``At our Rojana factory, F&N Dairies produces 3 million cans a day of sterilized milk, or 2,500 cans per minute. With the integration of Wonderware software solutions to provide vital data on production processes as well as track and trace, we are able to have comprehensive control of our manufacturing operations to ensure product quality and control.`` - Somchai Khwahan, Production Manager
Atutthaya, Thailand – What do two Scotsmen and, Ayutthaya, the ancient capital city of Thailand, have in common? F&N Dairies — providing consumers in Southeast Asia nutritious dairy products for more than 130 years. Named after its Scotsmen founders, John Fraser and David Neave, F&N Dairies was established in 1883 in Southeast Asia, and has become one of the food and beverage giants in the region, producing more than 24 million cases a year.
“F&N Dairies has set very high standards for food safety, production efficiency and energy usage goals,” said Somchai Khwahan, production manager at F&N Dairies. “Our plant adheres to very strict quality control measurements at every step of the manufacturing process, and the Rojana plant relies on the latest manufacturing technologies and solutions to meet these goals and metrics. A critical software solution developed at F&N Dairies Thailand is Process Nexus II.”
F&N Dairies developed its Process Nexus II system with the help of Wonderware Ecosystem Partner Sagitate Co., Ltd. Based on Wonderware Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) Solutions, the Process Nexus II project has enabled F&N to attain significant improvements in operations efficiency and expanded its reporting capabilities throughout the enterprise.
Wonderware MES has enabled F&N Dairies to optimize its entire enterprise, including manufacturing execution, enterprise integration, batch, quality, operations and performance management. This enables agility, flexibility and operations transparency while establishing a foundation for compliance, good manufacturing practices and profitability.
As a customized in-house automation software solution, Process Nexus II effectively and efficiently monitors F&N Dairies’ manufacturing processes, allowing plant operators and management to achieve an optimized enterprise.
As a global leader in Human Machine Interface (HMI), SCADA and real-time operations management software, Wonderware automation software solutions enable production and industrial operations to synchronize with business objectives to achieve speed, flexibility and sustained profitability. Wonderware software delivers significant cost benefits for designing, building, deploying and maintaining robust applications for manufacturing and infrastructure operations
“Process Nexus II is a process and quality data acquisition system which enables online data to be captured and made ready for the user to review and release online,” said Roongroj Roongruang, factory engineering manager at F&N Dairies. “Based on the extensive capabilities of Wonderware software, the Process Nexus II system enables our production and management teams to monitor and control plant processes in real-time.”
“Sagitate provided F&N Dairies a wide range of Wonderware software solutions to achieve their business objectives,” said Paruhut Chanpahol, sales manager for Sagitate (Thailand) Co., Ltd. “We implemented Wonderware MES, Wonderware System Platform, Wonderware Historian, and QI Analyst software as part of the Process Nexus II project according to F&N’s functional requirements, such as quality control, tracking and traceability.”
An important operation of Process Nexus II at F&N Dairies is to monitor and record Net Content Control, which measures product net weight and product loss during the manufacturing process. The captured net weight is plotted to show its trend, from there, the operators at F&N Dairies are able to calculate overfill in real time and react immediately to address overfill issues to minimize loss.
With Wonderware InTouch®, staff is able to quickly and easily see what is happening along the production lines. InTouch offers an open and extensible supervisory HMI and SCADA solution that allows F&N to quickly create standardized, reusable visualization applications, and easily deploy them across its
The use of InTouch by F&N provides the company with engineering simplicity, operational agility, real-time performance, lower operating costs, reduced risk and increased security.
“Imagine manufacturing 3 million cans per day – how do you control each can’s net weight to ensure it is properly filled with little to no overfill?” Khwahan said. “This was an issue which our team faced daily, and eventually the paper-based record keeping processes were not able to keep up with our rapid production, so we developed Process Nexus II to capture this information in real time.”
F&N also uses Wonderware QI Analyst Statistical Process Control (SPC) software which offers real-time communications to shop floor systems. This statistical process control software helps to quickly reduce variations, lower costs of manufacturing and increase productivity at F&N Dairies. Performing both online and historical SPC, QI Analyst supports quality monitoring and alarm management to view process “health” over any period of time
Process Nexus II also takes care of the batching processes of the Rojana Plant with Batch Management, which enables plant technicians to effectively manage batch operations, perform recipe modeling, and develop batch execution automation. In addition, Batch Management records material genealogy and batch history, as well as provides stringent security. These metrics can be captured and presented in Web-based reports for plant and executive management team for review. With these system featured, F&N can successfully meet stringent requirements for product quality and ingredient traceability.
