Well equipped for the future

Smart tools facilitate the manufacturing process

We were commissioned by ForFarmers with the migration to a new, future-oriented MES/process control technology. The mixed feed producer offers feed solutions for conventional and organic farms. We have been an automation partner since the 1970s. The plant in Langförden is currently being modernised. “For this, we are bringing the entire automation technology up to date,” says Burkhardt Arends, the sales representative responsible for the project.

Microdosing system at ForFarmers

Vertical mill

In future, all processes will be controlled by SCHULZ productionstar®. The customer thus has many advantages and can benefit from many new functions, e.g. batch tracing. All relevant information is provided at the push of a button. No matter whether it be backward tracking or forward tracing control, it arranges all material movements and processes down to the last details and makes them available through the export function in the Excel format, as required by the authorities. Preparation and compilation from complex databases in a time-consuming, unprofitable manner is no longer necessary.

Everything in view: All the information comes together in the control centre.

The raw material planner is also very useful. It illuminates the planning from the order side, showing which raw materials are needed for which order. This makes it easier to counteract in time. The tool helps management to minimise downtime and increase plant availability. It becomes transparent where there is a need for action in the ordering processes, but also which orders can be processed completely in order to bring them forward if necessary.

Mobile loading

The concept for mobile loading is also particularly innovative. Order-controlled, the system guides the truck driver fully automatically on his mobile phone to approach points on the company premises and shows him the exact position of the loading lorry via live video. The system works with any smartphone and does not require an app to be installed. This feature is also a module of productionstar®.

“Migrating a process control system is always a challenge,” adds project manager Bernhard Brinkmann. “It is usually complex and also has to be done very quickly during ongoing operations. Through digital engineering and agile development methods, we are able to prepare everything very well. This allows us to identify and eliminate potential errors in advance.”

Sustainability aspects also play an important role for the customer. “Our energy management system ensures energy-efficient production,” Bernhard Brinkmann explains further. It tracks all processes in real time and makes optimisation potential visible. “On an energy traffic light, the operating staff immediately sees the need for action and can react accordingly.”

Likewise, an increase in the safety standard of all production processes is ensured. For this purpose, we have integrated a key transfer system into the processes. The system allows key removal for system parts only if there are no potential hazards.

Overall, the technical modernisation will secure production for many years to come. The many new functions and the intelligent system architecture not only increase the comfort of operation, but also significantly increase efficiency and flexibility.

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