The digital transformation in the Food & Beverage industry

What is the real impact of digital transformation in the Food & Beverage industry? The Food & Beverage sector has been profoundly revolutionized by the advent of digital technology, from production processes, including the procurement of raw materials, to distribution processes.

Today, Food & Beverage companies are facing continuous changes in demand to which they must be able to respond in the shortest time possible, optimizing production processes and working on different service lines, prioritizing sales channels or market areas that bring more business, or more significant margins

We are dealing with an increasingly close and necessary relationship between sales, logistics, production and purchasing departments. On a daily basis, these business functions must collaborate to solve critical situations, whether on the demand, production or supply side; the great challenge is to equip ourselves with tools capable of detect potentially-critical variations, sharing possible solutions and participating in the analysis of pros and cons, with respect to different simulated scenarios.

The company of the future of the agri-food sector is able to receive the continuous orders variations from the GDO without suffering them, but adapting the business processes in an agile way and synchronizing people and technologies.

A full view of digital transformation:

 

End-to-end vertical and horizontal integration

The convergence between planning and execution (of transportation and production) is becoming increasingly important, as it enables manufacturing companies to equip themselves with tools that can improve responsiveness to last-minute changes in demand, distribution, production and purchasing, by aligning data at multiple levels and enabling real-time management of critical information.

sedApta is supporting several companies in the food sector, so that they can equip themselves with the tools necessary to improve the reception of new orders, and insert them in the production process by reducing the impact on what has already been planned:

These goals can be achieved through the optimization of planning, of processes of productive requirements generation and purchases (MRP process of make and buy), then through the optimization of the production sequences (minimization of set-up times by optimizing time / cost matrices), all integrated with activities of in-bound and out-bound logistics and production activities.

The sedApta suite enables food companies to manage a very large number of finished products and customers, without losing production effectiveness and efficiency.

The tools required to improve the complete management of customer orders, by including them in the process of production planning and execution, reducing the impact on what has already been planned, allow:

  • optimization of both the generation of requirements in the warehouses of the logistic net, and the definition of production and purchase orders;
  • optimization of production sequences (minimization of set-up times and line cleaning, management of production campaigns, management of allergens and contamination);
  • definition of the plan of transfers between production site and distribution warehouses, in order to maximize the level of service to the customer (reconciliation of production orders customer orders, distribution policies and fair-share rules, reduction of transfers between distribution warehouses with consequent reduction of costs and times);
  • definition of transport activities, starting from the order lines (inbound, outbound, plant transfer, aggregate in delivery if the process is driven by logistics activities) and translating them into Transport Tasks to be planned in Transport Missions.

Automation and MES

Production monitoring, along with operator performance and of production lines monitoring, remains the central factors in the design of the factory of the future.
The sedApta suite allows a complete integration between production progress, data collected from the field, quality declarations, traceability of production batches, monitoring of company performance and process variables, extending the concept of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) to the more comprehensive MOM (Manufacturing Operations Management).
Over the last few years, sedApta has also extended its offerings for optimal automation management: Data Acquisition System (DAS), based on a plug-in sw module for SCADA platforms, acts as an intermediate component between the Machines/Lines/Plants and the Manufacturing Executive System. The functionality of a SCADA extends from the native management of communications to and from field devices (PLC, Controller, etc..) to the support of supervision and diagnostics of assets and their technological processes. In this way, the DAS plug-in module pre-processes and exchanges data to and from SCADA and MES.

Analitycs and Predictive Control

The company of the future takes advantage of real-time data integration, in order to equip itself with predictive tools to anticipate potentially damaging events in production. This point is the true cornerstone of Industry 4.0 and the challenge of the manufacturing of the future.
Integrating the systems (from field to management) and the functions involved (production, quality, warehouse and maintenance), are only the starting points of the factory of the future and not the arrival points!
The 4.0 manufacturing context has in fact determined the beginning of an evolution process of information systems, aimed at the creation of databases and data lakes capable of integrating the data generated along the entire supply chain to support strategic management and forecasting activities, supported by “what-if” models, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

O.S.A.-the-Digital-Backbone

Workforce 4.0

In an increasingly dynamic environment and competitive marketplace, identifying and adopting the right technologies to manage business processes collaboratively across multiple users, located at different sites, is essential to ensure a sustainable strategic advantage for the company. This is precisely the approach taken by sedApta to Industry 4.0: not only analysis and monitoring of business processes, but also orchestration of processes, people and systems.

Structuring the collaboration between people, becomes is a central point for analyzing the level of collaboration and integration between different departments, analyzing inefficiencies – through a measurable evaluation of processes and bottlenecks – and possible actions to improve, on an ongoing basis, the collaboration between people.