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4 Ways to Manage Complex Processes During Food and Beverage Production

Sept. 11, 2018
Food and beverage manufacturers have a unique set of challenges. To effectively manage complexity while maintaining profitability, you want to look for a system

Food and beverage manufacturers have a unique set of challenges. Maintaining profitability under the threat of spoilage, contamination, and allergen management are just a few of the challenges they grapple with every day. The system that runs food or beverage production becomes critical in ensuring quality, control, operational efficiency—and managing complexity.

To effectively manage complexity while maintaining profitability, you want to look for a system that includes:

  1. Food Safety
    Running a food or beverage production requires a complex choreography of scheduling, raw material inventory, batch processing, yield analysis, and production controls, all the while managing and mitigating risks via stringent and timely quality procedures carried out throughout the process. With the ever-increasing focus on food safety such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), those risks bring potentially high costs of failure such as recalls, decreased profits, loss of customers, and potential litigation.
  2. Quality Compliance
    Built-in batch processing controls can reduce the risk of quality failures by forcing operators to perform steps in the proper order using the proper tools and methodologies. Checklists for machine setups, clean downs and temperature checks are all validated and recorded at the appropriate point within the process. Quality compliance comes from rigorous application of checks and procedures and are no longer just paper documents tucked away in a cabinet. All of these checks need to be recorded and readily available for review by both customers and regulatory body audits.
  3. Traceablility
    Inventory management requires extensive use of lot management and date code processing capabilities that track every lot of every ingredient throughout the production process to ensure ingredient freshness and customer satisfaction. Rigorous tracking from receipt of raw materials throughout production to shipping of finished goods creates traceability records that can be accessed in moments in the case of a mock or actual recall situation. You don’t need to spend hours or days leafing through paper documents when you need to answer a question—simply provide this information within seconds with comprehensive traceability reporting.
  4. Batch Scheduling
    If you’re producing a variety of products, scheduling tools help to optimize production by considering any number of constraints that can include production run times, machine capacity, labor availability, allergens, colors, packaging etc. This kind of capability helps to ensure that costs are kept to a minimum by reducing the number of changeovers and clean-downs required between products—bringing significant savings on a day-to-day basis while also offering opportunities for increased production volumes with current levels of resources.

A system like the Plex Manufacturing Cloud can run your entire manufacturing business with a full manufacturing execution system (MES) to control production with a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to run the business. Moreover, because you run on tight margins, the value of a cloud-based solution that frees your staff up from non-value-added IT burdens like managing servers, software, or upgrades is substantial. With the cloud, you can focus on your core competency of making delicious products.

See why your peers are choosing the Plex Manufacturing Cloud to run their businesses.

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