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How a premium food producer uses data insight to keep cool

1 min read

As one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of premium sausage, Walkers Sausage Co prides itself on the quality of its award-winning produce.

Based in Leicestershire, the home of the famous Melton Mowbray pork pie, Walkers Sausage Co can trace its heritage back to the early 19th century. Today, Walkers is a key part of the mighty Samworth Brothers chilled and ambient foods stable, alongside key brands like Ginsters, Soreen, and the West Cornwall Pasty Company.

Worth more than £14 billion, the UK’s chilled food arena is a fast-growing industry. To remain at the heart of it – and in consumers’ shopping baskets – the Walkers team is focused on innovation and continuous improvement of its premium products.

To achieve it, Walkers’ manufacturing operation plays a critical role. So when a key asset essential to production demanded attention, it was leading maintenance and insight solutions provider, RS Industria, that engineers turned to.

Pot of Sausage Casserole

Crucial asset

The food industry is subject to strict regulations around production, safety, and hygiene. With chilling and freezing crucial to Walkers’ operations, it was imperative the refrigeration compressors used to keep blast chillers cool were maintained to keep the lines up and running.

Walkers has four refrigeration compressors onsite. If all the blast chillers are in use, then three compressors are needed, with the fourth kept as a backup. When one of the four compressors failed, a two-month lead time for a replacement meant production could be at risk.

Walkers’ engineers needed help - fast. Step forward, RS Industria, the innovative industrial data solution designed to connect legacy and new assets to a single point of information.

Using modular architecture for rapid use, RS Industria gives visibility to a continuous stream of operating data that helps engineers improve reliability, efficiency, and environmental impact, in a way that is simple, fast, and affordable.

Vibration insight

For Walkers, installing vibration sensors on the compressor heads and their drive motors provided site engineers with valuable insight into the condition of the bearings and drive shafts in the remaining compressors.

Within hours, abnormal levels of vibration were picked up on one of the compressors. Though the levels didn’t indicate imminent failure, it meant Walkers’ engineers could keep a close eye in case it degraded further, while they waited for the new compressor to arrive.

The result? Insight from RS Industria averted the potential for costly and line-stopping failure.

Want to know more? Get in touch today to find out how RS Industria can transform your productivity.