Food processing case study: Build paperless quality system

An international food company was using a quality system based on paper data capture and with analysis of key metrics done manually on spreadsheets.

Industry
Food Processing
Task
Build paperless quality system

An international food company was using a quality system based on paper data capture and with analysis of key metrics done manually on spreadsheets.

  • reduce the time operators spent manually capturing quality information
  • reduce the rate of missed quality checks
  • ensure appropriate response to, and escalation of, out-of-specification checks
  • automate reporting of key metrics
  • simplify auditing of historical quality data
    However, upon review of the available ‘off-the-shelf’ systems the management team was unable to find an application that provided the functionality they needed within budget.

DTX technology was engaged to design and build a paperless quality system based on an Ignition 8 gateway linked to the site SQL server instance.

During the design phase DTX worked with the site team to outline the full project scope:

  • input data sources (e.g. manual input, PLC data, vision systems)
  • operator screens (e.g. data entry, alerting)
  • escalation pathways
  • key metrics (e.g. missed checks, out-of-specification checks)
  • auditing and reporting
  • user configuration of system elements (e.g. check sheets, check frequencies)
  • user security

The build phase required 4 months with DTX delivering all Ignition and database development.

DTX supported the site over a 6 month implementation phase including:

  • creating documentation for using and configuring the system
  • training operators, team leaders and the management team

The delivered solution is a fully paperless quality system, including:

  • integration of manual input with automated data capture on quality check sheets
  • real-time operator overview of quality data
  • automated alerting of operators when checks are due/missed
  • automated escalation of out-of-specification checks
  • automated reporting at all levels of review, from end of shift to weekly review
  • auditing of historical quality data linked to downtime data and operator/team leader comments from that day/shift
  • user screens for configuration and maintenance, eliminating the need for ongoing 3rd party support

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