Virtual commissioning in the food industry

 Virtual commissioning in the food industry 

  Virtual Commissioning in the Food Industry

By Brith Isaksson, ABB Food & Beverage

When an architect adds an extension, he often uses Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software to visualize what the extension looks like , Similarly, the commissioning of a new system for a food factory requires software support to plan effectively, and with digital partnerships, manufacturers can optimize their ongoing operations.

Planning can be time-consuming, but adding it to an existing building like a house could be the difference between a crumbling foundation and your dream home. To make the process smoother, architects use special software that allows them to draw the designs and integrate the electrical and sanitary elements of the existing structure into the plan.

Architects can then review the plans to ensure compliance with regulations and practical aspects of the design and eliminate potential problems. While CAD plans are often used to plan system installations in manufacturing facilities, the software is often limited by the variables that occur during operation.

As a result, we see a shift towards virtual commissioning technology and other forms of simulation software in the industry

With virtual commissioning, manufacturers can virtually build and operate a new production line before building it in the real world. This includes simulating an exact replica of the line with its current automation system and network in a virtual area, which is then modified to add new devices. With virtual commissioning, plant engineers can program robots and automation systems in the virtual world. They then perform virtual tests and all detected problems can be resolved in advance to significantly reduce the cost and startup time of the system.

For example, if a plant manager wants to install a new robotic cell to retrieve the product from a conveyor belt and place the product in a box at a certain rate per minute, the line can be choreographed and virtually tested. This ensures that the robot can perform the movements and necessary maneuvers in connection with the flow of product and packaging. With a virtual process architecture, various scenarios can be executed and the automation software can be programmed without having to stop production on the physical line.

Using virtual commissioning, manufacturers can also eliminate operational inefficiencies in their existing lines to increase productivity. For example, ABB Ability RobotStudio can simulate the different processes in a food and beverage factory so that managers can see which strategies should be revised to achieve better quality and increase output.

For ongoing support and maintenance of devices, managers can also integrate other simulation software such as digital twinning applications. A digital twin simulates an exact replica of an asset, subsystem, or system, and combines digital aspects of equipment such as the design model with real-time aspects of its operation, and is maintained to provide insights into the condition of equipment and systems the likelihood of component failure.

While virtual commissioning provides a safe space for engineers to test and ensure that the right mix of components is used in their application, Digital Twinning provides managers with further verification of the overall 3D design. By using simulation software like ABB in the planning stages of this process, plant managers can calculate numbers such as the optimal utilization of supply resources to meet consumption schedules to make improvements throughout the supply chain

The steps necessary to customize your factory are very similar to your house add. Interrupt delays or problems that are not detected in the initial stage can be costly, but food and beverage manufacturers can review the final model before startup to address issues and avoid unexpected costs.

2018-10-30 20:19:40
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