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As F&B manufacturers face shorter product lifecycles, tight margins and shifting consumer demand, the onus is on plants to increase manufacturing efficiency and agility. At the same time, with tightening budgets, supply chain organizations must meet rising demand with existing equipment.
Adopting a digital transformation strategy for operations enables F&B companies to meet these business challenges. One of the best starting points for a holistic digital transformation is cloud-based performance monitoring, specifically monitoring for performance KPIs such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in the cloud. With cloud-based OEE monitoring, F&B companies can make an investment that will provide immediate return on investment (ROI) and pave the way for a larger digital transformation.
Real-Time OEE Visibility
At the basic level, OEE monitoring empowers operators with real-time visibility into equipment performance. After all, without rigorous measurement of performance and losses, continuous improvement is impossible. With real-time OEE visibility at the equipment, line or facility level, employees can quickly diagnose issues and deliver potential solutions. By hosting OEE monitoring in the cloud, these important KPIs can be easily accessed anywhere, anytime from any device. This enables lean concepts like Short Interval Control, where real time feed-back on performance to operators, allows for directed efforts for improvement, within the same interval (i.e. a shift). Simply put, this gives operators the tools to identify the causes that are driving down efficiency and performance as they are happening.
To learn more about the benefits the cloud offers, read the LNS Research Spotlight
Standardize Operational Best Practices
As you identify and improve operational best practices within one plant, the next important task is to share the information with the larger enterprise. This ensures the benefits are not limited to just one plant. This is especially critical in F&B companies, which often have geographically and physically heterogeneous facilities that must nonetheless produce the same or similar variations of a product.
The cloud makes this easy by facilitating communication and rapid standardization between multiple sites. This makes it possible to quickly communicate and standardize KPIs calculations and best practices across multiple locations. That ensures everyone is reading from the same single source of truth. In addition, the cloud’s scalability makes it easy to go from a single site to a multi-site deployment.
Join our webinar to learn more about the benefits the cloud offers for F&B manufacturing
Build on your existing infrastructure
With tight margins, F&B companies are attempting to limit capital investments. Cloud-based solutions are ideal as they allow companies to easily build on top of their existing infrastructure. Very often, the ideal deployment is a hybrid arrangement. In this configuration, on-premises software such as SCADA/HMI and local process historian operate the plant and capture mission-critical data. In a hybrid deployment, additional data such as production counts can be added to these existing systems and forwarded to the cloud. This extending those existing investments by leveraging the cloud’s lower cost and easy accessibility.
Extending existing assets this way is an excellent choice in a capital-limited environment. This is because cloud solutions are extremely flexible and lend themselves well to subscription-based SaaS models. Manufacturers can incrementally configure and provision a solution that does exactly what they need, when and where they need it, without overbuying perpetual software licenses, while eliminating the needs for additional costly IT infrastructure setup.
By moving OEE monitoring to the cloud, companies can quickly begin a digital transformation in a cost-effective and efficient manner. This can be an excellent entry point for F&B companies into the world of digital transformation and provides immediate benefits. To learn more, watch our webinar with LNS.