Home / What’s new in AutoPilot4Feed Version 9

What’s new in AutoPilot4Feed Version 9

  • Audit improved user interface with multiple tabs and quick search
  • User password encryption, colour theme selection, preferred language and full name field
Raw material set-up
  • Archive status facility (will prevent appearing in drop down lists)
  • Modification history button
  • Select weighing order priority for material
  • Enable grain passport requirement
  • Disable use in manual substitution
  • Option to select route to destination where multiple routes are available (as opposed to auto-select by configured priorities)
  • Intake log view improved user interface
  • Enhanced supplier details
  • Material low stock email alerts
Weighing / Batching
  • Feeder parameters history button
  • Scale parameters history button
  • Intelligent multi-dumping to delay discharge on large inclusion until other smaller inclusions have completed
  • Warning if scale tare greater than 10%
  • Bin barring remove access restriction by reason
  • Hand add and Preweigh4Feed improved user interface
  • Bin substitution improved user interface
  • View batch record can now filter by product code, mixer line and batching line
  • View batch record can now search for order number, run number or lot number
  • View batch record can sort by clicking on any column header
  • Formula archiving facility
  • Formula expiry facility prevents production
  • Feeder drainage facility to empty tote bins and update stocks
  • Self-flushing batches for multiple mixing lines
  • Pre-batch facility to split batch in two for treating a bulk material with special liquid before mixing with other ingredients
  • Preweigh4Feed can prepare containers for 2 hand tips
  • Preweigh4Feed integrated with Warehouse Stock Tracking facility
  • Preweigh4Feed has material by material mode
Standard Substitutions
  • Can be activated for a number of batches as well as period of time
  • Activation history button
  • Print and print preview buttons
  • Maximum sub % restriction
Press control
  • Knife change indication, acknowledgement and audit
Finished product set-up
  • Quick link to edit product
  • Modification history button
  • Print button
  • Facility to always require self-flushing batch
  • Additional materials can be selected to add to first batch only
  • Link to product length configuration
Bulk out-loading
  • Option to auto cleanout at vehicle plated weight
  • Option to auto hold transfer route at vehicle plated weight
  • Truck set-up with quick links to haulier and customer set-up
  • Bin barring remove access restriction by reason
  • Support for Vishay, Cardinal, Salter, Lucid X weighbridges
  • Enhanced customer information
  • Sales representative information
Warehouse Stock Tracking
  • Raw material purchase order integration with back-office system
  • Hidden bays feature
  • Messaging system fro fork lift truck drivers
  • Different bag sizes for same base raw material

A new facility has been developed for checking bag stocks and lots, particularly for drugs or expensive ingredients so that their usage and stock can be verified. This would be a regular activity of placing the required bags on a platform scale and checking the stock is correct. The actual stock can then be compared with the theoretical and any differences investigated. Lots can be reconciled or scrapped with full details recorded in the audit log. A reason code is prompted for if the stock change is outside of a pre-configured tolerance.

Manual weighing improvements

A new improved loss in weight mode for hand additive weighing has been introduced in the latest version of AutoPilot4Feed. This involves placing the bag on a platform scale and removing the required amount of material into a container. This technique has several advantages as material can be placed back in the original container without contamination risk and the bag can be check weighed before weighing starts. The system can also now deal with barcoded containers removing the need to print out a label. The previous contents of the containers are recorded and can be recalled.

PIN authorization on weighbridge manual weight entry

This new facility allows an AutoPilot4Feed user form to have certain operations that require a specific security level (i.e. a required AutoPilot4Feed Access Group configured for the user type) in order to proceed. This is useful to get higher level authorization, for example, on manual entry of weighbridge weights in the event of a weighbridge issue.

This allows an elevated security operation to be accessed without having to quit and another higher level user log-in. Instead, a user not configured with the required access group is prompted to enter a PIN in order to proceed.

This 4-digit PIN is generated randomly by a program that can be accessed by a user with higher security clearance (e.g. office administration) and is given to the operator so that they can proceed. This could be performed remotely by the high level access user.

A specific PIN is only valid for one entry. However, the security operation that required the PIN can be configured to work for a certain time – even if the program is closed and reopened.

If there is nobody available to generate a PIN, a supervisor can enter their login details into the program in a similar way to Microsoft Windows elevated privileges dialogue. However, this feature can be switched off if required.

TASCC Scheme ID and expiry date can now be recorded in the haulier details of the AutoPilot4Feed system. When a truck is on the weighbridge the TASCC details are displayed on the log-in form. If the TASCC is missing or has expired it is highlighted in red.

