An in depth look at how software standardization impacts the profitability of OEMs using data from Arla Foods
Arla Foods is a large food and beverage manufacturing company that works with OEMs on a global scale
Arla Foods has 70 production sites in Europe, the United States and China
Arla Foods employees more than 19,000 people around the world
Arla Foods generates more than 10 billion euro in revenue annually
Arla Foods does not have a technology centre - they purchase machines from many suppliers around the world and integrate them into a production/packaging line system.
Their challenge is to work with OEMs to create machines which can be integrated into lines easier and faster.
Arla Foods frequently faced these challenges when integrating machines into their lines
There was no consistency in the automation software of different machines.
This includes different machines provided by the same OEM.
Each machine had a bespoke horizontal and vertical interface.
This made it difficult to integrate new machines in a line.
Each machine had a unique operating and reporting concept.
This meant that operator and technician training had to be provided for each machine.
Arla Foods worked with OEMs to create a standard software architecture.
This architecture was based on PackML for the interface between machines and the SCADA system and Make2Pack for the automation software architecture.
Thanks to PackML, machines had a standard interface with the Line Controller and could be integrated into a line faster. This reduced the overall project length and meant that Arla Foods could get more value out of their machine faster.
Since the status reporting and control concept of each machine was the same, training time for operators was reduced dramatically. Thanks to this standardization, Arla Foods expects productivity to increase by 5 - 20%.
End User benefits of software standardization
The standardized interface is easy to test with a pre-defined and reusable test plan.
Use case and technical specifications can be reused reducing the workload involved in creating specifications for new machines.
Standardized architecture is easy to troubleshoot and software quality increased thanks to the standard architecture.
OEM Benefits of software standardization
Machines which are PackML and Make2Pack compliant are more valuable to end users, increasing revenue
Standard software architecture means less bespoke programming is required for each machine
Code modules are reusable across machines leading to increased quality and decreased cost
Interfaces don't have to be defined per client when everyone is using a standard interface
Standardized training material can be used to train end users in operating and maintaining machines
Standardized software is easier to navigate and understand while troubleshooting and debugging
A detailed look at the affects of standardization on a PLC Program
Book a free consultation call with our automation consultants to see how KB Controls can help your business to become more profitable through standardization.
This case study is made up of data from the following sources
Presentation by Adal Tecleab of Procter & Gamble in 2015
Presentation by Sesam World
Webinar by Arne Svendson of Arla Foods in 2016