The rise of automation is upending industries across the board. SCADA – which stands for ‘Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition’ – is at the forefront of the revolution with its intelligent, independent control systems introducing unimaginable efficiencies into the manufacturing sector. The far-reaching networks improve the transfer and distribution of information across organisations, enhancing workflows and continually refining operations.
Moreover, the technology saves significant time and money when correctly implemented. Hence, such growing demand. In fact, the innovation is seen as the key trend in numerous industries – not least food manufacturing – over the next 5-8 years.
If you want to remain competitive, be sure you understand how to leverage these technically advanced integrated systems.
Market Outlook: Early-mover Advantage
Currently, the most evolved SCADA market is in the USA. American industry leaders are seeking efficiencies via automation in an effort to place themselves at the front of their respective fields. They are willing to invest significant sums and, as such, are a driving force for innovation.
Closer to home, Germany is experiencing the highest demand for SCADA in Europe. However, they leverage the technology within their energy production sector. In the UK, SCADA remains a relatively underutilised system. Thus, it represents a potentially transformative investment for those willing to take the plunge.
4 Ways SCADA Will Improve Food Manufacturing
1. Packaging Process
The packaging supply chain is made up of many disparate systems handling endless tasks – right up to inspection and issue detection. SCADA will enhance integration between each machine and simplify the scaling of operations.
Moreover, the system can improve machine uptime as well as alerting management in the event of any production-line issue; even, pre-empting maintenance.
SCADA can also track the actual food product the length of the packaging process, allowing definitive traceability from ingredient to distribution, then surface the root-cause of an issue – such real-time data offers substantial potential costs savings.
2. Recipe Development
Intelligent monitoring simplifies recipe customisation while maintaining product quality without human intervention. Further distancing human error from any process is a significant win for manufacturers.
3. Production Transparency
Real-time data flows present a constant overview of the production line, allowing management teams to analyse efficiencies, then test and compare new approaches for continuous improvement.
Equally, organisations can identify the optimum times for specific tasks such as maintenance – further minimising disruption.
4. Enhanced Reporting
The most efficient businesses rely on detailed reporting: this is the ultimate strength of SCADA. The integrated systems monitor thousands-upon-thousands of data points and can aggregate them into customised reports in seconds. Such in-depth data presents many opportunities for improving production.
Supervisors can quickly identify bottlenecks; uncover the causes of downtime; even review production KPI’s on a continual basis.
Customisation is at the Heart of SCADA Success
A stand-out benefit of SCADA lies in the ability to customise the system. The variety of available software and hardware means a solution exists for most problems; with successful implementation just a question of finding the right mix.
Be sure to invest time upfront as this will give you the best chance of realising significant ROI.
For more information on SCADA systems, get in touch with us on 01406 424282.