Clover SA increases profits through improved industrial intelligence

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Goals

  • Real-time monitoring and reporting of energy and material usage throughout the plants

Challenges

  • ROI of less than six months
  • Data stored in Historian (e.g. Phase Steps) required additional data filtering
  • Urgency of generating needed reports quickly

Results

  • Reduced utility usage
  • Prevention of over-cleaning
  • Saving of more than 8 hours engineering time/week
  • Highlighted previously-hidden problem areas
  • 20% reduction in CIP time
  • Access to reports from all levels
  • Report requests from Production

Solutions & Products

“As soon as the system was in place, I was asked for reports and, with the intuitive use of Flow Software, I managed to provide the necessary information in five minutes – although I could have done better, this was sufficient to help production on their way and it was also web-available.”

Ursula du Plessis, Process Control Engineer, Clover SA

Queensburgh, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Clover SA uses Wonderware System Platform with Historian and Flow Software to get more insight into day-to-day stock levels, production volumes and operator behaviour. This has resulted in reduced operational costs as well as improved inventory management – so much so that the implementation cost was recovered within two months.

Background

Clover saw the need for a solution that would initially help them manage energy costs and highlight areas of peak usage. But it wouldn’t stop there. Next in line was monitoring the usage of water, caustic, acid and sanitiser. The identification of all the users of these resources and their needs would go a long way towards prioritising what should be done to improve production while lowering costs.  Clover SA needed an industrial knowledge-based solution that would provide the necessary insight into what was actually going on in their plants and that would give them the control options they were looking for.

Flow Software was identified as a suitable candidate and subsequently installed within the existing Wonderware ArchestrA-based suite of solutions. “We chose Advansys as system integrator for this project because of our already-existing relationship with them, the fact that they are endorsed Wonderware SIs and that they could give us the level of support we wanted through remote access,” says Ursula du Plessis, Process Control Engineer, Clover SA. “As soon as the system was in place, I was asked for reports and, with the intuitive use of Flow Software, I managed to provide the necessary information in five minutes – although I could have done better, this was sufficient to help production on their way and it was also web-available.”

Over time and with the help of Flow, Clover’s expertise grew in generating the reports people wanted to see and in the timeframe that was useful to them.

Implementation

The implementation of this solution started in November 2016 and is currently (April 2017) about 30% completed. “This is an evolving project as we realise the possibilities that Flow Software provides,” says du Plessis. ”Advansys implemented Flow and structured the initial CIP and usage (water and acid) reports and we took over from there. Flow allows us to generate reports over any time period we want while highlighting deviations from the norm which help us diagnose and isolate production equipment problems of which we were previously unaware.”

Benefits

“Some of the benefits we realised were a pleasant surprise as they were not part of the original project objectives. For example, the ROI was initially thought to be 6 months but was in fact realised in the first month,” says du Plessis.

  • Reduced utility usage – Because of missed measurements, what previously showed as 400 litres of acid usage, for example, was actually more than 1000 litres which went straight down the drain. The new system was able to synchronise the flow meter pulse width with the PLC scan time and provided substantial savings resulting in a payback period of roughly one month.
  • Prevention of over-cleaning – The system highlighted the fact that some CIP procedures were carried out needlessly and this prevented the wastage of acid – which is not reclaimed.
  • Saving of more than 8 hours engineering time/week – This was a direct result of useful information on easily-accessible reports.
  • Highlighted previously-hidden problem areas – These included incorrect flow rate setup, faulty OEM equipment, software interlocking problems, CIP transition issues, non-standard software and faulty instrumentation feedback.
  • Improved control over CIP runs – 20% reduction in CIP time.
  • Access to reports – Everyone on the Clover network has access to the generated reports and given the opportunity of making improvements.
  • Report requests from Production – This helps them optimise the day-to-day running of the plant.

About Clover SA

Clover is a leading and competitive branded consumer goods and products group operating in South Africa and other selected African countries with core competencies in the production, distribution and sales of dairy and non-dairy beverage consumer products

Clover delivers to approximately 14 913 delivery points across South Africa. The Group was converted from a co-operative society into a public company in 2003.

The company has factories and distribution centres across South Africa. Clover is a household favourite with its milk products as well as its range of juices (Tropika, Krush and Nectar). Clover also produces Amasi and Super-M flavoured milk.

Clover was voted the most reputable company in South Africa for 2016 and is recognised for the attention paid to the delivery of healthy products.