19th February 2024

How Control Panels Optimise Your Process Control in the Food and Beverages Industry

Discover how industrial control panels provide seamless and efficient process control in the food industry for your manufacturing/production requirements.

As a multi-billion-pound industry that accounts for 20% of the manufacturing sector, the food and drink manufacturing industry requires safe and seamless operations to ensure necessary high standards across its various processes, practices and procedures.

Regardless of your business or operations, overall process control in the food industry is integral to this objective, alongside complying with The Food Safety Act (1999) and other regulations from The Food Standards Agency.

So, how can your business improve the accuracy and efficiency of its operational standards while guaranteeing the same product quality and consistency?

In this blog, we discuss the intricacies of process control in the food industry and how the right automated control system can ensure each component in your system continues to work seamlessly with minimal manual handling and human intervention.

control panel installation - hills electrical group

What is Process Control in the Food Industry?

“Process control” refers to the practices and procedures involved in specific manufacturing or production operations. In the food industry, food process control is applied to various applications required to produce reliable and consistent quality products on an industrial level.

All aspects of your process control require accurate, secure and efficient operations from various machinery, equipment, and intralogistics. From food safety to sortation and cooking temperatures, developing a process control is essential for food manufacturers to adopt to sustain a successful system for their production needs.

After all, process control is not about the quality of each component within a system but how the system operates in unison. In other words, the system is only as effective as the components that make it.

This success relies on each element working together to produce the quality and consistency your food and drink products require to pass health and safety while sustaining consumer satisfaction. Achieving this goal boils down to the one thing that remains the brains of your operation.

And that one thing is your control panel.

Industrial Control Panels for the Food Industry

Transcending industries and operational purposes, industrial control panels have become a modern necessity for manufacturing and production purposes. Since the rise of automation, it’s rare to find any industry not utilising control panel capabilities in a global market worth over $7 billion in 2022.

Automation is a critical feature of what makes control panels effective for efficiency, speed and safety in manufacturing and production environments. With minimal manual operations and human interference required, your system can run like clockwork as your control panel oversees your operations.

Whether your system includes sophisticated sortation conveyors with scanners, sensors, and robotics, to achieve ultimate productivity at minimum cost, an element of control must be applied to each component.

From pet food extrusion lines to grinder machines and steam evaporation systems, it all works simultaneously with the power of a control panel.

Industrial control panels - Hills Electrical Group

How to Design a Control Panel for the Food Industry

Designing a control panel for your food/beverage business requires careful consideration of various factors. From defining your system requirements to selecting the correct components and testing, the process will first depend on clarifying the type of control panel you need to suit your system.

Some of these considerations will involve the following:

  • The various electrical components in your system.
  • Electrical safety and compliance.
  • Power supply and distribution.
  • Environment and temperature requirements.
  • Future scaling, expandability, and upgrades.

Once you’ve established these following points, the design process involves a few development stages, beginning with defining your system requirements and selecting your components:

System requirements and components must work seamlessly for your industrial control panel to operate effectively. Clarifying these aspects at the beginning of the design process is critical to ensure the system works correctly later.

From pinpointing the electrical load and functionality to sourcing the ideal materials and equipment, a successful plan for your industrial control panel starts with all these initial details being meticulously checked and clarified.

The electrical schematics stage of control panel development enables you to organise and understand how each component is connected. Connecting all your components with integration with the correct requirements will ensure your desired functionality.

At this stage, electrical infrastructure with wiring, cabling and lighting ensures all circuits are connected safely and securely. It’s integral to take the necessary time to guarantee your electrical schematics are correct before moving on to the next stage and causing issues later in development.

With your plan in place, now it’s a case of installing the design and testing it works correctly. You will start by fitting your components together before connecting them to your power source. With your control panel set up, you can then test whether your system functions to the ideal operating parameters.

Finally, before signing the work off, record all the necessary information and details for future reference. Include your electrical schematics, installation instructions and test results with any maintenance procedures.

Contact Your Local Industrial Control Panel Experts

At Hills Electrical, we specialise in providing automated control panel systems to assist with seamless manufacturing production in the food and beverage industry.

Across design, construction, installation, and maintenance, we can provide your business with a bespoke, state-of-the-art solution custom-made to your exact control panel preferences and requirements.

From reducing costs to limiting human error and enhancing your automation, control and productivity, our cutting-edge control panel capabilities can keep your business moving forward in the right direction.

If you’d like to know more details or have any questions about our control panel services, get in touch with us today.

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