When working in automated food & beverage manufacturing segments like diary, meat, filling and bottling, components that can survive in sanitary, hygienic and aseptic environments become necessary. Specifications for equipment look to reduce and remove areas for harboring bacteria. Poor survivability for automation components during washdown can become a major cause of downtime and lost production during changeovers and cleaning processes.
Balluff is utilized to improve manufacturing automation in four distinct applications inside a food & beverage facility: the process automation, factory automation, flexible manufacturing and traceability.
• Sensing technologies like photoelectric, inductive, capacitive, linear position
• Industrial RFID technologies & connectivity technologies
• Individual products with testing & ratings: FDA, 3A, EHEDG, ECOLAB
Detecting level and flow of media in a tank or pipe can be done with multiple technologies. Typically hard to detect media like ketchup, peanut butter, powders are easy for SmartLevel sensors.
The Washdown environment can cause havoc for general automation components like sensors. Having the right housing materials and higher ingress protections can help sensors survive harsh washdown processes.
Variable lot sizes, multiple package sizes, infinite recipes. There is an increasing demand to individualize and customize delivery of food & beverage products. Automation components like sensors and industrial RFID help enable the implementation of these go-to market strategies.
Traceability inside the plant is a key component of modern manufacturing. Industrial RFID systems are used to track information like: access to equipment, how often the equipment is cleaned, where product is located, where product came from, which change tooling is installed, and what recipe is being run.