Scheduling, recipes and batches management

Synchronize with ERP or create jobs. Specify product quantities, schedule, assign assets and more. Quickly communicate schedule revisions and priorities to the line and management level. Gain real-time visibility of job progress and schedule attainment. Configure recipes and procedures, or interface with information stored in ERP to provide the shop floor with instructions for how to complete the production orders. Automatically generate batches and track their execution and performances.

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Quality management

Respect regulatory compliance regulations storing Statistical Process Control and real-time data of inline and offline quality test. Manage digitally Standard Operating Procedures including full archiving.

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Traceability and Genealogy

Associate information of raw materials, semifinished goods, container, caps, labels and other supplier materials to lots with digitally tracked and traced production, to assure safety and reduce the risk or the cost of a recall.

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OEE & GiveAway

Gain visibility into operation metrics and KPIs. Compare the performance of lines and departments to determine best practices. Quickly identify bottlenecks in the supply chain and prioritize improvement plans. Reduce giveaways collecting and analyzing real-time data. Adjust filling process according to what lines are really doing.

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SCHEDULING, RECIPES AND BATCHES MANAGEMENT

Correct scheduling of production is a critical task for most of the manufacturers we work with. Plans change frequently and urgencies happen every day. Being able to adapt production scheduling to the fast-changing requirements allows to guarantee efficiency and avoid loss of time, product and margins.

Excel is a great tool but cannot support all the business requirements. A finite capacity scheduler is often too complex and expensive to implement and maintain.

Correct management of recipe versions and correct execution of batches is fundamental to guarantee the quality of the product and keep the loyalty of customers to the brand.

Raw materials change and R&D is continuously looking to create new products or optimize the existing ones to increase margins and reduce costs.

A single recipes repository for all the plants allows a perfect control of production and the real-time update of the working recipes. Actual data can be compared with the ones contained in the recipe to gain insights on the process and tune it.

For these reasons we provide a production scheduling and an advanced recipe management solution easy to manage, flexible and effective to support your business.

Job Overview

Assign packaging orders

Synchronize planning with ERP or create packaging orders directly in the MES system. It doesn’t matter. Basing on quantities to pack, delivery date and asset the system propose a schedule that you can easily edit and modify. You can test several “what if” scenarios just changing some parameters and running the scheduling again. Once you are satisfied you can assign packaging lines, teams and more. The schedule is in real-time and available to anyone needs to access it, from the line operators to the management. Real-time visibility of job progress and schedule attainment let you inform promptly your customers on the status of their orders. Information can be shared real-time with the ERP so to keep it updated and take your strategic and financial decisions in the most informed way.

Planned Jobs - Tabular

Finite scheduling

Scheduling and resource management can be optimized applying business rules. The real time information on availability of materials, machines, teams can be used to plan and assign resources to each single job in packaging. Maintenance plans can be taken into account during the calculation of the proposed schedule as well as changeover time and cleaning. In this way it’s possible to determine the job sequence that can optimize the throughput. The system can leverage the first available or best performing machine to define routes.

Recipe management

A recipe contains the defined procedure and a mapped formula that defines the making of a product by associating a formula and capability parameters. Manual capabilities are available for manual data entry and acknowledgment.

Comprehensive history records and reporting allow users to view historical information about formulas and recipes that have been created, changed, or executed. Any change of the recipe can generate a new version. A workflow can be triggered to collect all the approvals before a recipe is released for production. Previous versions are kept for historical purposes, but cannot be used any more. The system guarantees that the product is packaged following the latest official instructions.

The Recipe management user interface can be accessed via a web browser on a desktop, or on mobile devices

Recipe execution

Production can be fully automated or manual. The system will send the recipe information to the filling line PLCs or deliver them to the operators. If manual the recipe can be printed or accessed through a web browser using a tablet where the operator can access instructions and declare the operations done.

On automatic filling lines an operator simply assigns a recipe to the appropriate line and starts, monitors, and controls its execution. All the setup parameters values can be adjusted within the defined limits, either prior to recipe start or even just before the capability is executed. In both cases they are downloaded to the PLC in a second and with guarantee of no errors. This is mostly critical for the devices of the filling line: filler, capper, laser printer, x-ray, scale, boxer, labeler and palletizer. Avoiding misconfiguration of the devices allow to reduce scraps, reworks or, even worse, commercializing mispackaged or mislabeled products.

