Integrated IT solution for the baking industry

You have to set market trends to win customers. Consolidation pressure in the baking industry is leading to the development of new approaches. The trend is towards industrial bakeries that produce a wide variety of products, for example pre-baked, frozen or convenience products, at a single location.

Due to increasing competition in the baking industry, all production processes must offer the highest level of flexibility – from dough production through the baking process to packaging of the finished product. For example, this means that – based on the dough – several versions of a product can be produced. This is possible thanks to a single IT system which controls and monitors all subordinate semi or fully automated process areas and is connected to ERP systems via integrated interfaces.

Integrated automation solution with Plant iT

Plant iT is a modular IT system with integrated MES functionalities for process areas in the baking industry. This industry-specific feature combined with cutting-edge information technology enables data transparency from the operational to the planning level and at all stages of value creation. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MESs) provide production managers with new opportunities to overview the entire process chain from raw material delivery to the packaged product. This enhanced transparency optimises processes, improves product quality, saves energy and raw materials and increases the availability of machines and systems.

Numerous companies, such as Auer Brot, Glockenbrot Bäckerei, Jowa or Kerry, use our proven automation solutions in their production facilities.

Contact & information

Your contact person:

Thomas Scheller
Sales Manager, ProLeiT Inc., USA
Phone: +1 224 880 6536

Leonard Mitranescu
Head of Sales, Food, ProLeiT GmbH, Germany
Phone: +49 9132 777 142

Request the industry information pack:

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Plant iT and the integrated bakery

We understand the needs of industrial bakeries, as Plant iT can cover the entire production process from raw material delivery and storage, through recipe-controlled dough production, kneader integration, dough dividing, fermenting, resting and the baking and freezing stage to packaging and dispatching. In cooperation with customers, machine suppliers, the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Technical University of Munich, we have defined standard interfaces for process and quality data per machine type based on the Weihenstephan Standards (WS Food), which were used to realize the customer-specific requirements regarding the distribution and recording of process data and QA-relevant data. Thanks to this trend-setting procedure, it is, for example, possible to realise integrated OEE evaluations (complete plant efficiency). Furthermore, coordination of the process controls is enabled by recording all machine data up to packaging and mapping the information flow for individual process steps. 

If you take a look inside modern industrial bakeries, you will often see a production line consisting of systems and machines from various manufacturers with little or no intercommunication. If convenience and frozen products are produced at the same location as a standard bakery range, not only the number of systems and machines but also the list of suppliers usually increases considerably. This heterogeneous system and machine scenario is divided into numerous process areas and very rarely fully automated or connected to a higher-order IT system.

Although many system and machine manufacturers offer information solutions in the form of SCADA systems, they are often limited to their own systems and thus to a specific process area, and are not intended for a production line or the entire production facility. The necessity of a higher-order process system becomes visible when further considering existing dispatching, storage and logistics systems or the production of pastries. The flow of information becomes an even more critical factor for production areas which map a workflow with pen and paper as so-called routing or accompanying sheets – a typical error source for electronic material tracking.

Our control system Plant iT offers the perfect solution. Irrespective of which systems and requirements already exist, Plant iT can process the information of all the process areas and assume the integrated process management thanks to defined interfaces. Therefore, Plant iT can ensure quality compliance to recipe specifications, the calculation of material consumption according to the order list and complete traceability of the entire production process in line with statutory regulations.

Process technology for the baking industry

Plant iT provides the answer to the challenges of the baking industry. The following functions are an integral part of our control system:

  • Order management
    Process or production orders for the procedures:
    goods receipt, dough production, baking, packaging, dispatching.
  • Recipe management
    Acceptance of bills of materials and consumption feedback at ERP systems, recipe changes (no. of pieces, water quantity, dough temperature) of a current order, manual component management and definition of addition times when kneading in the recipe.
  • Process-oriented material management
    Mapping the material flow across all process steps, inventory management of raw, auxiliary and operating materials, material provisions, old and leftover bread updates, batch and product tracking.
  • Integrated energy management
    Energy data acquisition and visualisation, energy statistics with detailed consumption reports, feedback of the energy consumption to the higher-order process cost controlling, optimisation of the operating mode of energy stores.
  • Quality and production optimisation
    Connection to laboratory systems, workflow of QA-relevant test processes, operating data acquisition, OEE key figures for bakeries.
  • Maintenance
    Maintenance orders, spare parts procurement – warehouse dependent or order-oriented, planning maintenance projects and tracking processes, warehouse management of spare parts with minimum stock monitoring.

 

MES in the baking industry

The MES (Manufacturing Execution System) und PCS (Process Control System) levels are often seen as two separate systems in one production plant. Plant iT prevents this common separation. Unnecessary interfaces and duplicate user groups are avoided by combining MES functions within a PCS to create an IT system. This provides the perfect foundations for integrated information processing and increased efficiency for system operation, maintenance and repairs as well as future extensions. The MES tasks and parts of the PCS can thus be viewed as a central IT system. This is the reason for the development of the flexible system platform Plant iT, consisting of basic systems and modules for application in various areas of a production plant.

An example of the seamless integration between MES functionalities and the PCS level of an industrial bakery is the Plant iT material module. Since the availability of materials (usually raw, auxiliary and operating materials) is of key importance for bakeries, process-oriented materials management provides data on a permanent basis. This ensures rapid decisions about intervention in the process cycle during production. An essential criterion for the quality of these decisions is the up-to-dateness of the information on the stock, local availability and quality status of the materials being processed.

Plant iT therefore guarantees the required integration to, e.g., ensure traceability and carry out recipe optimisation depending on the raw material parameters. Received raw materials with the respective workflow are also mapped in this fashion. Thanks to the transparency of the Plant iT product group, migration times for renovation projects can be reduced to a minimum. And costs for re-qualification measures are minimised due to the object-oriented system infrastructure.

Line management for baking lines and packaging plants

With Plant iT we can provide a line management system specifically developed for the baking industry which meets the requirements of the following areas and processes:

  • OEE for baking and packaging lines
  • Management reporting
  • Product and batch tracking
  • Line visualisation and plant status monitoring
  • "Weihenstephan Standards" (WS Food) for data provision and reporting
  • Machine and process data acquisition via standardised machine interfaces (package units) from dough mixing to packaging

Equipment Effectiveness – what does OEE mean for bakeries?

For bakeries: OEE = transparency.
OEE key figures show where production losses occur. They analyse availability, plant capacity and the quality of the individual production lines while forming the basis for all optimisation measures.

Bakery-specific standard requirements have been integrated into Plant iT and can be presented as real-time online reports. The following information is, amongst other things, evaluated:

  • Performance statistics (e.g. utilisation times of all the machines) 
  • Energy statistics (e.g. consumption per machine) 
  • Fault analyses (e.g. cause of downtimes) 
  • Maintenance reports (e.g. working hours of maintenance staff per machine)