Foundation for excellence

A new SIMATIC WinCC V7 SCADA system helps Tiger Brands enjoy better process visibility and traceability for its renowned consumer brands – and provides the foundation for a company-wide OEE solution.

Millions of people in South Africa interact with Tiger Brands every day. The company produces some of the country’s best-selling brands of consumer goods and takes great pride in catering to rapidly evolving consumer needs and trends with constant innovations and improvements in its portfolio of grains, groceries, and personal and home care products. The company is also committed to achieving outstanding quality, efficiency, and sustainability, and part of this commitment involves using the latest technology to improve operations across the company’s 44 manufacturing sites in South Africa.

Digitalization as a tool for excellence

Using production data to achieve operational excellence, however, requires having a solid foundation for data acquisition and processing as well as the corresponding solutions to support informed decision making, both on the management level and on the daily operations level. For this reason, Tiger Brands recently decided to upgrade its production facilities with a new solution for process and quality control. With this upgrade, the company wanted to establish a system for the structured and central management of recipes and batch processes and improve traceability and transparency through audits and flexible reporting options. The system also needed to provide an open, future-proof platform capable of integrating different systems and enabling future extensions, including integration of cloud platforms.

Roodekop pilots new SCADA solution

As with all major technology transitions, Tiger Brands wanted to reduce project risks through a phased approach, and the company selected the beverage manufacturing facility in Germiston as the first plant to pilot the new system. At the site in Roodekop, Germiston (Gauteng), Tiger Brands produces all 15 of its beverage brands, so the new system had to be capable of providing both a high level of process visibility and exceptional flexibility. By replacing the existing legacy control systems, Tiger Brands also wanted to improve its batch control, reporting, and materials tracking and tracing capabilities. After extensive comparison of available solutions, Tiger Brands opted for a SIMATIC WinCC V7.5 SCADA system complemented by two add-ons: PM QUALITY for batch reporting and archiving and PM CONTROL for recipe management and order processing. Siemens also supplied additional network and control equipment that included communication converters, SIMATIC S7-1500 PLCs, SINAMICS G120 variable-speed drives, and AS-Interface modules for various process areas.

Excellent local support and state-of-the-art technology

In addition to offering a scalable and future-proof system platform, SIMATIC WinCC V7 is based on proven industry-grade systems and components that ensure a long service life and offer many options for networking with third-party systems and devices. Additionally, the Siemens systems are well established in the industry, so sourcing of spare parts and local support is easy. Tiger Brands implemented the new system together with Control Systems Integration, a local systems integrator, and Siemens. According to Shailen Toolsi, lead process engineer at Tiger Brands, “The collaboration between CSI, Siemens, and Tiger Brands was one of the factors making the project a success.” Toolsi is responsible for process engineering and optimization across the Tiger Brands factories and led the project in Roodekop.

The collaboration between CSI, Siemens, and Tiger Brands was one of the factors making the project a success.
Shailen Toolsi, Lead Process Engineer, Tiger Brands

Significantly improved traceability

One of the greatest benefits of the new system is the improved system diagnostics. SIMATIC WinCC V7 has full access to the integrated diagnostics of the SIMATIC S7-1500 controllers, so any issue in the automation system can now be traced to its origin with minimal effort. Moreover, the redundant system architecture offers greater reliability and stability than the legacy SCADA system. Additionally, SIMATIC WinCC V7 enables fully automatic recipe execution with integrated reporting, which contributes to higher process transparency and repeatability.

Company-wide rollout

With the first implementation successfully completed, Tiger Brands is now working on implementing SIMATIC WinCC V7 at additional sites. Ultimately, Tiger Brands aims to establish a company-wide solution for monitoring overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), and SIMATIC WinCC V7 will prove a valuable platform for this. The option of expanding system functionality via cloud-based services, with SIMATIC WinCC V7 acting as a gateway to the cloud, will also allow the new SCADA solution to support Tiger Brands on its road to digitalization – and help bring the Tiger touch to even more families across Africa.

Tiger Brands Ltd, South Africa

A packaged goods company, that has direct and indirect interests in international food businesses in Chile, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria, Kenya and Cameroon.

Tiger Brands is one of Africa’s largest listed manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods. The company has a total of 18,085 employees (permanent and temporary) within and outside South Africa. In South Africa, Tiger Brands has prominent market shares in a broad range of categories, having grown for nearly a century through acquisitions and developing its brands. In addition to the company’s core South African business, Tiger Brands has operations in Nigeria and Cameroon and has built a sizable export business for its products throughout Africa.