Safety is critical in the food and beverage industry. Recalls have a devastating impact on reputation and finances. However, advancements in technology, particularly with smart manufacturing, offer food and beverage manufacturers powerful tools to improve food safety and avoid costly recalls.
How IIoT And Smart Manufacturing Data Helps Avoid Recalls
In the food and beverage industry, smart manufacturing has become a key strategy for ensuring food safety by providing real-time monitoring, supply chain traceability, and a comprehensive view of the entire production process, from farm to fork.
Smart manufacturing (aka Industry 4.0), for those unfamiliar, refers to the use of technology, such as sensors, automation, and data analytics (often using AI), to optimize manufacturing processes and improve product quality. This often relies on what’s called the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which are the array of connected sensors and devices that monitor the production process and provide many of the datapoints needed.
This smart manufacturing data has become a critical tool in the food and beverage industry for its ability to radically reduce the risk of recalls.
There are a number of ways that smart manufacturing data can help food and beverage manufacturers avoid recalls.
On way is by detecting and preventing food safety issues in real-time. For example, sensors should be used to monitor critical control points, such as temperature and pH levels, to ensure that food is being produced under the proper conditions. If a sensor detects an issue, such as a temperature outside of the acceptable range, it can trigger an alert that prompts corrective action immediately.
Another benefit of smart manufacturing data is the ability to identify potential food safety issues before they become a problem. By analyzing data over time, manufacturers can identify patterns or trends that may lead to a potential issue. For example, if a product is failing a key test more frequently than normal at a specific stage of the production process, manufacturers can discover and take corrective action before it leads to a recall.
Smart manufacturing data provide food and beverage manufacturers the data they need to ensure that their products meet food safety standards. By detecting and preventing issues in your own production line, smart manufacturing has become essential for food and beverage manufacturers to avoid costly recalls.
But what about the raw materials shipped to your facility, or shipping beyond your food and beverage manufacturing location?
Supply Chain Traceability (Farm-To-Fork) Helps Avoid Recalls
Supply chain traceability is sometimes called farm-to-fork traceability in food and beverage manufacturing. This refers to the ability to track the movement of food products from the farm where they were produced to the point of sale or consumption.
It is another technology, built upon a smart manufacturing base, that revolutionizes food and beverage manufacturing safety.
By implementing supply chain traceability, manufacturers can quickly identify and contain any food safety issues that arise. For example, one manufacturer was gathering data from supplier’s grain storage, with data on their the product’s temperature, humidity and storage levels. Unfortunately, though, this food supply chain data was often analyzed at farm level … by hand. Data was often late or missing, and not integrated into the rest of the data.
ThinkIQ — the leader in food and beverage smart manufacturing — electronically integrated the data and added analysis. This allowed the manufacturer to visualize potential grain qualities in advance, spurring manual inspections or outright batch rejections. In addition, they were able to better segregate organic grain from non-organic, greatly minimizing recall risks even further.
Supply chain data from smart manufacturing can include everything from an ongoing data stream of weather conditions at a farm, to storage information, to transportation data (constant location, time, and temperature data streams), and much more.
By providing a food and beverage manufacturer a clear view of their supply chain, manufacturers greatly reduce the risk of recalls.
Side Benefit: More Effecient Production And Great Profits
While many food and beverage manufacturers implement smart manufacturing technology and supply chain traceability to improve food safety and avoid recalls, there is also a major side benefit to these technologies: more efficient production.
Smart manufacturing technology allows for real-time monitoring and control of the production process, as well as proactive tools such as predictive maintenance and other efficiency analyses. Combined, these can improve yield, improve equipment utilization, reduce downtime, reduce waste, improve quality, and increase throughput.
In another example from ThinkIQ, their client processed tens of thousands of onions to manufacture onions rings. But onions are natural, and come in different sizes, packed by weight.
The ThinkIQ platform helped the client spot areas for efficiency and make several optimizations — from the cutting size to how the supplier actually supplied the raw onions. The client ultimately saved 7% in raw materials costs.
Similarly, supply chain traceability allows manufacturers to optimize their operations by identifying inefficiencies in the supply chain. By tracking the movement of raw materials and finished products, manufacturers can identify bottlenecks and reduce lead times, as well as know in advance when raw materials will not arrive in time to continue production.
The use of smart manufacturing technology and supply chain traceability not only helps to improve food safety and avoid recalls, but also provides significant benefits for efficiency, sustainability, and transparency. By embracing these technologies, food and beverage manufacturers can not only protect their brand and maintain consumer trust but also improve their bottom line and reduce their environmental impact.
Reduce your food and beverage manufacturing risks while improving efficiency. Check out ThinkIQ’s Case Study, “How an Industry Leader in Frozen Food Manufacturing used IoT, Big Data, and Machine Learning to Increase Yield” to learn more about how one food and beverage manufacturer increased profits with smart manufacturing.