Pepperidge Farm

Downingtown, PA and other plants

Starting in 2008 We have integrated Detection Equipment on four separate production lines was integrated into a common database for real-time alerts and response tracking. The equipment included four checkweighers and three metal detectors.

The checkweigher integration helped the customer respond more effectively to trends in portion weight, ensuring that they met the label weight while reducing overpack (giveaway). The checkweigher data was also used to monitor production totals in real time. Values that were tracked included total weight produced, total packages produced, and average/min/max package weights. These totals could be sorted by production line, by product code, by operator, by shift, or by any combination of these factors.

The metal detector integration was used to immediately alert appropriate personnel throughout the network when a contamination event occurred. Additionally, the same data connection was used to track the HACCP testing of the metal detector (using ferrous, non-ferrous, and stainless steel test pieces). This was an improvement over the paper-based system that it replaced in that there was no way to “pencil whip” the data. Each detection of the test pieces was time and data stamped and could only come from the data connection.

The technical details of the above integration varied from component to component. Ultimately, the data was transmitted via Ethernet cable and TCP/IP to the server computer, where the data was decoded and inserted into the database. However, some of the devices had data output via TCP/IP, others by RS-232, and others by RS-485. In the latter cases, an appropriate translator device from the input protocol to TCP/IP was used. These devices and their power supplies were housed and mounted appropriately in IP67 enclosures equipped with watertight cord grips.

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Sugar Foods

A major packager of croutons and portion-packed fruits and nuts was helped to improve their paperless data collection and tracking. On the crouton line, laboratory tests (moisture and oil content) from a near-infrared analyzer were integrated directly into the InfinityQS Proficient SPC software. Every lab test value was compared automatically to continuous data coming from online sensors. In the case of a discrepancy, alarm screens alerted the lab techs and line operators.

The system was also used to track lot genealogy and various sensory tests, primarily color and flavor checks.

Logo is trademarked and all rights reserved by the owner.