This website consolidates products from SEE, Caneco, and ETAP.
Any question or comment? Please contact us.
+33 (0)5 62 74 36 36

Customer Success story - Agro Mousquetaire

Home News › Customer Success story - Agro Mousquetaire

How did the Agro Mousquetaire Group manage to standardize its electrical diagrams across an entire country ?

In 2020, Agro Mousquetaire decided to standardize all its electrical schematics, using a single, consistent, high-performance model.

But in practice, how has such a large Group managed to standardize its ecosystem? How did it manage to involve all of its teams in this standardization? What major challenges did Agro Mousquetaire face, and how did it meet each one of them? How di dit manage to operate a smooth transition? These are just some of the questions we’ll be trying to answer here, with the help of Agro Mousquetaire.

The Agro Mousquetaire Group is made up of 62 very disparate plants across France. Some have as few as 10 employees, while others have more than a thousand. Similarly, their internal operations are not identical from one plant to the next. In this context, the challenge of standardization was to find a standard diagram that would suit each plant without being too complicated to use. Not all the Group’s production units have the resources or skills to use SEE Electrical Expert. For this reason, some outsource their maintenance operations, while others take care of everything in-house.

The aim of standardizing the ecosystem was to make it easier for everyone to work together, both internally and externally, thanks to clearly defined specifications and a methodology that could be applied to all installations.

The challenge: use a common language and optimize processes

To implement its project to standardize its electrical diagrams, Agro Mousquetaire began by bringing together some of its employees, as well as people working directly in its production units, alongside Frédéric Rousselot, Manager of the COSFI design office, and Bernard Buecher, ACTEMIUM‘s Electrical Design Manager, in order to standardize procedures within the Group’s Production Units (PUs). How was this achieved? Mainly, by exchanging ideas and brainstorming.

“On average, there were eight of us around the table, with one and the same objective: to create a standard electrical diagram in terms of design, nomination and structure. These exchanges enabled us to determine exactly what the Agro Mousquetaire teams wanted to see highlighted in terms of information on their electrical diagrams and their environment in SEE Electrical Expert.”  

The working group had to find the right balance between standardization and reality in the field. To avoid any constraints, a certain amount of flexibility had to be left in the standard diagram to facilitate its appropriation/adaptation. The aim was to provide a wiring diagram structure that users had to apply, but which they could also easily adapt to their real needs.

“I’ve been using SEE Electrical Expert since 2001, so I know it well,” continues Frédéric Rousselot, Manager of the Cosfi design office. There’s a real intelligence in this software, and it’s this intelligence that I integrated into the Group’s standardization file. My aim was that every time someone uses the file, this intelligence, this method and this automatism specific to SEE Electrical Expert should come out immediately, without effort. This is made possible by the fact that the file is instantly linked to the software and all its features (reference, symbol display, cartridge registration, etc.).

The same way of drawing everywhere in France, using the same recognized software

In all the Group’s factories, diagrams were previously drawn in very different forms. It was hard to keep track! After having developed its model electrical file on SEE Electrical Expert, as well as a document explaining the desired standard, the Group consulted Bernard Buecher from ACTEMIUM, so that he could enrich them. Why Bernard Buecher? Because he uses the software on a daily basis, and has been working with the Group for over 17 years. This dual expertise enabled them, over the course of 2 meetings, to ensure that the standards they had developed were relevant and perfectly exploited.

“Together, we reviewed folio numbering and the equipments to be used. They had initially planned to use specific equipments, but this was too restrictive in practice. I explained to them that other solutions could work perfectly well, and that adding options would give the technicians more room for maneuver, which they sometimes – depending on the context – needed. I also identified what would be technically difficult to implement, or would interfere with the software’s operation in the future. For example, in the case of PLC retrofits, we don’t change the entire installation. All we’re doing is installing a new PLC with new supervision and a new electrical chassis. It was therefore very important to think about this type of situation in order to find a way of juggling between the existing system, which was to be preserved, and the standard, which had to be respected as far as possible”, explains ACTEMIUM’s electrical engineer.

Thanks to the expertise of Cosfi and ACTEMIUM, Agro Mousquetaire has given itself the means to create an optimal standard for all its plants, for its teams, but also for its external partners; to implement a method adapted to its needs in both new and maintenance.

A unique design and centralized information for easy understanding

Thanks to SEE Electrical Expert and standardization, Agro Mousquetaire is free to extend, create and maintain its electrical diagrams independently. Everything is drawn in the same way, which is a real plus – particularly in view of the turnover of maintenance professionals. It’s difficult for someone who doesn’t know all the Group’s sites to find their way around the non-standardized cabinets,” explains the design office manager. When these cabinets are clean, i.e. labelled and built in the same way, the technician – whatever his degree of expertise and knowledge of the site – is able to carry out his troubleshooting operation, electrical modification or addition/extension more quickly.” No more deciphering electrical diagrams! Thanks to standardization, “every technician can be sure that the new cabinets will always be designed in the same way, and that the power is therefore included in the first pages of the file, and not on page 250 (for example).”

