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800xA DCS connection with ERP increases productivity of AAK fats manufacturer, Sweden

Minimized manual reporting and secure production using full integration of business system with 800xA process control

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Manually extracting figures from separate customer order systems and then manually re-entering them into the system that controls production is a risky and problematic process that is time consuming and prone to error, as AarhusKarlshamn Sweden AB (AAK), a leading manufacturer of high-value-added specialty vegetable fats discovered.

A leader in high-value-added speciality vegetable fats

AarhusKarlshamn manufactures high-value-added speciality vegetable fats. Its products are used as substitutes for butterfat and cocoa butter, trans-free solutions for fillings in chocolate and confectionary products, and in the cosmetics industry.

The company has production plants in several countries and is organized in three business areas: Chocolate & Confectionery Fats, Food Ingredients & Technical Products and Feed.

Its hydration plant is where the fats’ melting points are determined according to intended application.

The information, from customer order through production planning, was previously entered manually by the
operators. This naturally increased the risk of human error and sometimes resulted in us running out of material, with a production stop as the inevitable consequence. One of the major goals of the automation project has thus been to minimize manual operations as much as possible

Main facts

Industry Food & Beverage 
Customer AarhusKarlshamn vegetable fats production
Country Sweden
Solution

Manual entries of information increased the risk of human error and sometimes resulted in running out of material, with a production stop as the inevitable consequence.

Integrating business system with System 800xA

Following a risk analysis of the plant’s old control system, ABB did extensive work to adapt its System 800xA to AAK’s total operational needs. The obvious solution was integrating their business system with System 800xA. In January 2010, it was ready for commissioning and the many benefits were soon apparent to all concerned.

Improvements:
  • Seamless information flow - AAK operators utilize an unbroken chain of information from customer order to production planning to process control
  • Automatic feedback - Since System 800xA also reports in real time which product has been manufactured and how much, as well as which ingredients have been consumed and in what quantities
  • Reduced downtime - Previously, a reporting delay of just a few hours resulted in missing materials for subsequent batches and production stopping
Costly interruptions are now a thing of the past and process flexibility is much improved.

Costly interruptions are now a thing of the past and process flexibility is much improved
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