As software that controls ingredient handling systems becomes more sophisticated in what it can accomplish, it also must become easier for operators to use. If the daily operator cannot easily navigate the system, it loses much of its potency.
Ease-of-use means operators can quickly make changes to recipes with little difficulty. Shick Solutions’ AIM software allows bakers to make recipe changes without having to modify the PLC code. This makes the ingredient handling system nimble and flexible as well as easy for operators to use.
The Fred D. Pfening Co. improved its operator interface to enable users to do maintenance without the IT department present. This makes the system much more accessible and easier to work with, important factors because some companies may not have their own IT departments. Fred D. Pfening also encourages bakeries to install VPN remote access on its ingredient handling systems. This allows bakers to check inventory levels and production outputs from any PC, tablet or smartphone app, even offsite.
“Bakers have been able to use that a lot as well, allowing them remote access without having to be at the plant 24/7,” said Adam Jacobs, electrical engineer, The Fred D. Pfening Co.