AutoPilot4Feed version 9 has a intelligent facility for adding rework back into selected products. The rework material is configured in the product additional material settings with a maximum inclusion. Additional materials in the product are in addition to the base formula. When the product is made rework will be added in to batch at a rate based on the stock level in the rework bin and the maximum inclusion.

There is a new email facility in Version 9 that will allow up to 10 materials to be monitored for weighing out of tolerance (under or over). An email will be sent to designated users for each batch that has a tolerance alarm on a material being monitored. This particularly useful for sensitive and / or expensive ingredients.

MimicMenu      MimicMenu search

MimicMenu is an alternative for the current menus that are accessible from the mimics.  It works alongside the current menu system, but has the following additional features:

  • Accessible from the bottom-left of any screen next to the Windows menu (the button is revealed when the mouse is close enough).
  • Dynamic searching of menu items or their filenames for quicker navigation. Simply type what you’re looking for.
  • Full touchscreen support. Full keyboard overlay for searching, and menu fonts can be easily resized for easier touch-control.

Full navigation using either mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen.

Truck Allocation facility (new option)

Plan4Feed Truck allocation

Orders can be assigned to trucks (or any other vehicle type) either before, during, or after production, on any day, and on any load. This information is displayed visually, and orders can be moved about or reallocated easily. Truck compartments are also supported. Loads (e.g. first, second, AM, PM, etc). are fully configurable. You can configure permanent trucks (to be displayed in any desired order) or use temporary trucks when required. This facility works seamlessly with the AutoPilot4Feed’s bulk out-loading facility.

User Profile facility

The current Plan4Feed settings can be stored as a site-wide user profile, which can be later be loaded on any PC. Plan4Feed supports multiple profiles and remembers everything from fonts to filters. Each PC running Plan4Feed can switch between profiles effortlessly at any time.

Split Order facility

Orders can be split (on the Production Programme), which allows them to be make separately, or on multiple destinations.

Multiple Production Speeds

Plan4Feed now supports multiple press speeds (tph) per product category per destination. This means you can configure a certain product to be made at different speeds depending on which production line it is made.

User Interface Improvements

Plan4Feed has had many improvements to its looks and feel. Colours and fonts have been tweaked, and options menus have been replaced by intuitive screens. More filters have been added to the Order List, and these can be adjusted quickly and easily when required.

Plan4Feed Lite 2

Plan4Feed is an established optional facility for AutoPilot4Feed to help with scheduling production and improving efficiency. With AutoPilot4Feed Version 9 all blending systems include a "Lite" version of Plan4Feed which visually displays the day programme and updates in real time. This helps predict when product runs will complete and users can easily see the production schedule status. The "Lite" version does not include any of the order scheduling features.

Truck Scheduling

Where the fully automatic AutoPilot4Feed bulk out-loading facility isn't currently possible due to manual operation of bin discharge, there is an alternative facility to process finished product trucks on the weighbridge. This enables 1st and 2nd weights to be captured for each truck and dispatch notes printed. It can also process bag collection trucks. All data is logged for future reference and reporting.

Bin Sub new

When a weigh scale goes to a slow fill status due to running out of material the operator is able to use the bin substitution facility by clicking on the weigher box which will be red to indicate it is in alarm condition. This facility has been completely rewritten to provide a more intuitive interface for operators. Fundamentally the old version would ask a series of questions to ascertain how the operator wanted to deal with the short fall of material. In the new version the operator is presented with full details of the shortfall and several buttons that allows them to quickly select and perform one of the following options:-

  • No substitution - ignore shortfall and move to next ingredient
  • Retry at end - weigh other ingredients required for scale and then retry weighing this shortfall at the end
  • Bin substitution - select another bin on another scale with the same material
  • Standard substitution -select other ingredients to weigh in replacement of the shortfall using a pre-configure standard substitution
  • Manual substitution - manual select other ingredients to weigh in replacement of the shortfall

Finished product bin dips

A new facility is provided in version 9 to simplify bin stock checks by allowing the operator to enter a bin dip level in metres from a laser device (or transmit via Bluetooth). The utility is designed to work on a tablet PC so this can be taken to the top of the bins. The system can then instantly and accurately update the bin stock level. Bins are configured with their size and cone shape. The software uses these parameters to convert the bin dip level to a volume which is then converted to a tonnage using the material density.

Report fault

A new feature has been built into AutoPilot4Feed to allow operators to report plant issues to the Assets4Feed maintenance software. This allows non-planned maintenance to be scheduled alongside the planned maintenance. To report a fault the operator simply clicks on the item and fills in a form with the details of the issue. In the Assets4Feed the issues will appear in the maintenance schedule.

Report fault form