Up-to-date diagrams and clean cabinets (trunking, labels, markings on equipment, etc.) ensure real consistency between reality and electrical diagrams. “With SEE Electrical Expert, the schematics are available, as are the source files, which can be updated at any time. So in concrete terms, this doesn’t improve production efficiency, it doesn’t improve the production line, but on the other hand it does save a lot of intervention time when a breakdown occurs!”

Good to know

Standardization is also an added value in terms of recruitment.

“New recruits see that the Group is organized, that its method is thought out on its scale with quality in mind, and that it is therefore possible to move from one unit to another without being forced to relearn everything,” concludes the design office.

That counts: involving different players in the production chain in standardization

Mathieu Bardot, Electronics Project Manager in Agro Mousquetaire’s engineering department, was a member of the standardization working group and was responsible for deploying SEE Electric Expert in the production units. “Based on our discussions, we drew up a set of specifications covering the guidelines of the common standard for electrical diagrams,” he explains. A first version was sent to all Group production units with an in-house design office. Nothing would have been possible without the involvement of our technicians (internal and external),” continues Antoine Bodin, an electrical technician who updates electrical drawings at Agro Mousquetaire’s SVA Jean Rozé plant. Within six months, we had standardized on SEE Electric Expert every page, every folio of the electrical diagrams for every plant! We’ve modified our standard several times based on feedback from everyone involved. And every year, we get together again to think collectively about what we can improve, because the benefits are so great!”

Indeed, to guarantee the relevance of its electrical standard, the work team took stock with the users who had worked hardest on the specifications, as well as an integrator. This enabled them to see the advantages and disadvantages of the standard. The aim? To obtain concrete feedback from both external (electrical design office) and internal users, in order to understand how this standardization of electrical diagrams is being integrated into projects. This new version has been sent to all production units – including those without an in-house design office, who are therefore obliged to go through the engineering department where Mathieu Bardot works.

In practice, “when we are called in to work on projects involving the modification or creation of electrical diagrams, we send the electrical diagram and its environment to the various integrators working on the project,” explains Mathieu Bardot, Electronics Project Manager at Agro Mousquetaire. Once they’ve worked on the “study” part, they send us back the schematic for validation. This validation is much quicker with our standard! Before, if we needed three integrators on the same project, we had three different schematics. Each one drew his own schematic, sometimes on paper, sometimes using software (not always the same software, by the way). Sometimes we didn’t even receive a schematic. Archiving was virtually impossible, because nothing was uniform.

In this sense, standardization not only saves time in day-to-day operations, but also guarantees archiving, which in the end means that the integrators’ schematics can be used again. Meaning? So you don’t have to start from scratch every time you need to make a modification!

Keeping control of installations

Each integrator has its own way of doing things. Consequently, if two integrators have worked on the same cabinet at different times in its life, discrepancies can arise in electrical diagrams that are not clear enough and not kept up to date.

Previously, when creating an electrical diagram, the integrators didn’t send us their sources,” stresses the electronics project manager. As a result, when a modification had to be made, we either had to redo the electrical diagrams to redo the sources, or ask the original integrator to send us his sources – which posed a problem for some for intellectual property reasons. Standardizing our electrical diagrams puts an end to this notion of intellectual property. They have to respect our specifications and provide us with their sources, which means we can retain total control over our installations. What’s more, this means we’re no longer dependent on integrators who disappear over time, making it impossible to recover sources.

Automatic naming

The standardization of electrical diagrams goes hand in hand with the standardization of their archiving – even if these are two different things. “Large production units were lacking in updates, and we realized that the same electrical diagram could have three or four different names.” A real waste of time and information! Agro Mousquetaire therefore created a tree structure with an automatic naming system based on the location, ins and outs of each production unit. As a result, it now has a synoptic view of the plant (which varies according to plant size), from the transformer right through to the distribution cabinets. “This precise and reliable tree structure of each site saves maintenance technicians an incredible amount of time, since everyone now knows exactly where to intervene,” concludes Mathieu Bardot, Electronics Project Manager at Agro Mousquetaire.  

A pilot for the standardization project

Agro Mousquetaire’s beef division is one of the Group’s six divisions, but above all it is the largest: 2,000 employees (50% of the Group’s total workforce) divided between two slaughterhouses and four finished-product processing sites.

We’ve always used SEE Electrical Expert, and in a way we’ve been the pilot for standardization,” explains Antoine Bodin, an electrical technician who updates the electrical drawings at Agro Mousquetaire’s SVA Jean Rozé plant. Our experience of schematics on the software has enabled us to create a standard model appropriate to our field of activity and usable by all Group sites. Until then, some sites used the software, others didn’t, and in all cases, nobody had the same way of drawing in SEE Electrical Expert”.

As a result, installations were aging, drawings were out-of-date or non-existent, and it was difficult to make electrical changes and improvements. Lack of archiving, discomfort and doubts when troubleshooting… the absence of a predefined process was detrimental to the work of both internal and external teams, as well as to site upkeep and maintenance.

