Manufacturing mistakes made during food and beverage processing can be disastrous or even catastrophic. Meeting both compliance issues and customer demands for quality as well as ensuring accuracy in product and order fulfillment are paramount to successfully competing in today’s challenging marketplace environment.
Using advanced digital manufacturing software, today’s processors can monitor current production, identify problems in real-time, and proactively correct any out-of-spec issues. Integrating food processing software into a manufacturing operation can yield cost reduction opportunities from raw material receipt to the final product delivery. When state-of-the-art software is applied to the processing areas listed below, significant opportunities to reduce costs and streamline operations can be identified and the benefits captured.
Select Software with These Essential Features
When evaluating factory software, it’s important to identify essential functions and characteristics that help ensure maximum benefits. The software you choose should:
- Be scalable—able to start small and build
- Have a configurable output—design metrics, analytics, and presentations unique to your company
- Provide real-time monitoring—collect and display operating performance instantly
- Allow plant-wide access to results—provide employees with access to performance results
- Generate in-depth data analytics—provide data presentations that are comprehensive and easy to understand
- For example, downtime reporting should include downtime reasons as well as an historical performance database for analysis.
- Offer easy implementation and use—make the process of planning and implementing the system straightforward and efficient
- Employee training and operations should be user-friendly.
Use Food Processing Software to Reduce Costs in These Areas
Downtime can be a major source of excess costs. Whenever equipment goes down, production halts, and productivity at that operation drops to zero. Therefore, it is vital for managers to know not only how much downtime is occurring but also its causes. Using food processing software allows manufacturers to measure downtime, record the reasons for the downtime, and highlight major problem areas. Corrective action can then be taken.
Nothing damages customer relations more than missing delivery targets—late arrivals, incorrect counts, and wrong products all damage customer goodwill. Tracking ongoing production throughput gives managers and supervisors the ability to ensure schedules are maintained and production planning is executed correctly. Demand planning based on sales forecasts and effective work order processing can keep the lines moving, producing the right product at the right time.
Meeting product specifications with high first-pass yields is crucial to meeting the order fulfillment obligations and achieving cost targets. Excessive product rework and rejects raise costs, waste labor on unproductive tasks, and negatively impact schedule attainment. Managers using food processing software have instant visibility into actual production data and can take corrective actions should line conditions deteriorate.
Monitoring OEE using food processing software gives managers a tool for gauging the effectiveness of equipment, process lines, or an entire plant. Analyzing the underlying components of OEE (availability, performance, and quality) and comparing the OEE values between machines, process lines, or departments tells managers the current state of production as well as any trends in performance. Department- or plant-wide visibility allows managers to spot those areas of improvement with the highest-potential cost savings.
Tracking OEE and other KPIs uncovers areas of excess costs. These costs can occur as excess downtime, missed schedules, out-of-bounds quality, or failure to follow product recipes. Continuous improvement programs can be initiated to develop and implement changes to processes, equipment, or work methods. For example, improvements to important process functions, such as packaging lines, can be developed using software performance metrics. Often, cross-functional employee teams are tasked with analyzing productivity data, developing solutions, and implementing changes. The impact of these improvements is then tracked using software results.
Continuous Real-Time Visibility and Improved Communications
Food processing software should provide ongoing, real-time operating data to managers and employees across the plant floor. When all team members are watching the same KPIs, each employee's ability to understand what needs to be done is significantly increased.
Worximity Technology offers food and beverage processors advanced digital management software designed to help manage processing operations and provide analytical data for continuous improvements. We offer a five-step approach for designing and implementing our Smart Factory solution, beginning with SF-1 (Smart Factory 1—implementation of downtime monitoring). After step one is completed, our scalable and configurable system can meet company requirements for ease of implementation and development of operation-specific performance analytics.
To learn more about our unique approach to performance improvement and factory floor management, download our free e-book, Guide to Improving Shop Floor Management with Smart Software.