Internet of Things (IoT) & EcoStruxure: Sugar Production at RCL Foods | Schneider Electric

Internet of Things (IoT) & EcoStruxure: Sugar Production at RCL Foods | Schneider Electric


I arrived in the industry as my father was actually involved in sugar and as a young boy I used to go to the sugar mill with him, and as time passed, I ended up in the sugar industry. My name is Alan Williamson, I’m the Manufacturing Executive at RCL Foods, Pongola Sugar Mill. RCL Pongola Sugar Mill specializes in two types of sugar. Mainly the refined sugar and the brown sugar for direct consumption as well as for the industrial market. The biggest challenge faced by RCL when they took over Pongola Sugar Mill was that the plant is very old and in desperate need of modernization. There was lots of downtime, breakages, stoppages. At the power station, we used to have roughly 33 to 40 blackouts in a season. So obviously with the modernization and putting in the Schneider Electric system, we are able to troubleshoot much quicker and, therefore, our uptime was increased and our downtime was obviously decreased and we were actually able to control and optimize our process. Schneider Electric EcoStruxure allows us to remotely diagnose and view the plant like we could never do before. This allows us the flexibility so that we’re able to access the plant at any time from any locations via our laptops, smartphone, or tablet. I think that the most important thing that we’ve achieved with Schneider Electric is that we have become more competitive in the industry. Over the period of implementation, the Schneider Electric system has substantially contributed towards our 20% increase in throughput in the plant. Our vision for the future is to continue modernizing the plant in partnership with Schneider Electric and to achieve our mission of “more food to more people, more often.”

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