Tiger Brands implements a manufacturing control system to enable their digitalisation journey with Siemens.

Touching the lives of millions of South Africans over the last century, Tiger Brands produces many of the country’s most-loved consumer brands including Oros, Energade, Hall’s, Fatti’s and Moni’s, Jungle Oats, All Gold and Tastic Rice. As the organisation embarks on a digitalisation drive, its manufacturing plants require a technology management solution overhaul.

Taking a phased approach to the project, the first Tiger Brands plant selected was its beverages manufacturing facility in Roodekop, Germiston, 25km east of Johannesburg. The immediate challenges were linked to the stability of a legacy control system and the communication network in place. Additionally, the existing control and automation platform had limited capabilities when it came to batching, reporting and the tracking and tracing of materials.

Tiger Brands manufacturing facility
Oros being produced at Tiger Brands manufacturing facility

Plant upgrade at Tiger Brands

The project involved upgrading the legacy plant control system with the implementation of a combined Siemens WINCC SCADA and PM-Addons along with the associated network and control equipment that included communication converters, PLCs, VSDs and ASI modules for various process areas.

As the chosen system integrator, Control System Integration (CSI) worked with Tiger Brands to execute the project. CSI has extensive engineering experience including Food and Beverage expertise. Additionally, CSI applies industry best practices and professional governance models that are implemented jointly with its team of directors to achieve project excellence. The close collaboration between Tiger Brands, CSI and Siemens, ultimately provided a roadmap to a successful outcome.

They also use Siemens Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA) as it offers the organisation a unified engineering platform and diagnostics for all the associated devices onsite. Additionally, the WINCC SCADA and PM-Addons provide enhanced visualisations and product traceability across the entire production line. It also delivers consistent and specific batching to deliver more accurate throughput and quality. Tiger Brands can now adjust recipes in a more robust manner according to the final specified product in the new environment. This is something not possible with the previous control system. Furthermore, the Siemens solution presents them with a manageable OPEX pricing framework for a long-term approach when it comes to moving Tiger Brands onto the Siemens digitalisation framework.

Managing time

The project commenced in December 2019 with the hardware and software procurement phase. It was completed in August the following year with the final commissioning and handover process. Furthermore, this project was commissioned during the Covid-19 pandemic. Commissioning took place in a phased approach as parts of the plant became available using the new Siemens technology.

Partnership approach

According to Shailen Toolsi, lead process engineer at Tiger Brands, “One of the reasons for this successful project is the collaboration between CSI, Siemens, and Tiger Brands, which brings about efficient technical and sales support. We see a long-term partnership with Siemens going forward”.

“We are extremely proud to be building on this partnership with Tiger Brands to demonstrate our expertise through the digital portfolio. The future of the F&B industry requires production that is tailored to customer demands. Our food and beverage solutions provide flexibility and higher productivity and with customisation at various sites, have the capability to customise our offering for the specific case as well as the entire industry.  We look forward to working with Tiger Brands to further develop solutions that will enable a future gateway for digitalisation projects/roadmap,” explains Claudio Ranaudo, senior vice president, Digital Industries, Siemens Southern & Eastern Africa.

They have seen value in the Siemens control system and is currently implementing the same control systems across another site.

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