How the Internet of Things is Aiding Food Processing Operations
I recently wrote an article featured in Refrigerated and Frozen Foods on the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) in refrigerated and frozen foods processing. Below are some highlights of the benefits of integrating process equipment with building controls.
As supply chains have become more multifaceted and food-processing systems increasingly sophisticated, controlling a facility’s HVAC, lighting and refrigeration operations has developed into an intricate activity that can impact product quality and the bottom line.
Existing building management systems can be a simple solution for operators, but connected technology and IoT are emerging to help streamline operations. By integrating the management of process equipment with building controls, organizations can use one platform to control all systems and improve facility activities.
Addressing Operator Pain Points
Food manufacturers need to keep productivity high, control production and maintain flow practices, allowing employees to focus on producing quality products in a timely manner while also ensuring food safety. Leveraging IoT capabilities can provide three key benefits in a processing setting:
- Reduce equipment downtime
In the food manufacturing industry, temperatures must remain consistent to ensure food safety. Inconsistencies and stoppages of these automated processes are expensive. Connected facility systems equipment has been designed to create alarms in these instances in order to detect an issue more quickly. From a maintenance perspective, identifying potential failures before they occur can reduce the amount of equipment downtime and avoid disruption in day-to-day operations.
- Improve efficiency of equipment management
With connected technology, the facility manager now has the ability to know what’s going on with their systems and implement changes in real-time. IoT software also simplifies equipment management. No longer a time intensive, manual process, connected systems communicate when equipment is correctly calibrated.
- Increase energy savings
Employing IoT can help processing plant management to better understand the use and scheduling of equipment, in order to accurately and efficiently operate that equipment. The ability to identify poorly performing equipment sooner results in energy savings and operational improvements. Plant managers can track data on equipment use; this system data can be analyzed for actionable insights to strategically plan for demand and peak cycles.
As the food processing industry becomes more complex, the use of IoT within existing food processing operations will help adopters to improve facility productivity while reducing maintenance issues and overall operational costs.
You can read the full Refrigerated and Frozen Foods article here.
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Director, New Solutions Development & Enterprise Product Management
Emerson Climate Technologies