Producing fruit juices and conserves is a matter of quality, but not only. The legislative and industrial process complexities make use of IT strategic in food factories. With Engineering's help, in recent years in Italy, Zuegg has planned the start up of a path aimed at full product and production process traceability in the factories in Verona and Luogosana (Avellino).
“After a detailed analysis, the project was started by selecting software" - explains Tecla Geremia, Zuegg's IT Systems Manager - "with the realization of the good acceptance module for the Verona factory as the first go live. The partner chosen by Zuegg for studying and realizing the project, Engineering, implemented the solution basing it on Siemens Simatic It, as an MES (Manufacturing Execution System) product, one of the market leaders."
A pioneering project
“Zuegg has two very different production sites in Italy" - continues Geremia - "fresh fruit is processed in Luogosano, with a first stage of processing that produces semi-finished and finished products, like the historical Fruttino for industry and the market. In Verona, we mainly produce fruit juices and products for the dairy industry”.
In the past, traceability of Zuegg production was guaranteed by all-paper processes, with problems of speed in feedback, difficulty in storing information for the duration of the product and optimization of production activity. "Today, thanks to this first implementation" - adds Geremia - "in real time we have all the data about the history of the finished product, with the enormous advantage of being able to respond immediately to requests for information from the market or competent authorities".
The Engineering MES team, thanks to its knowledge of sector processes, has created a sophisticated production control system, which is able to model the function logic of two factories by writing rules of conduct for the plant systems and creating maximum synergy in realization of the two systems. To observe the specific characteristics of the plants, the development team mainly acted on the model or description of each factory and only modified or redefined the rules of conduct for some parts of the plant in part.
Therefore, it is easy to understand that the complexity of developing the production management solution for a company like Zuegg with two factories was considerably reduced, where normally an error would give rise to the rewriting of entire sections of the software code. Thanks to modelization and the approach to libraries offered by Simatic It, Engineering was able to modify one step in the process by intervening solely on the genealogical conduct compared to the other connected step, both during the development stage and in the solution test phase, drastically reducing times. In a traditional approach in many cases, all the software the realized that last passage would have had to have been rewritten.
The results obtained and future developments
"The first advantage that we obtained at Zuegg was the possibility of arranging an information system that allows us to support production activities and above all to have information about the genealogy of the finished product in real time," - adds Geremia - "which is a big advantage, in a period of food alarms. In the near future, in addition to the extension of the project to the European production sites, we would like to integrate auto-control process indicators into traceability, such as pasteurization times and temperatures and qualitative and chemical-physical parameters in order to have a full picture of the product history in each phase".
Simatic It's innovative characteristic that allowed Engineering and Zuegg to gain excellent results in a short time was the possibility of modelizing processes and conduct of production plants also associating management logic. The Zuegg project has been an excellent test bench and has permitted Engineering to optimize its expertise in processes in the food & beverage sector. Developed, as often happens, on a specific need, it then evolved into an all-round MES implementation.
Engineering's experience in this area broadened to other sectors such as the pharmaceutical and automotive sectors, allowing the company to combine the capacity to realize top-level MES solutions with the knowledge of production management problems, typical of their own clients.