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Hosokawa’s Smart Manufacturing Journey

The government’s Made Smarter call for increased adoption of industrial digitalisation, to boost UK manufacturing has launched process technology experts, Hosokawa Micron Ltd on an Industry 4 I.R journey that will allow them to deliver advanced solutions to their existing customers and a broader industry base.

Iain Crosley, MD, Hosokawa Micron Ltd shares details of their journey. ‘Our smart manufacturing journey started in our own contract manufacturing facility in Runcorn, within the dedicated food processing unit, where we support customer requirements for the processing of niche ingredients under food accredited quality control systems. From ultra-small batches for customer R&D projects or for customers lacking appropriate systems to handle certain foodstuffs, such as those containing allergens, to bulk processing to meet peaks in demand, Hosokawa work with a wide range of customers to meet the specific requirements of each.

Additionally, our contract manufacturing team engage with customers to support the development of bespoke processes or machine acquisition to deliver competitive advantage.

We have committed to a major digital strategy for contract manufacturing, making significant investment to further optimise production and processing performance through the application of industrial internet of things (IIOT) technologies, always in conjunction with our human knowledge and expertise.’

This simplified “understand, monitor and control” approach is enabled by Hosokawa combining operational data from smart sensors with machine to machine (M2M) communication and unique process optimisation software.

‘The ongoing data analysis will provide important insight into all aspects of the plant’s production performance and the status of production assets and aid strategic decision making, scheduling, predictive maintenance and operational availability. For our contract food processing customers, an immediate benefit has been a reduction in out of specification material, with us now getting it right more than 98% of the time.’

Building on the operational benefits and knowledge gained from this project, Hosokawa recently launched a new business unit, Hosokawa Gen4, to support companies within the process sector to develop their own digital strategy and realise the potential of IIoT technologies. Hosokawa’s distinctive ability in blending human expertise with data analysis, knowledge capture and its application within the process environment, sets them apart from others in the marketplace.

Hosokawa Gen4 is now working with production managers across all tiers of the food and wider processing industries to offer a flexible, cost effective way for them to maximise the opportunities of ‘data driven manufacturing’ to enhance continuous improvement techniques to maximise yield, reduce waste and save energy.

Hosokawa Gen4 Global Business Manager, Paul Gilroy says, ‘If you want to find out more about our solutions and how Hosokawa Gen4 can help increase plant availability, maintainability and reliability, I will be happy to speak with you and share our experiences. Download our free Remote Monitoring App and see for yourself how new digital technologies are applied in our own contract processing facility.’


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