- Networks & Connectivity - Ethernet
- Networks & Connectivity - Gateways
- Process Manufacturing
- Manufacturing System Automation
- Process Control & Optimization
- System Integration
British American Tobacco (BAT), a British multinational company that manufactures and sells cigarettes, tobacco, and other nicotine products, required a factory solution to automate its product control processes. From the transportation of the tobacco and cigarette paper to the placement on the cigarette machines to the packing conveyor, the process needed to be significantly automated to significantly meet quality control targets for the final product.
They also required support for the continuous use of legacy equipment, such as relay-controlled cigarette machines dating back to the 90s and AMK servo drive systems, to sustain production levels at speeds of 8000 to 16000 pieces per minute. In short, it is a production target impossible without improved and precise quality measures at every stage of production. Furthermore, labeling requirements meant flexibility had to be incorporated for BAT to meet changing regulatory guidelines.
British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco plc (BAT) is a British multinational company that manufactures and sells cigarettes, tobacco and other nicotine products. The company, established in 1902, is headquartered in London, England. As of 2019, it is the largest tobacco company in the world based on net sales.
BAT has operations in around 180 countries, and its cigarette brands include Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall and Rothmans. Its brands also include Vype and Vuse and Glo.
BAT has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. BAT plc ordinary shares are also listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American Depositary Shares.
BAT and Advantech quickly set up a project to evaluate every stage of production and customize a solution for BAT’s unique case. The solution encapsulated the ARK-1124U and ADAM-6251 into a single system for data collection and analytics processing through a standard Ethernet interface. On the manufacturing floor, the networking framework was resolved using EKI-5526I-AE industrial switch to unify communication between the various subscribers on the production line.
Designed for the rigors of an industrial environment, the EKI product lines function on standard 24V redundant power, operate without failure through vibration and high-temperature conditions, and can be easily mounted on DIN rails. The flexibility aspect of the solution came in the form of the TPC-1551WP, a thin client terminal specifically designed for a variety of applications. With the TPC-1551WP, Advantech’s smart solution provided the barcoding aspect necessary for the final requirement step.
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