Weighing and Blending
AutoPilot4Feed includes advanced control for batching and weighing. This can be implemented as a stand-alone system or as part of a plant wide control system including intake, press control and out-loading modules. It can provide the following benefits:
- Plant optimization through innovative control technique
- Minimise operator workload
- Comprehensive logged information
- Intuitive and easy to use operator interface
Production schedules may be imported from an office system or typed in manually line by line. Planning can be made more efficient by using the Plan4Feed option. Batches may be scheduled for production in the order they appear or automatically scheduled to optimise production on the press lines. The AutoPilot4Feed production programme has the facility to "explode" the raw material requirements on a material or bin basis. This will highlight when the stock of an ingredient is expected to run out.
Cross Contamination / Automatic self flushing
An advanced cross contamination matrix can be set-up to prevent a batch being made or to automatically flush the plant by holding back a small non-contaminating part of the last batch to self-flush the plant. Cross contamination checks are made down each mixer line, production line (press line) and finished product bin.
Weighing Accuracy and Speed
Weighing is performed accurately in accordance to a formulation that may be entered manually or imported from a formulation system. Advanced weighing algorithms attempt to optimise the speed and accuracy of the weighing systems. This includes Intelligent In-Flight (IIF) compensation, automatic jogging, pre-discharging, multiple feeders, weigher load balancing and intelligent feeder speed control.
Bin and material substitutions are automatic where possible. Standard substitutions may be set-up to enable production to continue when stock of an ingredient has run out. The substitutions can be configured with up to 5 alternative materials with their percentage values and can be enabled on a per contamination group basis.
Hand Additions / Manual Weighing
Hand Additive stations typically have a display adjacent to the tip point to show the list of ingredients to tip. This can be a simple text VDU or a PC workstation giving access to the AutoPilot4Feed mimics, alarms and menu system. Hand additive stations may be attached to a scale to check weights before being tipped. A barcode reader may be attached to scan bag barcodes and record with the batch record. AutoPilot4Feed comes ready to read many types of barcode including the standard 22 digit premix barcodes.
A facility is provided to configure new barcode types if required. A barcode check utility allows a barcode to be scanned and the material code, expiry date, bag size and lot number be displayed. AutoPilot4Feed can also generate it's own barcodes for bags that do not come with one on.
The speed batching system can help optimise production around the grinder by reducing the clean-out time for like batches and implement a small gap between routing products to the mixer.
This facility allows a batch to start discharging as soon as the low level probe covers in a hopper. This is typically useful to allow the first batch to start grinding ealier.
Full batch records, material usages and production records are logged to disk. Viewing options and reports may be used to print, view and analyze this data.