The small batch equipment was not capable of supplying product in sufficient volume to satisfy new targets. The new process required larger batch kettles and hygienic equipment for their new demands. The sauce manufacturing process required the introduction of several ingredients in a myriad of different sequences and amounts from separate tanks into a mixing vat. During the cook process, the system had to be capable of maintaining very limited temperature tolerances over extended periods of time within narrow bands, despite each introduced ingredient being stored at various temperatures differing from the ultimate mix. The integrated controls system not only needed to introduce the ingredients, but was also required to control over mixing, heating, and transferring sauce batches out of the mixing vat for further processing. Their current process required that the product cool down carefully to an exact temperature for the filling process. This introduced a challenge for sticky and lumpy viscous food especially in the larger volumes required. Several hours of time were required to cool the sauces in a controlled manner to achieve the desired consistency, taste, and quality.
ONYX Engineering provided complete electrical and controls design for the entire process line including integration into other systems in the plant. They worked with the customer’s food scientists to incorporate specialized heat exchangers to dramatically reduce the cool down process. New kettles, pumps and piping were added to the existing equipment and they were fitted with new PLCs, VFDs, HMIs, electrical and safety devices in new and existing panels. ONYX worked as a turn-key controls solution provider to meet all manufacturing demands throughout the project. The new control system was completely re-programmed and installed to offer a new centralized user-friendly environment for operators and maintenance personnel to operate and service the line including CIP (clean in place) processes.
With the new equipment and controls in place the customer was able to produce the required additional product in a greatly reduced time. The new controls platform means that future enhancements to the line including visual factory and IOT can be more easily implemented. Difficult sauce recipes including crème based products are now produced at the company’s facility.