Case Study:

MES Integration Retrofit
Deli Meat Facility

Situation

A major food client selected TEC to retrofit PLC software into existing OEM equipment cells in order to implement MES use cases at a deli meat facility.

The client was in the process of developing and deploying a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solution for the plant and needed assistance to enable the MES system to gather data from and send instructions to the automation layer. The challenge was to implement various use cases into existing OEM equipment cells with minimal impact to production. The client also wanted to standardize the operator interface for a variety of different equipment cells and controls generations.

TEC’s expertise in developing “MES Ready” PLC controls, HMI, and systems integration solutions was ideally suited to helping the client achieve the desired integration.

Solution

The first step in the process was to analyze all of the existing OEM equipment cells to identify both the common and the unique requirements.

TEC then designed the interface between each cell’s PLC and the MES solution for each use case and implemented recipe-driven PLC code for each OEM equipment cell.

TEC also designed and implemented a standardized, easy to learn and use, operator interface for each cell.

Finally, TEC provided all of the installation and startup support for the automation retrofit, including operator and maintenance training for each cell.

Results

By choosing TEC as their automation integration services provider, the client’s project team was free to focus on the complexities of the MES implementation.

TEC successfully adapted the existing OEM equipment to interact with the MES solution, allowing the client to avoid the added expense of installing new equipment to support the MES solution.

TEC’s standardized operator interface minimized the training needed for using the MES compatible equipment cells.

The solution is fully operational at the facility and has since been deployed at an additional facility.