With over 100 combined years of food processing knowledge and systems integration, Sigma Industrial Automation is well positioned to partner with you and your organization on your next QC, Contaminate detection or Labeling/traceability project. Profit from our experience.
Our company consists largely of engineers who have “lived” in Food Processing plants for years. Some of us originally came from the Scale business, some from Computers, and several from within Food Manufacturing itself. Whatever our origins, we’ve ALL spent significant time wearing rubber boots and hair nets. We know what it takes to make equipment work in these environments. And we understand your processes, whether it be portioning and further processing of poultry, making sausages, or baking breads, muffins, and cakes. We also bring to your facility decades of combined experience in Statistical Process Control, Product Flow and Inventory Control, Food Safety, and Custom Data Integration.
Statistical Process Control (SPC)
Imagine this typical scenario:
Your customers demand a more consistent product. You’re currently testing key parameters continuously on the production line, but you’re not confident that appropriate action is being taken based on that data. Your customer is still not satisfied and is now requesting a “Certificate of Analysis” (C of A) for every Lot of product you ship to them. What they’re asking for is going to require a lot of extra work and may result in shipping delays. And with the “C of A” may come the truth that your product is NOT in compliance, forcing you to decide whether to re-work it or accept charge-backs from the customer.
Sigma professionals have years of experience solving this very problem. First, we go through your current paperwork and testing regime with you and your operators. Next, we use our STATpaq system to develop a specific electronic data entry strategy. This may involve one or more methods, including intelligent scales, washdown computers, handheld devices, and data streams from existing equipment. Then we create a program for real-time control charting and customized alarm rules and required responses. Finally, we help you devise a system of automated reports and analyses.
The end result is this:
While requiring no extra work from your plant-floor operators (perhaps even less), we streamline the data collection process and improve the responsiveness to erroneous process trends. The result is a more consistent product for your customers. We are then able to provide a virtually real-time “C o A,” generated automatically or with just a few clicks of a mouse. Finally, we improve the efficiency of your managers and lead personnel by automating the internal reporting process.
Shift by shift, week by week, month by month, we can publish summary reports automatically, even applying dollar values to results. So, your personnel spend their time improving the process rather than gathering data and generating paperwork. The outcome is a reduction in overfills (giveaway), reduction of holds and re-work, and an overall improvement of plant-wide efficiency.
Labeling, Lot Tracking and Traceability.
What, where and how much do we have?
Typically everyone in any meat or poultry packing company knows how much and what they shipped to a given customer. But in many scenarios where that product traveled to get to the shipping dock is in question. Shipping a real time invoice to your customer can also be problematic. Furthermore to know what you have in stock takes too much time and paperwork to keep up on.
How About This?
Sigma LABELpaq networked labeling systems label all of your incoming product that is not labeled. Our SCANpaq scanning application then allows your operators to scan that product into your inventory WITH THE ASSOCIATED COST of that product that cost stays associated with that product all through the process. We then track the “movements” of those products through all processes. After cut up we label the cases, and scan those cases (and pallets) to any location including QA hold, Bin/rack segregation, LIFO FIFO and any freezer or warehouse. All with the original cost associated with the product.
Of course since we have the costing associated with your product, every report from your warehouses, coolers or freezers will show total products, aged date, cost (and projected sell price totals too), location and much, much more. All in REAL-TIME. Since we write the LABELpaq labeling software and all boxes are labeled in real time, you can also compare SCANNED inventory vs LABELED inventory to find any discrepancies in your process and fix it immediately. When shipping we can print as many and varied BOLs as are needed as well as an invoice that can be attached with the shipment by paper or electronically. We can then send the invoice electronically to your accounting system be it QuickBooks or SAP, we have interfaced with many over the past 15 years.
Food Safety and Detection.
Way Beyond Simply Selling Hardware:
We are Authorized direct representatives for Anritsu and Sartorius checkweighers, metal detectors and X-ray machines. Not only do these two world class companies manufacture the best detection devices that can be found anywhere, but with technology developed by Sigma, the DATA from these machines can be sent to our FDA approved SPC system. No more stand alone machines. Use our experience to gather the RIGHT amount of data to make real-time decisions that make your processes and your products in control.
Custom Data Integration
Data, Data Everywhere!: There’s a lot of data out there on your production floor, but you don’t have an easy way to pull it all together. Some of it is coming from in-line checkweighers and metal detectors and it disappears unless you go out to each machine and collect the data manually. Some of it comes from the sensors and PLCs that are controlling your lines, but you have no way to access it. Some of it is in the paperwork that you’re filling out to monitor Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Food Safety (HACCP), and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). The trouble is, you don’t have any way to assimilate all this to give you an overview of how the plant is running.
A better scenario: A single “Dashboard” which shows you such things as Production Rate and Totals, HACCP Pre-Shipment Reviews, OEE ratings by line and by product, Product Cost on Hold, and compliance with GMPs. Should a problem occur in any of these areas, an indicator goes from green to red, and you can drill into the problem and easily pull up charts and data tables.
Sigma is well-versed in solving these kinds of problems. We build data “bridges” between existing applications, for instance between your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and our STATpaq Quality Control system. We are also experts in “tapping” data streams, such as RS-232 ports, on existing equipment. We can even make “wired” systems wireless for communication across your 802.11x network. All this is gathered into an at-a-glance dashboard, just as described above.
YOUR PLACE OR OURS:
In most cases we do some training on site at your facility at the time of our installation or just afterward.
However, for individualized and more intense training, our training facility in San Antonio is state of the art and a perfect location to learn more about our systems and how they can make your operation more profitable. We have all of our systems set up and networked as we can simulate your processes and use YOUR data during the training sessions. We have hosted entire quality departments from customers all over the USA, Canada and Mexico.