Case Study

Clougherty Packing Co. Selects Camstar for Farmer John Plant

Camstar Systems Inc. announced that Clougherty Packing Co. has selected its MESA manufacturing execution system (MES) for use in its Southern California Farmer John pork processing plant.

For over 50 years now, Farmer John has been Southern California's number one seller of fresh pork, breakfast sausage, bacon and hot dogs. In fact, this is the birthplace of the world famous Dodger Dog that's sold at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Their massive 10-acre facility at the corner of Soto and Vernon streets is the last great meat processing plant in metropolitan Los Angeles. In addition, a company-owned beef processing plant in Tucson, Ariz. provides beef for the Farmer John meat and beef product line. Both production plants are complemented by an interlocking system of distribution centers in Fresno and Phoenix, serving the 13 western states.

Camstar's (Campbell, CA) MESA will track processing of product throughout the plant and provide Clougherty with the tools to measure and control operations and resulting production costs.

According to Jim Stephenson, Clougherty's VP of finance, MESA was chosen because of the way it could be adapted to the unique cost accounting and plant floor data collection requirements of the Farmer John plant. "The other packages we looked at would have required us to adapt our processes to their software," says Stephenson. "MESA, however, gives us the ability to model our processes the way they are, and to do costing at the product level. With MESA we can implement the kind of integrated manufacturing system that will enable us to operate with maximum efficiency."

The new system will capture data at all critical control points in the production process, tracking work in process and providing costing and margin analysis at the customer, product, and invoice levels. In addition to detailed work-in-process tracking, MESA will collect and analyze plant data to provide plant management with accurate information on product genealogy, quality, and yields.

Through Camstar's Automation/ACCESS module, MESA will interface to automated measurement and process control equipment on the plant floor, collecting production data in real-time and reducing the need for manual transaction data entry. Interfaces from MESA to other Clougherty software applications, including Acacia Technologies' (Lisle, Ill.) CA-PRMS ERP (enterprise resource planning system), will tie production control, scale, database and business systems into a single, central production system.

Clougherty's HACCP program will eventually be supported and enhanced by MESA's automated data collection capabilities. "It is likely we will find ways to adapt MESA so it backs up and reinforces our existing HACCP program," says Stephenson. "We anticipate that will result in increased operating efficiencies for us as well."