How digital technologies can transform CPG challenges into opportunities

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Earlier this year I wrote about how digital technology can help companies deal with challenges in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry. Shorter product lifecycles, increased variety of products (small batches), sustainability commitments, and health and safety concerns can all cause issues for production. On the flip side, the exciting part is how these digital solutions also present new opportunities.

Today, thanks to digital technology and Industry 4.0 we’re headed for a future where we can operate outside the limitations of mass production; a future defined by mass customization.

ProLeiT promises specialized manufacturing expertise and flexibility

More and more, people can buy specialized products that match their individual or cultural tastes. Take craft beer, for example. To increase production while maintaining their unique brand flavor profiles, our customer Dogfish Head Craft Brewing relied heavily on ProLeiT brewmaxx, a processing control system with MES inside.

More recently we also helped a specialist cheese producer in Türkiye (formerly known as Turkey) grow their production capacity (1000 tonnes per day) and optimize operations.

According to this blogger, mornings in Türkiye aren’t complete without a Turkish style big breakfast, and no Turkish breakfast is complete without cheese. Türkiye is known for its traditional cheese varieties made from regionally grown milk, each with its own distinct flavor and texture. To put breakfast on the table each day while satisfying Turkish cheese preferences, the customer implemented ProLeiT Plant iT with MES inside and EcoStruxure platform over our cybersecurity embedded Modicon M580 ePACs (Ethernet programmable automation controllers). A Process Control System with Manufacturing Execution System built-in makes it’s easier to integrate the various systems within a typical facility. They play supervisory roles for all assets and control systems, synchronizing production flow through the entire plant and making integration between business and production systems simpler and more efficient to accomplish.

This approach gives companies more agility because they can align production operations to market demand in real time, reducing the time it takes to deliver new and existing product. They can also optimize plant performance and throughput by routing more production to unused or underused assets.

Partner with the experts to get the most out of your investment

Our customer wanted a process control system that would allow them to improve the quality and efficiency of their CIP operations and to perform maintenance faster and more effectively. They also needed the flexibility to expand operations as their business grew and evolved. To help them achieve this, they needed a technology partner with proven experience in the dairy industry.

For those in the business of satisfying the world’s appetite for cheese and dairy, the challenges include water and utility consumption, and product safety and quality. Clean-in-Place systems are vital for any food and beverage company to ensure products are safe and of a high standard, but they can be inefficient, using large amounts of energy, chemicals, and water.

Dairy operations also typically involve several different processes that rely on different specialized equipment to get the job done. Previously there was a lot of engineering time and cost involved in installing a process control system that could harmonize all these different processing areas. Communication between these different systems was difficult to achieve and often limited as a result.

EcoStruxure and ProLeiT Plant iT/brewmaxx make for a perfect pairing

The beauty of Plant iT/brewmaxx is it’s configured rather than programmed from scratch reducing design errors, cost, and time to market. With EcoStruxure (including Modicon M580) it’s even easier to attach Advisor software so that you can access all production data needed from plant assets and link it to information from business systems. In other words, business data can be included in operational decisions, and operational information can be included in business decisions, all one business management system.

To this effect, our cheese makers were able to easily integrate efficient Clean-In-Place systems within the same process automation system. EcoStruxure Clean-in-Place Advisor helps optimize and use energy and resources more efficiently, improving overall profitability and helping the customer reach their sustainability targets.

Augmented reality was used to help empower the workforce, allowing maintenance and training to be performed more easily. EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor enables operators to superimpose the current data and virtual objects onto a cabinet, machine, or plant, allowing for instant diagnosis and contactless maintenance. It’s particularly useful for troubleshooting during downtime.

And lastly, but certainly not least, ProLeiT also comes with our extensive industry knowledge and process know-how including reference architectures to help improve performance and reduce design cost and risk. Paired with the specialized knowledge of the local system integrator on the job, it’s a match made in heaven.

In today’s world change and mass customization are the norm. To survive and thrive, Consumer Packaged Goods companies need to respond to the market in real time. It can be daunting, but with the right technology partner it’s also an opportunity. It could even help propel your business ahead of the competition.

Learn More:

Read the whitepaper by Frost & Sullivan: Enabling CPG industry growth without compromising profit people or the planet

Watch the video: Plant iT and Modicon

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