The digitalization journey

The digitalization journey
Posted: Apr 05 2019

Niranjan Kulkarni, Ph.D. and Steve Pflantz, PE are featured in Food Engineering’s March 2019 cover story, “The digitalization journey: Use segmented digitization to be competitive in a lasting, affordable way.” The article details planning and executing a successful implementation of digital techniques to improve processes, increase efficiency and obtain actionable information from them.

“Understanding the current state of operations, existing data collection procedures, level of automation, facility conditions, etc. is an important beginning step in a digital transformation,” Kulkarni said. “Start mapping your operations. Developing current value stream maps (VSMs) can help identify non-value-added activities. Develop a plan to eliminate/minimize them and create a future state map. VSMs can also help understand information flows.”

“Start with a good foundation, which in this case means that your base control systems measure the right things via installed instrumentation and have the capability to collect raw data,” Pflantz said. “Don’t just collect data because you can; think about it and decide what you need and how you are going to use it.” Pflantz urges processors to have a methodology in place that describes which data will be collected and how the information can be distilled usefully.

Read the feature article here.

Pflantz was also quoted in a second article published by Food Engineering that explains how sensors, data-management applications and the cloud all play a role in digitization. Read “The digitalization journey: The final steps” here.

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