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Digital transformation for agility: Building the world’s best nutritional business

Schneider Electric

Innovation happens when an organisation has proven and perfected its approach to the conventional. Once the bar has been raised, the marketplace can look beyond what is currently achievable and push the boundaries of capability.

This was true for the dairy industry in August 2016 when Auckland based company GEA was selected to build the Mataura Valley Milk (MVM) Plant near Gore at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island.

“It was clear from the outset that Mataura Valley Milk was going to be a different proposition, not just in its production approach but in terms of the facilities’ construction,” said GEA project manager, Gary Reynolds.

“From the moment we dug under the Mataura River to run power cable to the site, every piece of equipment was best-in-class and every decision was based on achieving the highest performance and hygiene standards.”

Mataura Valley Milk (MVM) set out to build “the world’s best nutritional business” with industry leading equipment and technology and the ability to swiftly adapt production to customer and market needs.

GEA was responsible for the project from end to end. This included everything, from the construction of the facility to the specification, installation and commissioning of the sophisticated plant and equipment.

Large, multi-faceted projects such as the building of a dairy plant require meticulous planning and extensive expertise.

With over 300 staff in New Zealand, GEA’s project management approach has been proven across many different projects. Gary Reynolds cites clear communication along with careful contractor and supplier selection as the vital ingredients for successful project delivery.

At the heart of the Mataura Valley Milk plant is the sophisticated technology and equipment that manages production, hygiene and safety.

For this critical infrastructure, GEA specified Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure platform due to its proven reputation, connectivity capabilities and the expertise of Schneider’s locally based engineers. At Mataura Valley Milk’s core is its dedication to customers.

This demands the ability to quickly adapt and tailor products to their requirements.

“We must have agility around what we produce with no sacrifice of quality. Producing nutritional products is a complex, high-reward approach so the plant must be nimble and our expertise unmatched,” said says Brent Robinson, Mataura Valley Milk’s projects manager.

“To confidently make these decisions, visibility and trust in our data is crucial.”

The Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Plant solution adopted by the company, delivers and provides context to live, real-time data on every process at the plant through AVEVA’s System Platform, Batch Management and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software.

In short, Mataura Valley employees receive any data they require immediately and in a reliable fashion.

According to Scott Waddell, Mataura Valley Milk’s engineering manager, this approach eventually proved to be sound as it evidenced in commercial performance as well as compliance and audit results.

Mataura Valley Milk successfully progressed through Asure Quality’s five performance-based verification audit levels without being held back at any stage, justifying the adopted audit processes, and validating the efforts that the staff and partners lodged into the operation.

The end-result is a connected and scalable backbone that enables Mataura Valley Milk to seize market opportunities, secure in the quality of its product and the reliability of its infrastructure.

The company can remain innovative, agile, and versatile by confidently making decisions based on live data it knows can be trusted.

 

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