Comfortable reading and greater safety

A standard electrical diagram designed with SEE Electrical Expert has many advantages! “For technicians in the field, it makes for easier reading. They know that useful information is located on a particular page. Habits were quickly established, and they know exactly where to look for the information they need.” Circuit-breaker name, ICC, wire color, location… Everything is predefined and responds to a logic. This saves an enormous amount of time when it comes to locating diagrams, and in practice minimizes intervention times. In fact, because they are better managed, actions taken on electrical diagrams result in limited production downtime. Another advantage: the archiving! Thanks to standardization, schematic updates are quick and easy. For my division, I receive updates from technicians, quickly apply them in SEE Electrical Expert and integrate the new version into our database,” explains Antoine Bodin. Our archives are thus truly relevant for both internal and external users, and can even be consulted via QR codes displayed on machines, electrical cabinets and chassis. This is ideal for carrying out maintenance operations, and obviously very useful since our QR codes are consulted several times a day.”

QR Code for electrical diagrams: how does it work?

Once scanned, the QR code links to the A standard electrical diagram designed with SEE Electrical Expert ! Another advantage: digital wiring diagrams. The system is already in place on Agro Mousquetaire’s large production units, which can themselves work on electrical diagrams. Thanks to this digitalization, the maintenance technician can arrive on site, scan the QR code of the installation and see the perfectly up-to-date electrical diagram.

High-performance, reliable archiving

Prior to the standardization of their electrical diagrams, updating the Group’s electrical diagram archives was virtually impossible. Technicians all drew differently, and it was very difficult to know what was up to date and what was not. “You really had to decipher the information sent – when it was sent. Today, all the technicians take the time to do things as requested in the standardization file, because everyone is aware of the comfort and time offered by this standardization of methods and tools. They can have confidence in the diagrams they have in their hands, whether in paper or digital format”. Gone is the doubt, but also the risk of missing a technical problem.

Those unfamiliar with SEE Electrical Expert quickly realized the benefits they could derive from the software and, more generally, from the standardization of electrical diagrams. We didn’t impose anything,” explains the electrical technician in charge of standardization. We created a standard and made it available. The in-house teams at the other sites found that SEE Electrical Expert was easy to access and use, thanks to the Group license. But also that drawing and archiving electrical diagrams according to the standard we have collectively put in place is beneficial for everyone. What’s more, SEE Electrical Expert is a schematic reference that offers real performance, a very rich database and numerous functions. An opinion shared by Bernard Buecher, Expert Designer at ACTEMIUM, in charge of implementations (from pre-sales and design to implementation) at Agro Mousquetaire sites. “This software has a folder-based environment in which you can define symbol libraries and a whole range of methods, i.e. ways of representing terminal blocks, numbering wires, etc. It’s very practical, because these symbols and methods can be easily retrieved from one folder to another. Functionalities that contribute to successful standardization and deployment! Hence the importance of choosing the right partner.

It counts: standardizing with flexibility

Since 2020, ACTEMIUM’s Bernard Buecher has been using the standard electrical diagrams – which he himself helped to validate – when working for Agro Mousquetaire. “I respect what’s laid down as far as possible. Of course, each project has its own specificities. So I’m in contact with the sites, which means I can alert them when a situation doesn’t meet the standard. They then give me their approval or ask me to operate differently. These exchanges enable us to continue enriching the standard. It’s a real team effort, to ensure consistency and permanent, win-win performance! “When we get a standardized file, it’s obviously easier for us. We’re familiar with standardization, and we’re able to navigate faster. It’s also financially beneficial for Agro Mousquetaire, since we don’t have to start from scratch every time we make a change.

Standardization: what they say!

 “Standardizing electrical diagrams takes time and depends on the size of each Group. However, it saves invaluable time later on, and also allows you to keep control of your equipment while facilitating maintenance.”

Mathieu Bardot, Electronics Project Manager in Agro Mousquetaire’s Engineering Department.

“By standardizing its electrical diagrams, a Group – whatever its sector of activity – will facilitate the internal mobility of its teams, since the working methodology will be identical in each production unit.”

Frédéric Rousselot, Managing Director of Cosfi design office.

“Standardization is a guarantee of comfort, fluidity of information and efficiency. Large groups have everything to gain by doing so. In any case, for large structures, it’s the only way to keep electrical diagrams up to date, and to maintain high-performance diagram-reading teams.”

Antoine Bodin, electrical technician at Agro Mousquetaire.

“Standardization at Agro Mousquetaire is smart, because it doesn’t impose too restrictive a framework. Their model file defines how to work on schematics, but without going into extreme detail. That’s what makes this standardization really applicable. And that’s what makes it financially worthwhile for the customer.

In practice, “when we are called in to work on projects involving the modification or creation of electrical diagrams, we send the electrical diagram and its environment to the various integrators working on the project,” explains Mathieu Bardot, Electronics Project Manager at Agro Mousquetaire.