Evolving industry challenges are confronting global food and beverage manufacturers. The three major drivers behind these challenges are demands from retailers and consumers, requirements from regulators for the quality of food that is produced, and needs from brand or business owners who want to make superior products while remaining profitable and increasing efficiency.
All of this requires companies and manufacturers to embrace new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and digital technologies to continually address process improvements and production expansion opportunities.
Smart manufacturing can help food and beverage businesses take a fresh and more sophisticated approach to the way they run their operations.
Connecting previously disconnected processes, smart manufacturing enables a single view of operations within an organization and seamless communication across people, data and assets. With enhancements to real-time collaboration and continuously improved processes, smart manufacturing keeps operations moving.
The Right Tools
Bringing together disparate networks, improving production visibility and attaining better control of processes can help make operational improvements and drive gains in efficiency, especially for complex activities such as changeovers. Additionally, wider availability of information can help manufacturers be more responsive to supply-chain developments and improve on-demand production.
In particular, food and beverage producers can use smart manufacturing technologies to transform and improve manufacturing operation, including
- Better Intelligence: Manufacturing information is the basis for deeper analysis to improve operations. The ability to access real-time information on parameters, such as temperature, pressure, cook time and clean-in-place, can help to create a more proactive approach to food safety and quality. Automated data collection, logging and reporting also help to reduce the regulatory compliance burden.
- Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence (EMI): EMI software organizes correlates and presents production information to help operators spot issues and adjust in real time. Data-rich dashboards display how a machine or line is performing and notifies workers if production parameters exceed pre-set limits.
- Enhanced Control: A modern distributed control system (DCS) integrates all automation processes into one plant-wide system. DCS features, such as model predictive control (MPC), alarm management and batch management, can help improve plant efficiencies and operational performance. Virtualized servers and workstations can help reduce IT investments, improve uptime and extend life cycles.
- Smarter Machines: Smart machines and devices can provide unprecedented access to data. Real-time data can be logged and analyzed to enable better decisions-making and support optimization of not only their machines, but their entire manufacturing process.
Get More Out of Production
When it comes to improving yields, smart manufacturing provides opportunities to not only follow the flow of ingredients and track yield throughout production, but also gives more in-depth insights into key production areas that can help show where operations can improve.
Manufacturing execution system (MES) software is one of the fundamental building blocks in process control within food and beverage production. It automates data collection for deeper and more immediate production visibility. This can help manufacturers make better decisions based on operations, the commodity market and raw ingredients to help manage material variance and improve yield.