QUALITY MANAGEMENT

Even small incidents related to the quality of products could really damage the brand reputation of a food and beverage company.

This requires companies to have appropriate control measures to identify and rectify the defects before selling products and to store documents to be compliant to regulations and begin ready to find and present them during audits.

An optimal inspection process allows companies to track and manage scraps and defects. Using Statistical Process Control companies can identify unexpected variations and manage them in real-time reducing the number of scraps, reworks or customer complaints. It can also help in reducing giveaways and optimize the filling process.

For these reasons we provide a quality management solution easy to manage, flexible and effective to support your business.

Document and revision control

A Document Revision Control system is fundamental for the Quality Assurance Program. The system let you finely track who made changes and what and when were made. It provides users quick access to standardize procedures in required formats reinforcing Best Practices.

You can track all the revisions and manage employee training, skill sets, certifications, authorization, and security clearance.

SOPs can be recorded in a centralized system and all the users can access them easily.

document and revison control

Track and manage scrap & product defects

Scrap and rework costs are impacting an organization both in terms of time and money. The amount of scrap and rework can be reduced optimizing how you document product data, reviewing manufacturing processes, engaging operators to detail specific root causes or corrective actions, to leverage their knowledge. The system allows you to monitor real-time data to have a clear view of what is happening on your plant floor and be promptly informed about events requiring attention.

Using the system to track and manage scrap and product defects can help identifying improvement for SOPs, reducing the costs that the company is facing and improving the overall quality of finished good.

quality

Real-time SPC

Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a method using statistical tools, like frequency distribution, scatter diagrams, histograms and Pareto charts, to improve or achieve quality control in a manufacturing process reducing process variation, thereby reducing defects and waste from the production line.

SPC can be used to control production filling machines with automatic adjustment of fill volumes minimizing the costs of product give-away. Data can be gathered manually or automatically connecting to in-line or offline measurement equipment. Activating real-time alerts and notifications, adjustments can be quickly made to improve process capabilities and minimize the costs of poor quality or product give-away.

spc chart

Customer complaint management

Customer complaints can be recorded, tracked and analyzed. With this traceability system it become possible to identify if complaints are originating from specific production dates, shifts, products, batch numbers, lot numbers, and production lines. You can simply identify root causes, monitor eliminated reoccurring issues, and determine if corrective and preventive actions are effective.

complaints by job

Non-conformance / Corrective And Preventive Action management

Corrective And Preventive Actions (CAPA) should be constantly performed to eliminate non-conformances or other undesirable situations. A corrective and preventive action management system is recording, tracking, and documenting non-conformances through to resolution helping to rectify and eliminate recurring non-conformances, driving greater supplier performance, improving customer satisfaction, and speeding up resolution of non-conformances.

Corrective actions can be implemented in response to unacceptable levels of product non-conformance, customer complaints, issues identified during an internal audit, as well as adverse or unstable trends in product and process monitoring such as would be identified by statistical process control (SPC). Preventive actions can be implemented in response to the identification of potential sources of non-conformity.

corrective actions

TRACEABILITY

Traceability in production is critical to protecting consumers and your brand. For regulated plants, recording, tracking, and tracing the genealogy of raw materials, Work-in-Process (WIP), and go-to-market products is essential to regulatory compliance. Of course, a traceability solution can do more than help you comply with regulations; when traceability data is available in real time, it can help you optimize the process, increase productivity and reduce costs.

Our Track & Trace solution is easy to manage, flexible and effective to support and improve your business.

Operations view

A clear and updated view of the operations is critical to be confident on product quality. The system can provide a comprehensive view of all the critical processes of your operations, including: Material Receiving; Material Location Tracking; Lot Identification; Material Consumption; Finished Goods; Product Shipping.

