Cargill pursues global real-time performance management

"If the Western world is to compete in manufacturing, we will have to become more sophisticated," says Ron Christenson, corporate vice president and chief technology officer, Cargill, an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services.


'If the Western world is to compete in manufacturing, we will have to become more sophisticated,' says Ron Christenson, corporate vice president and chief technology officer, Cargill , an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. 'Part of this effort will certainly be based on the competitive advantage that real-time information delivers.'

As part of Cargill's strategy to standardize best practices throughout the organization, Christenson is working on delivering real-time operational performance metrics within a common infrastructure across Cargill's global enterprise. OSIsoft , a maker of performance management software, says Cargill has selected OSIsoft's real-time performance management (RtPM) platform, powered by the PI System data historian as the technology backbone for the enterprise-wide initiative.

Under the agreement, Cargill will significantly add to current OSIsoft installations, and all Cargill systems will be monitored by OSIsoft through a central network operations center. Following a rollout of additional systems to individual sites, Cargill will begin benchmarking to compare equipment reliability and plant efficiencies, and ultimately identify and expand deployment of those applications that deliver operational performance gains.

Christenson says, 'We continuously hear from our plant managers that PI enables a more intelligent use of people's time and resources. It is truly a powerful advantage when people have insight into operational information and can quickly make the right decisions.'


Within individual sites at Cargill, OSIsoft's RtPM platform has been employed for several years to monitor critical systems, to ensure compliance standards are met and to optimize resources. The technology also helps sites identify and stay on target within various key performance indicators. For example, the information within the PI System can be used to calculate materials, temperature, and other factors against product produced to determine exact efficiency in a given batch or process. Ability to analyze and standardize this information leads to process optimization, localized at one site or across similar sites within the enterprise. Other factors, such as financial information or sales data, also can be compared through interfaces into ERP systems or other data repositories.


'We are seeing more customers interested in and committed to initiatives like Six Sigma, KPIs, and other scorecards, which require metrics and data to be shared across the organization,' says Pat Kennedy, CEO of OSIsoft. 'OSIsoft has always believed that by giving everyone across an enterprise access to real-time information, they are able to do extraordinary things—and see both short-term and long-term gains—without protracted implementation cycles.'

For more about RtPM from Control Engineering , click here .

—Renee Robbins, editorial director, Control Engineering,

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