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Mitsubishi Electric keep dairy’s automation equipment topped up

Being in the right place at the right time is seldom down to luck. Check out this fantastic case study from Mitsubishi Electric about how a chance introduction to milk production giants Dairy Crest led to them carrying out some efficient machinery repairs and ultimately winning a long-term service contract.

Dairy Crest’s Dagenham milk bottling plant services large parts of London, its suburbs and the surrounding satellite towns. The plant processes more than 400 million litres of milk a year – nearly a quarter of Dairy Crest’s total output of ‘white milk’ for the whole country.

Dairy automation equipment 2

Far from resting on their laurels though, Dairy Crest has ongoing ambitions to significantly increase production and reduce costs through improving efficiency and modernisation of the plant and its aging process equipment.

Detailed trouble shooting and problem solving

When Neal Welch of control and automation equipment manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric chose to contact the Dagenham site for a routine introduction, the engineers at Dairy Crest were actually facing a machine breakdown at the time. Neal realised that a quick and effective resolution to the problem in hand would be well received.

He provided the necessary engineering support and quickly replaced a faulty Profibus module,” recalls Richard Brazier, Dairy Crest’s Utilities Engineer. “Put like that it sounds completely straightforward but in fact it was quite involved and needed some detailed trouble shooting and problem solving in order to trace the issue and resolve it.

Improvements to the site’s plant and equipment

Once everything was back to normal and production was in full swing, a review was conducted and Neal made a number of suggestions for improvements to the site’s plant and equipment.

These included:

  • Fitting new high performance drives to the glycol and Stork chiller condensers to enhance both operational functionality and energy efficiency.
  • Replacement of some reliable but obsolete Mitsubishi products.
  • Producing a bespoke portable Data Logger to identify improvements to OEE (overall equipment effectiveness).
  • Training and engineering support.

Some of these suggestions were executed as standalone projects but it soon became clear that the training and technical support could best be addressed as part of an on-going programme.

“Mitsubishi Electric has long been aware of the importance of providing structured support to its customers, and has developed a sophisticated choice of options which are offered as a range of customisable service contracts so that each customer gets exactly the support it needs,” explains Neal.

Mitsubishi Electric’s Gold Standard Three-Diamond service contract

After a thorough site survey and some high level discussions about future development plans, Dairy Crest, Dagenham decided that Mitsubishi Electric’s Gold Standard Three-Diamond service contract was the best option for them.

The contract provides 24x7 coverage in terms of a telephone helpline; dedicated support engineers, who are fully conversant with the plant and committed to getting on site quickly when required; plus, bonded stock profiled to the needs of the customer’s facilities.

“Our contract covers all automation equipment, whether it is made by Mitsubishi Electric or not,” says Richard. “So the Mitsubishi Electric engineers have to know their way around several makes of drive, PLC and HMI, software suites and communications protocols.”

Company Profile

Mitsubishi Electric Europe

As the UK arm of one of the world’s leading manufacturing companies, Mitsubishi Electric has been supplying automation products and solutions to the UK for over 35 years.

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