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ffFishermans Friend menthol lozenge, manufactured by Lofthouse of Fleetwood is now a well known product worldwide with over nineteen flavours produced to satisfy export markets.

Different countries not only prefer different flavours but have different manufacturing and packaging requirements. In some countries the product needs to meet pharmaceutical manufacturing standards. In countries with high humidity climates the product is supplied in reseal able zip packs, to enable longer life.

To meet with the regulations of the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Medical Health Regularity Authority (MHRA) the company invested in a ‘Pharma Suite’ facility with bagging machines each located in an individual environmentally controlled ‘clean room’.

Each clean room is an enclosed area and this causes visibility issues. As the machines run unmanned this can result in machine stoppages going unnoticed for extended periods. Also, the application of resealable bag ‘zippers’ causes more stoppages than standard packaging which exacerbates the problem.

PlantRun improves manufacturing visibility by showing the status of each machine on user PC’s and on a large screen display outside the production clean rooms.

The system can automatically alarm when a machine stops and send an SMS text message directly to an engineer or supervisor. This improves response times to stoppages and minimises production losses.

Compact Outstations in each clean room allow operators and maintenance engineers to interact with the system without leaving the production area.
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