Starting with accurate, comprehensive digital as-built documentation on your existing facility in the form of a laser scanned point cloud can give you the solid foundation you need to build a successful future.
It’s widely understood that automation is the future for the food and beverage processing industry. If that was at all in question before the coronavirus pandemic, it’s completely apparent now. But retrofitting, updating and expanding facilities to implement automation requires investment—a challenging concept when margins are tight and the future is uncertain. How can you confidently move forward on a capital improvement project in such an unpredictable environment?
The right data is key. Starting with accurate, comprehensive digital as-built documentation on your existing facility in the form of a laser scanned point cloud can give you the solid foundation you need to build a successful future. Companies that have embraced the digital transformation are seeing dramatic gains in efficiency, productivity and safety, as well as the agility to quickly respond to changes in market conditions and consumer demand. Here are three reasons laser scanning is the quickest route to a return on investment in your automation project.
1. Scanning can be done quickly by a single person.
Productivity is crucial for profitability, and plant construction and retrofit projects require downtime. Capturing the as-built data needed to inform the design drawings and models, however, doesn’t. With 3D laser scanning, a single operator can capture comprehensive, accurate data safely in minutes without affecting production. Noninvasive technology captures measurements from a distance without affecting line production or introducing potential contamination. What’s more, the ability to capture comprehensive data with speed and accuracy accelerates project delivery and the ability to recognize the revenue from enhancements.
2. Data is easily accessible almost instantly.
Getting information from the facility into the hands of engineers, managers and other stakeholders is imperative to delivering projects on time with no rework or setbacks. With the latest laser scanning innovations, point clouds are registered in the field and seamlessly transferred to cloud-based sharing tools or CAD models. The ability to access the real-world conditions of the plant or production line remotely in a visual format eliminates communication challenges and facilitates the design and installation of new components so projects can be started and completed faster.
3. Digital remote manufacturing empowers smart decisions.
The ability to rapidly adapt to meet market conditions and maximize employee safety needs to be vastly improved. Having a complete, accurate, digital representation of the current as-is state of production creates greater transparency across an entire food and beverage organization and provides optimal feedback mechanisms to ensure that all stakeholders can benefit from improved production, smart planned upgrades and extensions, as well as ongoing insights into daily operations.
The Quickest Route Starts Here
While industry sectors such as automotive have led the way in adopting automation, food and beverage manufacturers have been slow to adapt. The impact of this reluctance has been damaging to both corporations and the public food supply. Fortunately, it’s not too late to reverse course. In fact, correcting critical inefficiencies and making strategic investments now will enable you to weather the next storm.
Using data and technology to drive decisions is not the new normal—it’s the established best practice for optimized agility and continued growth. Starting with an accurate, digital understanding of your current assets puts you on the path to a sustainable, successful future.
Wyatt Lee is a technology advocate and problem solver with a history of challenging perceptions and paving the path to success in new opportunities. As an industrial plant solutions specialist for Leica Geosystems (a Hexagon company), Wyatt works with organizations in food and beverage processing, oil and gas production, shipbuilding, water/wastewater treatment and other industrial processes to assess operations, identify areas for improvement and explore new ideas for gaining a competitive advantage. Read More
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