See the 2018 Food Plant of the Year award winner! With individualized nutriment topping many lists of food drift predictions for 2017 and some of the biggest brands known for their feel-good treats now offering good-for-you food, health and health have reached a pinnacle of importance in the food and beverage industry. Further solidifying this is Food Engineering ’ mho coveted Food Plant of the Year Award going to Abbott ’ randomness nutrition facility in Tipp City, Ohio.

Consumers might not think of food products when they think of Abbott, but they ’ ra credibly conversant with some of its top brands such as Similac and Ensure. The company is interfering responding to the increased demand for its nutritional products. In 2014, while the Tipp City facility was being built hera in the US, two other Abbott plants, one in Jiaxing, China and another in Jhagadia, India, were besides undergo construction. The full act of Abbott facilities is 14, with half located in the US, and the other one-half located in extraneous countries.

The grind was broken for the Tipp City facility in 2012. The web site survival decisiveness was made for a number of reasons, including it being shovel cook, in close proximity to an interstate and its access to the necessary utilities. “ Abbott ’ mho scheme is to locate our nutrition manufacturing close to our consumers. so, Tipp City was a natural option for supplying our consumers in North America, ” says Angela Doerr, locate film director for the Tipp City plant. Ohio ’ second Interstates 70 and 75 are both nearby, which offer easy exile to all directions of US population centers, ampere well as north of the border to Canada. It ’ second besides located only an hour from Abbott ’ s US nutrition offices in Columbus, Ohio.
“ Abbott is choosing to be stopping point to our customers and choosing to invest in the US, ” says Jason Smith, senior director of Abbott ’ s facility management group. The 250,000-sq.-ft. plant opened in March 2014 at a cost of $ 270 million on 81 acres of estate, which allows for future expansions. Three adult nutrition brands are made onsite in eight-oz. and 10-oz. bottles, in a variety of flavors, for the US and Canada. The plant ’ s first agate line began operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 2015. In April 2016, a second meet line was added, making the plant fully functional for the first time .

Linear flow and building design

When Abbott began constructing the build, the overall goals were to optimize functional efficiency and use the latest technology and processes to ensure food safety.
“ Driving every facility design decision we made was the doubt : How can we produce safe, high-quality products while operating the plant more efficiently and smarter ? ” says Lisa Rathburn, Abbott ’ mho global engineer conductor of manufacturing technology. The form of the build ’ randomness design is to serve the product functions, with product systematically moving from west to east. The different sections of the plant are aligned with the linear flow of the production serve : raw materials ’ receiving and storage, batch mix and work, filling, junior-grade packaging and then shipment out to the finished goods warehouse offsite. once raw ingredients are received, they are separated into refrigerated storehouse and ambient storage. region of the food base hit management design is to only accept raw materials from approved suppliers that go through a rigorous qualification process .

“Driving every facility design decision we made was the question: How can we produce safe, high-quality products while operating the plant more efficiently and smarter?”

– Lisa Rathburn
“ All raw material and ingredients from vetted suppliers are tested, reviewed and approved prior to use to ensure that they meet our nonindulgent quality standards. Food safety is the key focus that incorporates end-to-end serve controls from material receipt through output and final distribution, ” says Erin Ducko, locate timbre director. even though the majority of majority ingredients are coming from company-shared suppliers audited by Abbott, inspection and some screen are performed upon entrance into the facility. Any ingredients that contain potential allergens are kept break to avoid any cross-contact. “ We focus on hazard analysis and risk management upriver deoxyadenosine monophosphate much as potential, ” says Ducko. Multiple batches are processed each day. When ready to produce a batch, ingredients are delivered to the staging area, where employees open bags and feed the contents into the powderize summation grasshopper. The dry shading of batch components is the only part of the production process that requires manual addition of materials. consequently, there are multiple ergonomic solutions to ensure actor condom. For exercise, bulk bags are moved to handwriting degree by a lift table, eliminating the motivation to bend down. In addition, a diverseness of dry process equipment, such as a brake drum weightlifter and bulk ingredient hoist, is present to help improve ergonomics. To keep the area clean and condom, a dust collector is employed, ampere well as a series of clean processes. The blend of powders and liquids is segregated by design to help control dust and microbiological risks. “ Clean-in-place [ CIP ] is done multiple times per workweek based on the facility ’ s validated cleanse procedures and intersection requirements, ” says Andy Cudney, plant operations director. besides located in the dry blend area is a classify count room, where micronutrients and season, which require precise measurement, are weighed and dispensed for a particular batch ’ randomness recipe .

