How Tiger Brands’ Crosse & Blackwell mayonnaise just got tastier



  • A standardised solution
  • Easy transition for operators
  • Disaster recovery functionality
  • Immediate notification of critical events
  • No external help with respect to generate reports and analyses
  • Traceable plant operations
  • Improved production consistency
  • Area-specific alarm notification and handling
  • Improved plant planning, tracking and traceability


  • Deployment of platforms onto virtual machines
  • Implementing solution in parallel with live process
  • Trying to keep the same look-and-feel, while introducing the new features and functions available with Wonderware packages


  • Improved production consistency, production analysis and planning
  • Better-informed decisions
  • Disaster recovery mechanism is in place
  • Pertinent reports are being generated at will
  • Improved system security
  • Better operator confidence
  • Informative Twitter feeds from Wonderware Flow

“It should be mentioned that Wonderware Flow stood out as one of the products that made a significant difference on the operation of the plant. Especially considering that Tiger Brands’ Crosse & Blackwell facility had no easy way of generating reports in the past.”

Ivan Wentzel, AM Systems Integrations

Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa

It’s a fair bet that everyone in South Africa has one or more Tiger Brands product in their grocery cupboards right now. That sort of popularity comes from trusting the quality and consistency of the company’s large range of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) products over decades. A trust the company didn’t want to break at their Boksburg mayonnaise production facility which they thought needed more industrial IT muscle.


Tiger Brands’ Boksburg’s mayonnaise production facility relies on SCADA/HMI technology to keep operators informed as to the performance of the 24/7 processes in their care. But these days, process control involves much more than looking at an HMI screen hoping to see the difference between one refresh and another.

The complexity of processes and the businesses that rely on their optimal performance is growing and that’s why Tiger Brands decided to take a closer look at their Crosse and Blackwell mayonnaise production facility.

They found that the existing SCADA functionality had severe limitations which included no access to historical data for trending purposes, a lack of reporting and alarm-handling capabilities as well as limited “pop-up” functionality. All this meant that operators and managers couldn’t be informed of certain plant changes (such as process limits or alarms) in real time and that they weren’t able to determine what happened in the past. They also couldn’t track who did what on the SCADA system.

This lack of information led to a variety of issues, including inconsistent production, loss of data during (regular) system crashes, unacceptable production delays due to downtime, security risks and no real form of tracking, traceability or reporting.

Yet another aspect was that the tag limit on the SCADA software license was nearing its limit, which meant that Tiger Brands would have to purchase a larger license to incorporate their planned expansion of the plant. But increasing the licensing of something which already didn’t deliver what was required didn’t make sense.


In view of these problems, Tiger Brands looked to AM Systems Integrations for help and advice and the following project goals were formulated:

  • Implement a standardised solution – As the plant expands, it should be easy to introduce new equipment, while maintaining current plant operations.
  • The look-and-feel of the new solution should be in line with the old application so that no retraining of operators and staff would be needed.
  • Fast and reliable disaster recovery capabilities should be prioritised for the system and all data.
  • The new solution should be able to notify operators and staff of changes and critical events in the plant.
  • Management and key operating staff should be able to do reporting and plant analysis – both locally and remotely.
  • Plant operations should be traceable (who did what and when).
  • Consistency in production should be improved.
  • Provision would have to be made for area-specific alarm notification and handling.
  • Improve plant planning, tracking, and traceability.

This would require a scalable system that complied with enterprise standards and that would feature low total cost of ownership and maintenance as well as dual redundancy to ensure high availability. The choice was a suite of integrated Wonderware solutions which would not only provide the functionality Tiger Brands was looking for but would also have an open-ended approach to the licensing of future tags to cope with Tiger Brands’ plans for the expansion of their Crosse and Blackwell facility.

As to the selection of system integrator, insofar as Tiger Brands was concerned, the choice was obvious. “We involved AM Systems Integrations with one of our major projects worth around R300 million. Without them, the project would have failed dismally,” says Francois Roberts, Tiger Brands Portfolio Executive. Not only does AM Systems Integration have a long and successful relationship with Tiger Brands, but, with six trained Wonderware developers with another three in the certification process the company is uniquely placed to help Tiger Brands achieve its business and operational goals for the Crosse and Blackwell facility.


“We started the initial design and development in December 2016,” says Ivan Wentzel of AM Systems Integration. “The first thing was to implement plant hardware and software upgrades. Object templates, graphics and InTouch pages were created over a two-month period and the new system had to be tested and implemented in parallel with the existing structure.”

According to Wentzel, Wonderware’s System Platform proved itself with the standardisation, historisation, alarm management, high-availability and ease-of-use aspects of the system. “Engineering time was greatly reduced while we kept a unified and familiar look-and-feel for the benefit of the operators.”

Historian Client made it possible to troubleshoot and make more precise production decisions because of the visibility it gave to real-time data sourced from Historian. SmartGlance was used for mobile notification and remote data comparison while Flow proved very effective in providing critical KPIs and calculated reports. VMWare was used for effective disaster recovery and the prevention of data loss.

The system is Internet-enabled which allows Flow and SmartGlance to access the Historian. No changes were necessary to the PLC coding or to the Control & Instrumentation network which was kept separate from the business network

“The change-over from old to new gradually occurred over 3-week period,” says Wentzel. “The full decommissioning of the old system is planned to occur soon and once that happens, the redundant server will be implemented, as well as the integration of MES and Skelta BPM to formalise the production process at the human level. We also plan to introduce the benefits of Situational Awareness graphics on InTouch screens. The continuous growth and improvement of the system will be handled with a Service-Level Agreement which will allow Tiger Brands to do such things as In-depth reporting on specified areas or operation, plant efficiency and Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) as well as cost tracking and MES.”

About Tiger Brands

Tiger Brands Limited is a Top 40 JSE Limited company whose footprint extends across the African continent and beyond (22 countries). It is one of the largest manufacturers (59 factories) and marketers of FMCG products in Southern Africa and has been for several decades.

Tiger Brands is a world–class operation – and will continue to hold and grow its position through constant investment in every asset of the business, be it in people, brands, technology, efficiency, quality or sustainability.

About Crosse & Blackwell

Crosse & Blackwell is synonymous with mayonnaise in South Africa and has been adding their unique taste to dishes for decades.

Crosse & Blackwell is one of South Africa’s most recognised brands and has been voted the No1 mayonnaise brand by TGI consistently over the past years. The brand is renowned for its superior quality and there is no mistaking its great taste.