Cost-effective production processes, increasing quality requirements, a proliferation of regulations and pressure on research and development are all characteristics of the food industry. Consumers demand new flavours and healthy ingredients. Governments are tightening laws and sometimes align them with the stringent regulations in the pharmaceutical industry. Large purchasing parties are not satisfied with standard bulk packaging. In other words, there is no shortage of challenges.
In order to address these challenges, close cooperation between R&D, engineering and the production facility is essential. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) link process automation to the business administration system. Information flows are used to optimum effect in managing processes. This improves the cost-effectiveness of foodstuffs and contributes to an increase in quality and quantity.
MES helps to address these challenges:
- Anticipating and responding to customer demand;
- Renew products regularly and quickly;
- Adapting packaging to the needs of major buyers;
- Monitoring quality on an ongoing basis.
Innovation involving existing production lines
An analysis of market forecasts, production numbers and sales results makes it possible to anticipate demand. Based on this information, new products are continuously created on existing production lines. This involves working with short runs. Products that catch on are continued. Products that fail to meet the demands of the public are replaced with the next experiment.
Switching from bulk packaging to end packaging
The business is determined by major buyers, who are not satisfied with standard bulk packaging. Switching to new end packaging requires investment. This calls for a visionary approach. The packaging line must be set up before the customer places their first order.
Choose an integrated approach
Facilitating innovation within increasingly stringent regulations for critical customers requires flexible businesses. Those who fail to innovate end up jeopardising their market position. An integrated approach which considers the correlation between processes provides the best possible starting position for growth.