Monday, December 17, 2012

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Blog Posts and Industrial Automation's Role in Making Food Safe

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Blog Posts

Maintaining the safety of our food supply is not just the government's job--we as vendors to that industry also have a duty to provide products that make it easier and more efficient to tell when processes are diverging or failing; giving processors the visibility into their supply chain, to more efficiently detect when variances to critical quality levels occur; and most importantly, prevent the inclusion of defective products into the distribution channel.

We see the most challenging aspect of food safety is convincing the smallish companies that comprise the bulk of the industry to invest in technologies that will make their operations safer and consequently the output safer as well.  When companies are mostly manual, to add more sophisticated software (other than Microsoft Excel) becomes burdensome.  They don't have the IT resources necessary to even upkeep such a system.  So we as an industry need to make products that make it easier to use, cheaper to acquire, and more intuitive to manage.  

I've written a lot about the cloud--this is an ideal instance of where it could help these smaller providers.  Buying MES software as a service could defray costs, limit IT burden, and make it more accessible to these smaller companies.  I think it's only a matter of time.  We have already seen Historians on the cloud from a number of vendors (in addition to Invensys who was one of the first) within the past year.  Can a low cost, easy to use, MES be far behind?

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