Food and beverage manufacturers face many difficult and often conflicting challenges that can seem impossible to overcome.
These include giving consumers all the new, cool and multiplying choices they want, but delivering them with increasing efficiency, decreasing costs, and shorter capital returns on investment (ROI) of 18-26 months or less, according to Dave Sharpe, global industry director, consumer packaged goods and life sciences, Rockwell Automation.
"Meanwhile, they’re also seeking improved asset utilization, increased yield, greater workforce productivity, optimized resource management, mitigated security risks and assured food safety," added Sharpe.
"This is why we need to frame up the digitalization journey we're on—it's an inflection point for delivering unprecedented productivity to industry," he said. "This can include safe collaboration with robots and equipment, merging physical and virtual worlds, using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to predict failures and reduce downtime, and employing wearable and mobile computing devices to transform workflows."
Mondeléz International is among the food and beverage companies facing these challenges with the support of Rockwell Automation. Bob Pegher, North American regional automation and controls manager, described how the company has begun to roll out a standardized data-enablement methodology across its global fleet of production facilities.