Dry goods batch system operates remotely
abroad, providing diagnostics and performance reports to managers
working remotely, its manufacturer claims.
Remote yet immediate reports can help firms ensure processes and products are maintained to company standards, regardless of location. With the attraction of moving operations overseas, firms are searching for new ways to monitor activities performed outside their direct control. US-based Ingredient Masters claims its batch weighing system can be accessed via the internet to programme formulation changes as well monitor machine performance and provide diagnostic reports. The machine's functions can be locked for both onsite and remote access to suit the requirements of the firm. The software, which is password protected to ensure user security, can also be used to produce quality control reports, the company claims. The automated batching system is fully sealed and is therefore capable of withstanding the washdowns increasingly required in the pharmaceutical industry. Machines can be supplied in a variety of materials including fully stainless steel versions suitable for food and pharmaceuticals. Weighing accuracy of the batch system is within 9g (0.02lb) per 454kg (1000lb) recipe, the manufacturer claims. Systems can use three or more food and drug contact approved polyethylene dispensers, each with capacities between 0.1cu ltrs (3.5cu ft) and 2.8cu ltrs (100cu ft). Its integral dust collection simplifies both air quality management and plant housekeeping, claims the manufacturer. Up to 100 recipes and a variety of quality control functions can be programmed into the Allen-Bradley controls on the machine. In addition, to the in-line dispenser configuration, the system can be set up with modular dispensers for non-recurring recipes. The batch system is constructed and tested by Ingredient Masters in the US, then delivered to sites where installation can be completed within two days, the manufacturer claims. Customers own in-house maintenance staff can install the system due to the simplicity of the operation, claims the company. Ingredient Masters specialists can calibrate the machine and the company can provide training programs for staff in both the domestic and remote locations. The system footprint for a five-dispenser system is measures 2.4m by 9.1m (8f by 30ft). A standard one year parts and labour warranty is provided with all systems. Numerous systems have been installed in the US for remote monitoring domestically, while the first system designed to be monitored from abroad is due to be installed in a dry goods processing plant in China.