Provide clear information about your product

The ability to understand what ingredients comprised a product, the supplier/lot/quality/state of those ingredients, the condition of the equipment that produced the product, the process parameters that were used during production and the workforce that worked on a packaging order are essential steps to continuously guarantee a high-level of food safety and bring confidence to customers. Track and Trace functionalities can be applied to address this challenge. Information needed can be collected automatically or manually and reported to:

  • Avoid product recalls and poor quality resulting in brand loss
  • Comply with all regulations and governing bodies
  • Reduce your business risk for regulatory requirements, increased recall effectiveness, and brand consistency
  • Provide a full report of a production lot including
      • the materials consumed into a product (including bottles, jars, cans, caps, labels)
      • the full history of processes
      • the equipments the product was built on
      • the workers/ teams who worked on the product
      • the measurements samples / test done on the product

OEE & GIVEAWAY

Factories can benefit greatly from deploying lean tools. Whether you need to improve quality, eliminate waste, shorten lead-time, or reduce total cost, you’ll need insight into process performance to uncover opportunities for improvement. Manual data collection consumes scarce human resources, often is prone to human error, and delays decision-making processes.

Our solution supports Lean, Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement initiatives providing real-time analytics, so you may focus on training, collaborating, and improving processes

OEE and events management

Connecting the system to the existing automation infrastructure, allows to have a clear view of what’s happening on the shop floor and to be informed of events requiring attention.  Operators can be engaged to detail specific root causes or corrective actions, to leverage their knowledge, for performance improvement. The information can then be accessed to have in-depth analytics by drilling down using function and time slicing methods – zoom into the root cause of line constraints. Real-time capturing and visibility of production equipment utilization, performance, and production progress brings to better performances and significant savings. Line Performance dashboard and reports can support Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement practices. They provide essential information for the packaging, quality, and maintenance teams, such as OEE details, loss analysis, filling details, stoppage causes.

GiveAway management

Managing giveaways let the plant ensure that product net volume meet the stated label volume minimizing the amount filled over that label volume. Our solution can help getting the filling process in statistical control. When a process is stable and predictable, and with reduced variation, it can be adjusted to run closer to the Label Claim reducing the amount of overfill.

Having volumes recorded periodically gives operators and supervisors immediate statistically-based feedback when processes shift or become unstable. This better use of real-time actionable information can have a profound impact on both risk management and material use and let the company reduce giveaways up to 40%. What’s more, the information that your team has collected for monitoring the filling operation in real-time is a valuable corporate asset and has value long after the current batch of product is sealed and out the door.

Real-time data collection

Operations managers need information that helps them forecast more accurately, pinpoint packaging issues, react promptly to any abnormal situation that requires their attention and better understand their plant performance. The system provides instant access through reports and displays for quicker decision-making. With real-time alerts, notifications, escalations, and the ability to configure automated workflows, the tools to communicate and resolve problems quickly and effectively are available. This allow to improve interactions with  customers, improve quality, improve efficiency, reduce maintenance and inventory.

Workflow management

By defining workflows and tasks, you can guarantee assignments execution and gain visibility into your process improvement opportunities. Real-time workflow management and task capabilities drive product quality and business profitability, dramatically impacting productivity. The system helps to:

  • Reduce wait time
  • Communicate tasks
  • Automate information
  • Lower production costs
  • Decrease waste and rework
  • Improve customer satisfaction

Workflow management digitizes, automates and enforces standard operating procedures. It maintains records for compliance purposes and improvement initiatives. The web-based user interface can be accessed on mobile and desktop devices eliminating paper usage, reducing errors and inefficiencies.

Metrics and reporting

Real-time KPI calculation and reporting allows to gain visibility into operations, including status of jobs, schedule attainment, and resource performance. Information can be compared by operator, team, shift, route, supplier, lot and more to identify why “golden” runs are exceptional. Areas of the factory that are bottlenecks can be quickly determined to prioritize improvement plans. Maintenance operations, including status of work orders, on-time completion, and Response and Wrench-time to return equipment to a good running state let to identify which equipment and root causes require corrective actions to improve equipment performance.

In a multi-site deployment, our solution provides analysis to compare the performance of lines and departments across plants to determine best practices across the enterprise. Using extensive analytics, workflow engine, and dashboards, detailed user-definable reports and electronic batch records (EBRs) can be generated with ease. A complete electronic audit trail of the transactions can be available to meet FDA requirements.

Information on operations, including status of QC tasks, failed tasks, SPC violations, process performance, and product quality trends allow to monitor QA performances and guarantee the quality of the product.

Visibility into scheduling & inventory metrics allow to improve supply chain performance and quickly determine areas of the process that require corrective action to decrease order to ship lead-times and improve on-time delivery performance.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ON HOW WE CAN HELP OPTIMIZE YOUR FILLING PROCESS?