Friday, April 12, 2013
5 minute case study video illustrates how Sierra Nevada Brewing Company ended up using Ignition as their MES and ERP platform. "We use it for everything as our go-to product". They do most of their design work in house, constantly updating their "slightly unique" process.
It's interesting to see the evolution of the importance and use of the brewery's SCADA system. They started with a small pilot project to capture PLC data, basically just as a stand alone OPC data logger. Another department tried out that same server as an HMI. The video shows how the demand signal for Ignition flowed from department to department by word of mouth. "Once it proved itself we started adding". Everyone really liked it - they added their section and wanted access to the growing realtime database: the brewhouse, fermenters, the cellars, filtration, the lab, packaging, tracking trucks, Quality Assurance (QA). Even their IT department.
The Ignition system grew with fan-based requests. The more information was available the more users craved. Everyone wanted to add their devices, sensors, and part of the process. Once users see what's possible, they want a lot more: reports, charts, graphs, realtime and historical information. Sierra Nevada beer is tracked from tank to tank, information like "yeast cell counts", "CO2 values", and "temperatures", recorded automatically, which represents the production phase that the batch of product is in. They used to walk around the facility to track their beer through whiteboards. Now all of their information is tracked in their SQL databases, accessible from any desktop computer. Pretty cool!