Problem: A company in Mexico that manufactures vitamin and mineral premixes formed a partnership with a major pharmaceutical company. The success of the joint venture quickly increased the demand for their products and also increased the number of products that were being offered. The new partnership soon expressed a desire to have improved record keeping and ingredient tracking, which wasn’t possible under the current system due to the manual aspect of the machinery. The partnership approached APEC with their plan to improve their premix process. They expressed a need for the new equipment to be installed without interrupting production.
Solution: APEC’s engineering staff worked with the ownership team to develop a horizontally orientated system composed of a completely automated premix system that including 30 ingredient bins, material handling conveyors, three scales, one mixer and two packaging lines to allow for proper tracking and record keeping. To avoid any interruptions in production, the system was designed to be installed in a custom designed warehouse that was being ordered and constructed while APEC designed and assembled the equipment and control systems. The major scales, minor scales, micro scales, and support structures were manufactured at APEC with the large carrier bins being manufactured locally, based on APEC’s designs. This was part of a plan to save the partnership money on freight and also assist in facilitating a quick and seamless installation.
Result: The APEC system gave the customer the capability to formulate, mix, package, and track both large and small bags of premix and concentrate. Since the system was completely automated, the needs for accuracy, record keeping and ingredient tracking were easily met with the reports that are generated by the APEC control system. The system was installed and commissioned in keeping with the customer’s schedule and the capacity of the APEC system easily met the customer’s needs on a single shift basis. As the company grew, they were able to increase production by adding shifts.