Mataura Valley Milk

EcoStruxure™ Case Study

How EcoStruxure™ Plant is improving safety, efficiency, and productivity with an easy-to-use solution.

Building the world’s best nutritional business was the ambitious goal that New Zealand dairy company Mataura Valley Milk set out to achieve in August 2016. Three years later, the company’s milk production plant became the impressive accomplishment that comfortably justified its early ambition. Employing over 80 staff and partnered with over 20 dairy farmers, Mataura Valley Milk is now benchmarking innovation and performance for other milk plants.

Situated in McNab, north of Gore at the bottom of the South Island, the state-of-the-art facility was delivered on-time and within budget, an impressive achievement for a greenfield project.

“To achieve our goal, we knew that choosing only the best people, partners, and infrastructure was crucial,” says Brent Robinson, Mataura Valley Milk’s Projects Manager. “The success of the project was a consequence of meticulous planning and strategy. We sought out and hired the most skilled staff; we chose construction partners with proven expertise; we purchased best-in-class plant and equipment; and we partnered with industry-leading suppliers and fabricators.”

Schneider Electric was one such expert partner that delivered its EcoStruxure solution, tailored to Mataura Valley Milk’s strict requirements for a fully connected and integrated facility with real-time visibility of every process.


At Mataura Valley Milk’s core is its dedication to customers. This demands the ability to quickly adapt and tailor products to their requirements. “We must have agility around what we produce with no sacrifice of quality. Producing nutritional products is a complex, high reward approach so the plant must be nimble and our expertise unmatched. To confidently make these decisions, visibility and trust in our data is crucial”, says Robinson.

Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Plant solution delivers and provides context to live, real-time data on every process at the plant through AVEVA’s System Platform, Batch Management and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software. In short, Mataura Valley employees receive any data they require immediately and know they can trust it.

“We’re able to track and trace every ingredient on its journey from the farm
and through the facility. This track and trace approach provides complete transparency and trust for our suppliers and customers. This visibility also contributes to our innovation programme and delivers great value in terms of R&D and process efficiencies. Data can’t be useful without precision and the Schneider solution gives us all the connectivity and accuracy we need”.

“The EcoStruxure solution delivers connectivity to all our business layers. It proves itself to us every day as we interrogate data in the MES. We’re able to fault find and resolve issues immediately, receive alerts on any irregular findings throughout the plant, test and introduce process efficiencies quickly, and positively affect our final product.” says Robinson.

An end-to-end solution

Maintaining the integrity of vital data requires a robust and reliable hardware solution. Mataura Valley Milk deployed Schneider Electric products across the plant, from the switchgear in the offices
to variable speed drives, programmable logic controllers, active harmonic filters, and power monitoring, according to Mataura Valley Milk’s Engineering Manager, Scott Waddell.

The equipment list includes over 200 Altivar Process variable speed drives, 14 AccuSine harmonic filters to ensure power quality and minimise power factor correction, air circuit breakers to reliably protect staff and equipment, and TeSys U motor controls to optimise machine efficiency.

The real-time data visibility and connectivity are delivered by Modicon M580 Ethernet programmable automation controllers, part of EcoStruxure’s Edge Control layer.

Ultimately, Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure solution provides Mataura Valley Milk with an open and connected system architecture that enhances the efficiency, reliability, safety, sustainability, and connectivity of its infrastructure. Waddell says, “Standardising on Schneider equipment gives us confidence around our power supply and the integrity of our operations. It’s not just the reliability of their equipment but also the support and expertise we get from Schneider. We’re able to see our real-time energy usage, and AVEVA’s System Platform provides context to our data, enabling fine-tuning of our power usage and carbon footprint.”

A strong backbone

Mataura Valley Milk’s aim of building the world’s best nutritional plant is not a target but a goal that continuously moves forward as the company raises the bar on production methods and product quality. This journey enables the company to continuously innovate and strategize for the future. Increases to site capacity are already underway as are accreditations for its products to be distributed in both China and the USA. “It’s all based on a good backbone. From the moment we drilled under the Mataura River to run the high voltage supply cables that secure power to the site, to when the first products left our warehouse, we’ve been looking at how we can broaden our offer, maintain maximum quality, and produce more,” says Waddell. “Along the way, we’ve proven that our approach was sound, and this is evidenced in our commercial performance as well as our compliance and audit results. We’ve successfully progressed through Asure Quality’s five performance-based verification audit levels without being held back at any stage, which justifies our audit processes and validates the effort that our staff and partners – like Schneider Electric – have put into the operation. “The trust and confidence we bring to the table extends all the way through from our suppliers to our customers’ customers. We’re very proud of our short past and excited about our long future,” Waddell concluded.