Using digital technology and data to drive efficiency
The seafood processor has installed Air Products’ Smart Technology (APST) technology onto its cryogenic freezers to help track key process parameters and advise on how to improve processes based on advanced analytics.
As a result, the technology optimises cryogenic freezer use, improves efficiency, productivity, and sustainability, and gives customers better control on liquid nitrogen usage. It can also be integrated onto Air Products’ cryogenic freezers to provide real-time and historical data via an easy reading dashboard, which can be remotely accessed both by Air Products and its customers to allow both teams to review the information.
Rob Wilson, continuous improvement Manager at ISI, said: “The more data we can get from our technology, the better. With the APST dashboard, we’re keeping records of any trends, the cost per kilo and conversion rate by product – it’s extremely helpful to know which products we need to look at and which are costing us more money.
“We are still at a relatively early stage of application, but the data has already helped us to make strategic business decisions, such as discontinuing a product and swapping one of the small tunnels for a medium one to provide extra capacity – as it was obvious both were costing the factory money. Without APST, we’d never have known this.”
One of the key features of APST is the sensor technology, which allows the user to monitor activity and diagnose any issues simply by looking at the dashboard.
“One of the sensors recently diagnosed something that needed adjusting, so I was aware of this before the team on the factory floor knew what the issue was; I can quite literally monitor the dashboard and diagnose problems without leaving my office,” Wilson added. “It gives us greater insight and the ability to diagnose problems particularly quickly, resulting in less downtime, which is essential to preventing performance interruptions.
Since ISI started using APST, the company has observed a noticeable improvement in liquid nitrogen usage in the last few months, which has a direct impact on its operational cost. It is also now able to react quickly to changing prices and liquid nitrogen levels.
“The future of the food sector will be driven by data,” Wilson continued. “Businesses won’t survive if they don’t use data in their production facilities, as they won’t have a true picture of what’s going on. Now that we’ve used APST, I wouldn’t want to work without it. The data is exactly what I need.”