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United Biscuits - McVities Group

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APD Ltd have worked closely with the Engineering and Process departments of this world class manufacturer for over a decade.

One of the largest single installations was the bulk handling system at their Glasgow plant.  This involved the control of 59 storage silos and 12 large mixing plants, each producing 1 tonne dough in 20 minutes.  This critical system  is the start of the manufacturing process, if the bulk handling is ‘down’ then 400 production staff are idle.

We also designed and implemented a powerful control system which gives a level of 'artificial intelligence' to the monitoring and control of baking ovens.  This system can monitor the shape, colour and moisture content of the biscuits in real time without contact.  It then analyses this data and makes decisions about adjustments to the system control parameters, in the same way a human operator would. The pilot system for this project showed wastage on a single line being cut from around 10% per day to less than 1% and our system is now being rolled out on a number of production lines.