In the food industry, manufacturing processes generally ignore those materials classified as unsuitable for human consumption. However, a number of companies, including Akiolis, have developed solutions to help plug the agri-business sector more naturally into the circular economy approach.
As a major player in Europe, the French group plays a key role in creating value to animal by-products generated by the livestock and food industries. Akiolis Group’s mission comprises of the collection of materials, the management of sanitary safety and the transformation into high added value finished products, using animal biomass considered as unusable by manufacturers. To date, the group operates 12 plants (ATEMAX C1 and C2* or SOLEVAL C3* facilities) that employ nearly 1,000 people.
For the operators, the transformation processes used are a significant sources of noise, odors and heat, which effectively limit the time they can spend on the production lines. Consequently, Akiolis group plants are largely automated and equipped with SCADA applications. Their use makes it possible to have a real-time overview of operations from the command and control station and to limit interventions in the production zone.
Operating with stringent hygiene constraints, the plant, which processes healthy materials only (known as category 3 materials under the European regulation on animal by-products), is subject to very precise traceability requirements at each stage of its production to ensure regulatory compliance.
The choice to go with the Panorama solution
Having embarked on a site modernization program, the Saint-Langis-lès-Mortagne plant quickly decided to replace its legacy SCADA which was becoming obsolete. With Panorama, Akiolis now has a high-performance and durable solution.
Maintaining a state-of-the-art production facility over the long term demanded that the new SCADA solution be fully scalable and maintainable. Factors such as ease of use and especially a relationship of trust and proximity with the software manufacturer were also decisive in this technological choice.
Goals for Akiolis
To ensure better working conditions for its operators, Akiolis wanted to set up a digital platform capable of remotely controlling its co-product processing lines. The objective was to limit the human presence in “sensitive” zones as far as possible while improving productivity.
To reduce downtime and enhance safety during maintenance operations, personnel on the ground are equipped with Panorama Mobile. They benefit from having an overallview of their installation and can interact remotely with the central management system.
Akiolis can now control the filtration, condensation and sterilization processes for its various types of plant and machinery (cookers, grinders, oxidizers, etc.), through a tool that also delivers traceability compliance. The same applies to the monitoring of heat production, effluent management, etc.
Working in partnership
As Akiolis’ sites are spread throughout France, the group is working with our network of “PCI” (Panorama Certified Integrator) partners. This is an effective guarantee of quality and expertise. Meanwhile, to carry out the group’s digital transformation projects, the head of automation even requested training on Panorama E2 so as to pilot the development, evolution and maintainability of the applications under her responsibility.
In order to ensure optimal follow-up of its Panorama projects, Akiolis has also put in place a Panorama Warranty Agreement (Extended Support and Software Warranty or PWA) coupled with a framework agreement that reinforces its ties and relationship of trust with the software manufacturer.
In the first instance, a pilot project was run to demonstrate the suitability of the Panorama platform. If fact, we were able to meet the objectives we’d set with the first completed applications. So it made sense for Akiolis to extend the Panorama platform to other of its sites.
Redundancy: High availability rate
Multi-protocol: from PLC manufacturers
High volume capacity: 25,000 variables on each application
Standard tools: Archiving on SQL database
Category 1 materials
They present a potential or proven risk to human health, animal health or the environment. These materials are transformed into finished products whose use is strictly controlled: fats are used in biodiesel or to produce green electricity, and flours in fertilizer or to produce heat and energy.
Category 2 materials
These include a set of animal by-products presenting lower risk. The materials can have value forcertain uses that are also highly regulated: organic fertilizers, biogas conversion and other energy applications.
Category 3 materials
These are healthy animal by-products not presenting any risk and are therefore included in the only category for broader applications. They can be processed into animal fats and proteins for use in products such as pet food, animal nutrition and aqua feed. They are also used in lipochemistry, fertilization, or to make gelatin.