As an independent control system for batch management, plant operators can quickly deploy and run revised or new product recipes without control system changes, reducing the time to market and recipe validation efforts in regulated industries. Maximized process equipment utilization and Return on Assets (ROA) is achieved through Batch Management’s sophisticated batch control logic, designed for simultaneous multi-product and multi-stream batch execution on shared equipment.
“Imagine manufacturing 3 million cans per day – how do you control each can’s net weight to ensure it is properly filled with little to no overfill?” Khwahan said. “This was an issue which our team faced daily, and eventually the paper-based record keeping processes were not able to keep up with our rapid production, so we developed Process Nexus II to capture this information.”
F&N also is required to keep product quality documentation until the end of the product’s shelf life, which is typically 2 years.
Before Process Nexus II, it was easy to make mistakes during the process of reviewing these parameters since the reports were all hand written. It also was a time consuming process, with a high workload that involved developing the QA documentation of the processing line.
“There were about 40 reports per day, which included raw material receiving, processing control sheets, filling and packaging, as well as cleaning operation control sheets,” said Watcharapong Boonnam, quality assurance manager at F&N. “Process Nexus II has helped to solve this problem by reducing the quality traceability process time to only one minute. Without Process Nexus II, it would takes us more than four hours to complete one traceability report.”
Prior to the Process Nexus II system, when quality parameter deviations were detected, operators had to manually trace the information in the paper-based operations sheets filed in the archive room. This took countless hours of manpower time and effort to trace the root cause of the problem.
To resolve the manual input of data, the new software system features Wonderware Historian which is a high-performance process historian, capable of electronically storing huge volumes of data generated from F&N’s facility. Historian easily retrieves and securely delivers information to desktop or mobile devices, enabling the company to analyze processes anywhere at any time.
Historian works in conjunction with Wonderware InTouch allowing critical process data to be captured and available for troubleshooting and process analysis when necessary.
“After the Nexus II implementation, it is very convenient to summarize and consolidate the plant data,” said Sitthichai Sribunyapirat, F&N production manager. “We are now able to collect product traceability information for both the upstream and downstream functions of our process in real time.”
There are several reasons why Wonderware software solutions were chosen by F&N Dairies. First, was for its easy connectivity with other devices in the plant. With so many processes and equipment types in place at F&N Dairies, the Wonderware software solutions provide easy connectivity with the other industrial automation devices, computers and lab measuring instruments currently at F&N.
The second reason is the lower total cost of ownership for system upgrades which was provided by Wonderware software solutions. When evaluating Wonderware, F&N compared it with other software applications, and the total cost of ownership of Wonderware was comparatively lower than its competitors.
“Because Wonderware software is Windows-based, it provides an easy upgrade path,” Roongruang, said. “When Microsoft upgrades a version of Windows, or Wonderware issues a software upgrade, the Process Nexus II software is automatically upgraded over all processes and locations.”
With Wonderware MES Software/Operations solutions, F&N Dairies is able to track raw materials inventory more efficiently. The solution helps the company to manage, execute and document production operations information during work order execution, which includes bills of material and equipment set point specifications, inventory tracking and collecting product genealogy for lots and sub lots, as well as consumed and produced materials.
The plant also achieved “100% First-Time Quality,” which is a lean metric that indicates what products are manufactured correctly the first time, without the need for inspection, rework or replacement.
Using Wonderware MES Software/Operations Solutions, F&N increased its operational efficiencies, reduced production errors and quality losses, as well as increased product yields. F&N productivity also has risen through rapid inventory turns, reduced production lead times and faster new product introductions.
Process Nexus II is also responsible for Product Inventory Control. After production is completed, the finished products are typically stored in a warehouse where they await transport. After the implementation of Process Nexus II, products are dispatched early and sent straight to the container vans, ready for transfer to the ports for distribution, bypassing the warehouse altogether.
“With this system, F&N has reduced inventory in our warehouses, created cost savings, and achieved payback from our system investment within one year,” Khwahan said.
The success of the Process Nexus II system at F&N Dairies was thanks to a small village of experienced engineers both at F&N and Sagitate. F&N has benefitted from a seasoned team of Wonderware consultants, architects, and project managers that are uniquely qualified to provide design engineering and product specialist services that address all aspects of supervisory control, operations and asset management services.
With Process Nexus II, the Rojana plant of F&N Dairies, Thailand, enjoys significant savings in production, logistics and inventory costs, making the company well placed to meet the needs of its business goals now and well into the future.