21 May 2024

Process control drives automation ambitions

Promtek process control drives Anpario’s automation ambitions

Promtek says it prides itself on creating industry-leading process control and automation solutions that continually overachieve its customers’ objectives.

Anpario was looking to modernise its entirely manual production process and bring its factory into line with contemporary efficiency and sustainability targets. Formed over 30 years ago from the merger of three animal nutrition companies, Anpario says it has achieved major success in the agriculture, animal health, manufacturing and animal nutrition markets. It provides services in Eubiotics, feed quality control, feed security and natural feed additives. Anpario’s technologies are sold in over 80 countries around the world.

Being an international producer and distributor of high-performance natural feed additives for animal health, the merger that created Anpario resulted in the consolidation of the three separate companies’ production lines into one UK factory. Production volume at the single site spiked. In addition the complicated legislative processes surrounding the manufacture of animal feeds necessitated the automation of the factory production line and the implementation of process control software and technology.

Shane Bailey, Anpario Operations Director, explained: “Automation is the smart way to manage everything – from raw materials to labour. Our very rapid growth after the merger left us with many challenges – not least that of keeping up with customer demand for our wide range of products. Promtek’s process control automation and software platform was, and still is, perfect for our needs. Plus, the quick, easy, regular site visits are great too.”

Promtek set out to achieve a number of goals on the project including: increasing production line automation, integrating process control systems, improving track and trace of ingredients, and managing health and safety concerns.

To ensure the future viability of the Anpario production facility, the automation of the production line incorporated the ability to expand and add new lines on an ad hoc basis. Actual mixing value data is sent to the ERP system, showing updated stock values in real time. Using Promtek’s customised control screen visuals designed to imitate real factory equipment – that also streamlines operator onboarding – the day-to-day business activities are managed seamlessly and more efficiently compared to the previous manual setup.

Product categorisation within the process control platform improves finished product safety, as the software allows products to be categorised according to mixing sequences and schedules multiple production runs. This effectively eliminates cross contamination between regulated ingredients. The system automatically produces barcodes from the ERP from a raw material pallet. Barcodes are internationally recognised and increases the track and traceability of lot codes and bin numbers.

Capex expenditure in a suitable process control system that can deal with exponential growth requires complete buy in and benefits to all business areas. From technical to purchasing, the investment in the automated process control system would show a ROI just two years after installation.

Bailey added: “We currently have just over 300 recipes active on our process control system, which is twice as many as we had when we started working with Promtek. They took the time to understand our business, the flexibility they have given to the company is first rate, and the system is futureproofed. More than that, it’s really about the mutual trust we have developed over the years of working together as a team.”

Company info: Promtek