By Kassidi Koronkowski on December 20, 2018
Tags: Data Collection
Food processing is changing. Advances in technology and more efficient methods of production have changed the way that food processing facilities are built, operated and managed. At the same time, consolidation is taking over many industries, making processing plants larger in the pursuit of better economies of scale. Approaches to vertical coordination are also changing, shifting away from the use of spot markets toward greater reliance on contracting in the grain and in livestock industries.
The emergence of distributed control systems is one major example of how innovation is affecting the industry. Distributed control systems are computerized control systems for a procedure or facility usually with a large number of control loops, in which autonomous controllers are distributed throughout the system, but there is central operator supervisory control. Most recently, developments in distributed control system processes have incorporated the use of wireless systems and protocols, remote transmission and logging of data history, mobile interfaces and controls, and embedded web servers. The advance and growth of distributed control systems have revolutionized the food processing industry and the value of having an integrated system has proven itself.
Similarly, integrating mobile form technology is proving to promote efficiency, decrease waste, and prevent failures and hazards. Integrated mobile form technology takes a facility’s or multiple facilities’ data and distributes it electronically to every corner of the operation. It takes the same benefits distributed control systems have over facility systems, and applies it to record-keeping, data transmission, storage, and analysis, and regulatory compliance efforts. Mobile form systems for food processing facilities range from areas like food safety inspection checklists, production schedule templates, pre-production checklists, and standardized recipes documents, to pest control procedures, food batch records, food hazard analysis forms, and food additives records.
As the way food processing facilities operate changes and advances, so must the way data is logged, transported, and analyzed. Integrating data onto a mobile form software makes data more accessible, makes report creation simpler and more effective, and prevents any data from going unnoticed. This improves processes at food processing plants, food establishments and other food industry workplaces. Both production supervisors and production workers save time and cut out the hassle of poorly designed traditional food production forms.
Efficiency isn’t the only goal, however. Preventing citation from the United States Department of Agriculture or U.S. Food and Drug Administration, depending on your industry, is also critical to large and small food processors alike. Distributed control systems and integrated mobile form technology are essential for proper compliance with ever-changing modern regulation. Not only can these systems serve to prevent citation, they help to create a safer and more hospitable workplace for employees. Preventing hazards is just as critical to overall efficiency when running a successful food processing facility as the smooth operation of the machines.
The combination of these two technologies is pushing the food processing industry into the new century, revolutionizing every aspect of how a facility is built and operated, and are only going to serve to better promote efficiency and safety as the technologies improve.
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