Ice Cream Factory Goes Mobile for a Faster Response
Nestlé Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream factory in Tulare CA is home to the popular Haagen Dazs brand. The company’s goal was to reduce technician response times -- which averaged up to an hour -- to alarms in the plant’s freezing facility. With WIN-911’s mobile text notification solution, refrigeration tech response time was decreased by 60%, virtually eliminating production downtime.
Prompt Response to SCADA Alarms a Big Challenge
A GE iFIX HMI/SCADA interfaces with a PLC-based system to monitor the primary refrigeration system at the ice cream freezing plant, watching for and triggering temperature alarms across all stages of production.
Some alarms are capable of shutting down the spiral freezers, hardening tunnels, or cold storage areas, so immediate response is crucial. In the worst-case scenario, an unacknowledged issue could cause the engine room to shut down, forcing the production line to halt. This could cause catastrophic loss of raw ingredients such as cream and egg yolks, variegates and particulates.
Promptly informing refrigeration technicians of these alarms was a big challenge. Before WIN-911, alarms had to be acknowledged at the HMI console. If a technician was busy in another part of the plant, or offsite, they would need to return to the console to acknowledge and address the alarm, which took up to an hour. What’s worse, all alarms received the same generic notification -- so determining severity, cause, and location took even more time -- and created the added risk of a production shutdown.
Mobile Alerts Cuts Tech Response Time By More than Half
A Fast, Easy Transition to Mobile Alarm Notifications
Nestlé’s software integrator Astec Solutions recommended WIN-911 as an upgrade for their alarm response and distribution system. “WIN-911 is compatible with a wide range of HMI-SCADA platforms, including Nestlé’s existing HMI, GE iFIX Proficy,” said an Astec spokesperson. “WIN-911 is easy to install, import existing alarm tags, configure alarm escalation protocols, and begin implementation. And they offer guidance throughout the installation process, making the transition simple and nondisruptive.”
That opinion was echoed by Al Olivares, Nestle’s onsite IT lead. “We’re importing our existing tags—that’s what is great about WIN-911, you can just import your alarm tags and don’t have to recreate your alarms -- it’s easy to make the transition.”
One new feature Nestle liked was the ability to design a notification workflow; WIN-911 alarms are now tailored for a more efficient notification process that sends immediate notice to the right refrigeration techs on duty.
Following implementation of WIN-911 alarm notifications via mobile text, average alarm response times were successfully reduced up to 60%.
With WIN-911’s mobile solution, Nestle’s refrigeration techs can now acknowledge and respond to an alarm as soon as it is triggered, even when they are offsite. By using the same alarm structure and taking advantage of the mobile alert capabilities of WIN-911, the Nestlé ice cream freezing facility streamlined their operations, minimized downtime, and dramatically reduced technician response time.
- Reduced alarm response times by 60%
- Production line shutdowns virtually eliminated
- Streamlined alarm notification workflow
- Fast, easy integration