Liquid processing and filling

Ingredients are blended into different slurries and then combined into blend tanks anterior to processing through the high-temperature, short-time ( HTST ) equipment and homogenization step. Once the merchandise is processed and put into the holding tanks, the concluding vitamins and minerals are added. In an extension from the besotted action area is the finished product tank alcove. here, the finished product is held under see temperature until the product is cook for commercial sterilization and aseptic occupy. In-process samples are collected and tested according to merchandise specifications to ensure that all regulative label requirements are met. The intent of the finished product storage is to ensure that product is always available for filling. Throughout wet process, ocular management tools, including signage, electronic dashboards and audible alarms, are used to signal the status of clean activities to ensure employee safety. When the product is ready to be filled from the finished merchandise tanks, the fluid goes through ultra-high-temperature ( UHT ) equipment to accomplish commercial sterilization before being transported to the centerpieces of the plant—the aseptic Shibuya fillers. The Shibuya fillers are Abbott ’ s fastest aseptic machines in the worldly concern, producing 800 bottles per moment. These net weight fillers are only the fourth and the sixth Shibuya installations in the United States. On each makeweight, there are 72 hydrogen peroxide heads, 108 filler heads and 32 capping heads. The fillers, nicknamed Thunder and Lightning, are sized and customized to Abbott ’ randomness production needs. The aseptic engineering enables increased manufacturing flexibility with optimum conversion and product capability. The engineering was utilized to produce Abbott ’ s most late product plunge for Ensure Enlive utilizing the re-closable fictile bottle design. “ By taking an existing engineering and applying it in a singular way we can use ingredients that would not be possible using the traditional rejoinder sterilization, ” says Ducko.

The winder to aseptic action is independent sterilization of the merchandise ’ sulfur components—bottles, caps and the fluid—then bringing them all together in the sterile environment of the makeweight. This is different than the rejoinder action, where the product is packaged and then sterilized after filling .

Automation and monitoring

To accommodate the aseptic sterilization serve and to provide steam and utilities, five miles of worst had to be installed. “ All utilities are remotely monitored, and each filling pipeline has highly automated controls and instrumentation to ensure that all critical procedure parameters are maintained, ” says Jay Smithberger, plant mastermind and care coach. In between the two lines is the filler control room, which is where employees monitor the high-speed fillers. The continuous monitor extends to the integral adeptness itself, with temperature and humidity being collected and controlled by a centralize construction management arrangement. The plant ’ s independent processing areas use Allen-Bradley programmable logic controllers ( PLCs ) from Rockwell Automation. The human machine interface was developed using Rockwell Software FactoryTalk View Site Edition ( SE ) and uses a net distributed process with an application server and excess HMI servers. The Plant PAx system was developed using the Rockwell Automation process library, which provides views of each device, including pumps, valves, analogue devices and more, on one screen. This allows for consistency throughout the plant and reduces engineering time. The Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Batch product provides supervisory batch control to coordinate the work across the multiple areas. Four quad-monitor operator stations are in the control room, where plant operators are able to interact with the process dominance system using the FactoryTalk View HMI .

Secondary packaging

The packaging hall is designed with high-speed conveyors and collection points in decree to optimize the effective add of bottles and caps to the filler and secondary box post woof. The meet and box are achieved with no human allude. To provide safe, ergonomic and easy access to all areas, a series of stairs and platforms are built around the conveyors and equipment. The bottles undergo one final examination gargle in the filler before they are conveyed to the accumulation board in the secondary coil packaging hall. The bottles, which are hermetically sealed during the fill operation, then proceed to the sleeve labeler and steam burrow, where the overwrap technology provides the tamper-evident varnish integrity of the wax package. Installed in November 2016, a variable cartoner is the newest part of equipment used in the plant. The machine has the tractability to support multiple carton configurations. alternatively, the bottles can be processed unleash or through Hi-Cone machines that apply a fictile aircraft carrier. The case packing equipment packages the idle bottles, cartons or carriers into cases that are formed around the intersection and glued to ensure software integrity throughout distribution. then, a automatic palletizer stacks the cases, enabling cargo to the offsite repositing warehouse. The stopping point proximity of the embark dock to the line allows the product to be easily transferred to the truck. “ In ordain to enable the highest overall equipment efficiency [ OEE ] of our operation, the secondary packaging lines include pleonastic equipment, ” says Cudney. furthermore, all of the equipment in the adeptness has quick conversion times to ensure tractability and efficiency in production and packaging. This all helps to support the just-in-time manufacture practices of having all the correct materials at the right place and at the right prison term. “ The key to the operation is our highly skilled and train team enabling optimum production with minimal homo process interaction, ” says Cudney. “ This allows for better uptime, more flexibility and less human erroneousness. ”

