeled with the Best Before Date (BBD), while the printer receives data from the Microsoft SQL Server. A false imprint is not possible as data originate from the superordinate SAP system and are not transcribed manually. By inray’s OPC Router, machines and databases are connected to the printer. The high-performance OPC server from Kepware (KEPServerEX) conducts the OPC connection. inray Industriesoftware GmbH is Kepware’s Preferred Distributor in Germany.
Moreover, the order also defines how many crates are arranged on a pallet and after the complete production quantity is reached, the whole pallet will be wrapped in plastic foil.
The packaged pallet is be provided with all the necessary specifiactions and is stored in the warehouse until the distribution. The traceability of these indications and the imprint of Best Before Date (BBD) on the cups is possible anytime. For this purpose, inray’s Factory Application Server FAS specially provides a Traceability module.

Trouble-free sample checking
At all DMK locations samples are taken to the laboratory to monitor for bioburden during the entire production process. The laboratory management system ensures a trouble-free labor adminstration and documentation. In the production process a sample for the laboratory is taken at frequent intervals. The results of the analysis are documented into the laboratory system and will be labeled. The filling weight will be checked at the weighing portal every 20 minutes.

Quality improvement through automatized data exchange
A predefined interface ensures automatized data between the SAP system and the manufacturing execution system (MES) via the Microsoft SQL Server. Data transfers are triggered by time and events, the collected data are immediately made available. Through the predefined data from the central control system it almost impossible to have wrong preparation ingredients or wrong packaging and even if this would happen, the error would be instantly recognized. This feature improves the quality of the product, defective items are immediately discarded and the error is corrected. Therefore, extra costs can be avoided.

Cost savings through data monitoring
All the collected data from the order are available in the database. And all the needed informations can be generated from these regarding the recipe, traceability and calculation of OEE via different modules of the Factory Application Server FAS. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are freely determinable and available almost in real time. In this way it is possible to monitor the efficiency of the machine and incidents can be recognized. The monitoring of data enables a smooth production process and cost savings through efficiency increase and error exclusion.

Birte Wermann, inray Industriesoftware GmbH, Technical redaction – 04/2016