Upgrading the Largest Flour Mill Control System in the UK

The largest flour mill in the UK has upgraded its control system to improve performance, productivity and reporting with support from OAL.

Customer

A global food processor operating with multiple flour mills in the UK, processing more than a million tons of wheat a year. They produce a range of white, brown, whole-meal and speciality flours for use in the bakery industry.

Challenge

Their flour mill in Northamptonshire, UK, required a new control system as parts of the previous system were over 30 years old and unable to offer the degree of control, limiting the sites operational performance. Replacing a 30-year-old system represented a number of challenges:

  • Visualising the complex process of milling on screen for a large site with various product routes
  • Production requirements meant only 1 software test day was available a week

Solution

OAL installed a state of the art automated controls system at the site. This provided complete control and visibility of the entire milling process. Crucially the SCADA system gives the site the option of bypassing parts of the process to increase the speed of production or avoid faulty equipment. 

A key aspect of the project was the flexible deployment of the solution, allowing production to run to target with only 1 test day available a week. The OAL team completed a technically challenging step by step switchover from the old to the new system.

Results

The OAL solution has significantly assisted in enabling the flour mill to achieve optimal performance. The entire site can now be controlled from one point leading to a significant reduction in headcount. Complete visualisation of the process has decreased production time for certain products. More reliable yield data from the factory has allowed improved pricing accuracy of flour.
 

 

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