ABB: Commissioning in the food industry
When adding an extension to a house, an architect will often use computer assisted design (CAD) software to visualise what the extension will look like. Similarly, commissioning a new system for a food manufacturing plant requires software assistance to plan effectively and with digital twinning, manufacturers can optimize its ongoing operations. Here, Brith Isaksson, of ABB’s food and beverage business, explains.
Planning can be time-consuming, but when adding to an existing building like a house, it could be the difference between a crumbling foundation and your dream home. To make the process smoother, architects employ specialist software that allows them to draw the designs and integrate the electrical and plumbing elements of the existing structure into the plan.
Architects can then review the plans to ensure compliance with regulations, the practicalities of the design and eliminate any potential issues. However, while CAD plans are often used for planning system installations in manufacturing plants, the software is often limited by the variables that arise during operation.
As a result, we’re seeing a shift towards virtual commissioning technology and other forms of simulation software in the industrial sector.
Virtual commissioning allows manufacturers to build and run a new factory process line virtually, before building it in the physical world. This includes simulating an exact replica of the line with its current automation system and network in a virtual realm, which is then modified to add in any new equipment. Virtual commissioning allows plant engineers to program robots and automation systems in the virtual world. They then run virtual tests, and any discovered issues can be resolved in advance to significantly reduce costs and the system’s start-up time.
For example, if a plant manager plans to install a new robotic cell to pick a product from a conveyor and place the product in a box at a certain rate per minute, the line can be choreographed and tested virtually. This ensures that the robot can perform the movements and required manoeuvres in conjunction with the flow of product and packaging. With a virtual process architecture, various scenarios can be run, and the automation software programmed without having to stop production on the physical line.
By using virtual commissioning, manufacturers can also eliminate operational inefficiencies in their existing lines to boost productivity. ABB’s Ability™ RobotStudio, can simulate the different processes in a food and beverage plant so that managers can identify what strategies should be revised to provide better quality and increase output.
For the ongoing support and maintenance of equipment, managers can also integrate other simulation software like digital twinning applications. A digital twin works by simulating an exact replica of an asset, subsystem or system and combines digital aspects of the equipment such as the design model with real-time aspects of how it operates and is maintained, to offer insights into the condition of equipment and the likelihood of any part failures.
While virtual commissioning creates a safe space for engineers to test and make sure the right mix of components are being used in their application, digital twinning offers managers further verification of the overall 3-D design. By using simulation software like ABB’s in the planning stages of this process, plant managers can calculate figures such as the optimum use of supply resources to meet consumption schedules, to make improvements in the whole supply chain.
The steps required to extend or adjust your factory are very similar to that of adding to your home. Disruptive delays or problems not identified in the initial stages can be costly, but with virtual commissioning, food and beverage manufacturers can review the final model before deployment to address any issues and avoid any unexpected costs.
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Whether you attend virtually or in-person, you’ll strategise how to cope with global disruption, learn from industry pioneers - including newly announced speakers Chris Shanahan, VP Global Procurement/CPO at Thermo Fisher Scientific; Jim Townsend, Chief Procurement Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance; and David Cho, CPO at University of Massachusetts - and walk away with tips, tactics, and tangible connections.
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That means you and your peers can attend the event in person or virtually ─ with no disadvantages for people who choose not to make the trip to the Tobacco Dock venue.
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The platform will feature live feeds from all of the stages, as well as virtual networking areas. So, if you want to avoid travel, it’s not a problem! You can still get involved and enjoy the entire experience from the comfort of your own home.
New Speakers for Procurement & Supply Chain Live
VP Global Procurement/CPO at Thermo Fisher Scientific
Shanahan is Vice President, Global Procurement/CPO for Thermo Fisher Scientific in Waltham, MA. He joined the company to lead efforts in leveraging scale in the marketplace, develop capability and processes across the company, while transforming the supply base. He co-authored the Procurement Leaders Handbook, and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Open University in the United Kingdom.
Chief Procurement Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance
Townsend leads Walgreens procurement (Goods and Services Not For Resale). Prior to joining Walgreens Boots Alliance, he worked for Anglo American and General Electric also within commercial procurement. He has worked overseas extensively, in both manufacturing and retail environments. He holds an MBA in Strategic Procurement from the University of Birmingham, UK and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
CPO at University of Massachusetts
Cho is Chief Procurement Officer for the University of Massachusetts, Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST), comprising strategic sourcing, contracts, supplier management, procurement operations, accounts payable, travel services, and customer service that provide quality service to the UMass system. Cho has 25-plus years of strategy and operations management consulting and industry experience. He was formerly Global Head of Sourcing and Vendor Management at BlackRock.
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