Smart manufacturing will be especially
critical to future-proofing operations and
maintaining productivity amid the growing
As older, more experienced workers
retire, they risk taking vital knowledge
with them. Digitizing processes can
capture this knowledge before workers
retire. And the ability to deliver worker-specific instructions and contextualized
production information can help reduce
complexity for a younger, less experienced
Improved productivity can be a
corollary benefit when you use smart
manufacturing to address other areas
of need. One of those areas is the
management of resources, including
water, air, gas, electricity and steam
Water conservation is a key example.
Food and beverage consistently ranks high
among U.S. manufacturing sectors when
it comes to water usage. A fully integrated
system based on open standards will
help you access water usage data,
wherever it’s located in your operations.
You can then use the data to develop an
action plan to mitigate potential risks and
optimize water usage.
For example, Full Sail Brewing used the
PlantPAx® modern DCS and manufacturing
intelligence software from Rockwell
Automation to help decrease its annual
water usage by an estimated 1 million
gallons — while also reducing brew-cycle time by 50 percent and increasing
brewing capacity by 25 percent.
Mitigate Security Risks
Seamless connectivity and smart
devices help enable smart manufacturing.
But they can also open the door to new
In the food and beverage industry, a
security program should aim to protect not
only uptime and intellectual property, but
also the people, processes and equipment
responsible for keeping products safe and
quality high. A defense-in-depth security
approach can help accomplish this. It
establishes multiple fronts of defense
using physical, electronic and procedural
Companies can begin with a security
assessment to identify risk areas and
potential threats. They can also use
industry resources, such as the
Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE)
reference architectures, to help identify
The New Normal
operations have the potential to wholly
transform food and beverage companies.
For some major players in the industry,
it’s already the new normal. For example,
General Mills now collects more than
700 billion data points across its global
Those that delay making the move
to a smart manufacturing model risk
falling behind in an industry that will only
continue to change and become more
complex in the years to come.
PlantPAx is a trademark of Rockwell Automation Inc.
EtherNet/IP is a trademark of ODVA Inc.
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