Site and building innovations

The build has 40-foot high ceilings made of concrete and was built using post-tension construction. This allows for few columns and less structural elements with horizontal surfaces, which can harbor accumulations of debris, dirt and other materials. “ The establish is LEED certified and has just obtained ISO 50001 documentation, which demonstrates Abbott ’ s commitment to environmental sustainability and utilities conservation, ” says Doerr. “ In regulate to achieve LEED documentation, we reduced one-third of our water function, developed a storm water system management program, diverted three-fourths of construction godforsaken from landfill and 15 percentage of our building materials were recycled, ” says Smithberger .
The main entrance into Abbott ’ s Tipp City, Ohio adeptness. reservoir : Abbott .
According to ISO, the new criterion is about “ recognizing the scope of responsibilities and creating a management structure and resources appropriate to the needs of the organization. ” To meet the ISO standard, the plant uses a act of energy-efficient practices, such as the use of LED lighting in many areas. To conserve urine, more than one-third of water is reclaimed and reused in the process. A storm water management design is in place to protect receiving stream channels from excessive erosion. The build ’ randomness roof airfoil has a solar coefficient of reflection index meeting the LEED credit rating requirements. All utilities are located in a Central Utilities Building ( CUB ). Housed within this facility are the plant ’ s vent compressors, boilers, chillers, water softeners, water filtration organization and power systems. A utility shriek bridge is used to connect the CUB to the main production build. This separate location helps control the make noise levels, provides closer storehouse of bulge liquid to the end-use points and enables future expansions. As for the breeze handling equipment and other build management systems, they are located on an inside mezzanine. This allows care workers to service them from within the facility and not on the roof. besides, this mezzanine allows sterile water system generators, wet process utilities and steam-reducing stations to be located above the points of function, rather than being piped from a utility room or taking up processing space .

Continuous improvement

The overall goal of Abbott is to be best-in-class in all aspects, including condom of employees, guard and quality of products and the environment. All plant managers make it unclutter that people at Abbott are their greatest asset, and the company strives to have engaged and satisfy workers. A set of that begins with employee train. “ Our technical coach program incorporates adult learning concepts and tools to facilitate comprehensive learn and retention, ” says Jackie Craine, plant occupation human resources director. The onboarding process begins with time invested in a classroom dedicated to the essential elements of timbre and base hit. then, new team members are paired up with experience learning mentors when they move to the production areas for hands-on discipline. The team members learn the why, the how and the impact of their responsibilities and must demonstrate cognition of all the product steps, including the order of ingredient addition, before being certified to work independently. The coach culture has enabled the rapid expansion and stability of the mathematical process. “ once you know the why, the how become easy, ” says Craine. Abbott besides has a pledge to continuous improvement and encourages employees to contribute any suggestions that might make the output procedure easier, safer or more efficient. Over 3,000 ideas were submitted last class plant-wide, and of those, more than 2,000 were implemented. Furthermore, team members are empowered by a “ barely do it ” system to bring ideas for a team vote and quickly implement them. The cross-functional teams perform root induce analyses to quickly solve problems. The management manoeuver system ( MOS ) that utilizes a tiered structure enables rapid decision-making based on review of plant performance at the equipment, line and plant levels.

As for continuing sustainability efforts, the implant is presently striving to achieve zero landfill godforsaken. To do this, the establish has programs focused on eliminating inline barren, arsenic well as recycling and reusing the materials. Abbott is continuing to foster its kinship with the plant ’ s surrounding community of Tipp City. even before the company broke grind on the site, Abbott held a issue of town hall meetings to introduce Abbott to the community. That engagement continued—in 2016, the caller sponsored over 40 events in the community. “ Consumers trust on Abbott to provide them with the nutrition to live their best lives. This is why we put the safety and quality of our products first, and it is built into the acculturation and everything we do at the Tipp City adeptness. We are proud to be Abbott ’ s newest US manufacturing adeptness, ” says Doerr .

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