Food safety is a growing concern in both developed and emerging markets. With the increased capabilities within SCADA/HMI platforms for reports, traceability, and environmental control procedures, food, beverage, and pharmaceutical safety regulations can now be met with a greater degree of accuracy and quality control.
One of the largest sets of safety regulations for the automation market is the US FDA 21 CFR Part 11 regulations, which determine the types of reports and the requirements for data which must be archived, in order for manufacturers to verify food and beverage safety. Meeting these requirements is often a necessity in order to manufacture or sell food, beverages, or drugs within North America, and many countries outside North America have similar food and drug regulations.
These regulations are not the only market incentives in place that push manufacturers toward SCADA/HMI systems that enable compliance with food and drug regulations. Other market demands include the requirements of the fast food industry when buying from vendors, and the advantages of branding food and beverage products. The demand for food safety from consumers is also a powerful incentive for spurring increased measures in food and drug safety.
SCADA/HMI Solutions for Food, Beverage and Drug Safety
Ensuring that food and drug manufacturing procedures are in compliance with international regulations will require that measures be taken to incorporate powerful, automated reporting and verification capabilities into an HMI/SCADA system so that the process data cannot be compromised or altered. In some cases, there may be regulations that require reports to be sent automatically to a database, and prohibit the alteration of reports after processing. A SCADA/HMI platform that integrates easily with SQL databases is an excellent way to improve these report generating and verification capabilities.
Reports and traceability measures also ensure that manufacturers are in compliance with the standards set by large fast food corporations. Food safety quality control measures are required to be audited and verified may also be used to certify products for marketable labels, such as ‘organic’, ‘nut-free’, ‘gluten-free’, and ‘allergen-free’.
These regulations may require that operators access data from disparate or interconnected systems. A SCADA system that is able to communicate with the building automation system of the facility will be better able to incorporate data for reports that can verify building temperature, humidity, and even which employees have access to the building.
Market demands spur the advent of new technologies for tracking products and guaranteeing their safety and integrity. Because of outbreaks of E. Coli, Salmonella, and other strains of bacteria in the produce and meat industry, there is an increased need for manufacturers to adopt traceability standards for products that follow their progress from the origin of the raw material, to packaging and shipping channels. This can be accomplished by developing processes that are interconnected, and able to share real-time data with one another.
For more information on the role that InduSoft Web Studio can play in SCADA/HMI applications and food and drug safety compliance, please visit the InduSoft Food and Beverage industry page for sample applications, case studies, webinars, and more!