Problem: A multi-national pharmaceutical company wanted to expand its operations in North America. They had a need to greatly increase their premix manufacturing capabilities at three locations in North America. Management decided that the system should be fully automated with front to back inventory control. Since their product would be distributed to many different feed manufacturers, they wanted to make sure that they could track each of the ingredients that went into their products, as well as be able to track the finished goods that were produced.
Solution: The design build engineering firm that was hired to do the systems approached APEC to see what we could offer, since they knew that we had worked on premix systems previously. We worked with the customers and contractor’s engineering staffs to develop a specification and implementation schedule. APEC designed a system that had barcode scanning for ingredients so they could be tracked within the plant all the way through the process to their final finished packaging. The system utilized off the shelf components and a software package that would be easily modified as needs changed.
Result: The APEC system gave the customer the capability to automatically produce and track their formulas. The system also kept track of the quality control functions that were used for both incoming ingredients and finished packages. The system was installed and commissioned in keeping with the customer’s schedule, and since the system was completely automated, the needs for accuracy, record keeping, and ingredient tracking were easily accomplished with the reports that were generated by the control system.
Problem: A company in Mexico that manufactures vitamin and mineral premixes formed a partnership with a major pharmaceutical company. The success of the joint venture quickly increased the demand for their products and also increased the number of products that were being offered. The new partnership soon expressed a desire to have improved record keeping and ingredient tracking, which wasn’t possible under the current system due to the manual aspect of the machinery. The partnership approached APEC with their plan to improve their premix process. They expressed a need for the new equipment to be installed without interrupting production.
Solution: APEC’s engineering staff worked with the ownership team to develop a horizontally orientated system composed of a completely automated premix system that including 30 ingredient bins, material handling conveyors, three scales, one mixer and two packaging lines to allow for proper tracking and record keeping. To avoid any interruptions in production, the system was designed to be installed in a custom designed warehouse that was being ordered and constructed while APEC designed and assembled the equipment and control systems. The major scales, minor scales, micro scales, and support structures were manufactured at APEC with the large carrier bins being manufactured locally, based on APEC’s designs. This was part of a plan to save the partnership money on freight and also assist in facilitating a quick and seamless installation.
Result: The APEC system gave the customer the capability to formulate, mix, package, and track both large and small bags of premix and concentrate. Since the system was completely automated, the needs for accuracy, record keeping and ingredient tracking were easily met with the reports that are generated by the APEC control system. The system was installed and commissioned in keeping with the customer’s schedule and the capacity of the APEC system easily met the customer’s needs on a single shift basis. As the company grew, they were able to increase production by adding shifts.