Treatt and Siemens complete digital factory in Suffolk

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

The new facility will employ more than 200 staff
The new facility will employ more than 200 staff

Related tags Ingredients & nutrition Technology & Automation factory design & Maintenance Finance

Ingredients firm RC Treatt & Co has completed a trailblazing digital factory at its £41m global headquarters at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk in partnership with Siemens Digital Industries.

The site replaces the existing complex in the town, which has served as Treatt’s headquarters since 1971. 

The new facility is yet to go live. It will bring together, under one roof, more than 200 people in science-led distillation, manufacturing, logistics, technical and office-based functions. Treatt described it as 'a once in a generation relocation upgrade'.

The facility will be controlled by the Siemens SIMATIC PCS 7 system which is designed to offer Treatt more data, flexibility, scalability, availability, safety, and security in its production process.

Automate entire production process

Crucially it will automate its entire production process, enabling Treatt to increase efficiency and productivity, consistency, reliability, throughput, and repeatability. 

The new factory is built and designed to have significantly more operational capacity in an optimally designed production space.

Daemmon Reeve, group chief executive of Treatt, said: “As a science led innovator of ingredients designed to enable our customers to differentiate in the marketplace, we are excited to work with Siemens to drive a wide range of benefits into our world class manufacturing business.​ 

“Treatt sources a wide range of natural raw materials from supply partners around the world. As expected, nature provides variation in flavour profile from season to season and our job is to ensure consistency in the wide-ranging extracts we create for customers through complex distillation and extraction processes, so their beverages have the critical consistency in flavour profile.

'Authenticity in natural extracts'

“Moving to the new site will be beneficial for our operation and our customers will see very clearly how our science led, customer partnership model is transforming Treatt into a crucial partner for those customers wanting true authenticity in natural extracts to enable them to win, that is what motivates us.”

Mark Higham, general manager, process automation, Siemens Digital Industries (DI), said: “It is important for us to work very closely with Treatt to ensure we deliver the best solutions for their new headquarters.”​ 

Siemens DI describes the Siemens SIMATIC PCS 7 distributed control system as a 'flexible and scalable platform, which addresses the wide-ranging needs of the process industries'. "It has an open system architecture covering the entire production process ensuring the efficient interaction of all automation components in the factory,"​ according to the company.

Its features include its consistent approach to data management, the application of global standards, powerful and compact hardware and proven software libraries. These common features are intended to minimise the engineering overheads, reduce costs, shorten time to market and increase the flexibility of the plant.

Treatt has a bespoke and dedicated analysis system which is now aligned and fully integrated with the Siemens SIMATIC PCS 7 system to capture the results and data for future use as the company drives into further areas of digitalisation for the business.  

Three-year service contract

In addition, Siemens has won a three-year service contract to support the new production facility. 

Bruce Sinclair, engineering & site services manager, commented: “The three-year service support contract is necessary as our operations team will be reliant on the new control systems for increased and efficient productivity. It is essential for us that maintenance of the new systems remain at a high standard set by the suppliers of the technology for longevity and competence.”

Siemens has already begun providing support with training Treatt’s employees to use the new systems and their instrumentation engineer has completed a two-week training course at a Siemens site. 

Siemens has teamed up with a fully certified Process Instrumentation Approved Partner for the deployment of the full range of its instrumentation portfolio across all lines of production at the plant.

Jon Tayler, director at Process Instrument Sales, said: “Our strategy for Treatt was to provide a technically correct and commercially effective solution for the instrumentation requirements of the demanding process systems, whilst ensuring efficiencies, safe working practices and environmental criteria. 

Process control and monitoring

“Our long-standing relationship with Treatt, as their approved partner meant that we are able to be an essential element of the Total Integrated Solution that Siemens promotes for seamless process control and monitoring, which is what the engineering team at Treatt have set out to achieve.”

As well as its UK operation, flavour and fragrance ingredients supplier Treatt has a manufacturing site in the US and a sales office in China, with a network of agents throughout the world.

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