The Food and Beverage manufacturing industry is facing unique challenges and experiencing sharp changes in their operational processes. Increased commoditization, higher levels of service, heightened global competition, and the need for traceability and sustainability are all driving factors for F&B manufacturers to shift away from manual processes and embrace the opportunities of IIoT smart manufacturing.

As one of the most mature among manufacturing, F&B manufacturers have been known to be a slow adopter of digitization. Most are operating in facilities that are 30-50 years old using legacy systems and manual processes such as paper scheduling and manually tracking production data on spreadsheets. The little automation they do have is limited to specific processes such as bottling, canning, and packaging whereas the IT, data, and software focuses only on finance, accounting, and HR and not on production operations. 

However, change is on the horizon and will increase the speed of digital adoption as more F&B manufacturers realize the benefits of IIoT smart manufacturing technology. 

Here are 3 ways how a Smart Factory Software Solution can improve productivity and visibility in F&B manufacturing facilities.

Food and Beverage manufacturing smart manufacturing software automation

1. Automated Real-Time Data Collection

Gone are the days of error-prone manual data collection, filling out spreadsheets, and keeping a mental note of machine breakdowns or production line errors. In today’s market, no one has the time to stop what they’re doing, to grab a pen and write things out. 

With the adoption of a Smart Factory Software Solution, data is being collected, analyzed and reported in real-time. This renders accurate data, that can easily be translated into reports that breakdown preventative maintenance information, saving operator time, company resources or reducing the waste produced by machine breakdowns.  

Reports on energy usage can also provide cost-savings while contributing to environmental and sustainability initiatives. Implementing energy dashboards, as demonstrated in the Shoplogix smart factory platform, can be automated to production processes with proactive alerts about energy consumption so operators and plant managers can make quick decisions.

Easily accessible data provides the entire shop floor with the confidence to execute their individual jobs effectively without wasted efforts, and the management and executive team with the tools they need to make better data-driven decisions. 

2. Reliable Accountable Communication

Manual data collection elevates the risk of miscommunication throughout the shop floor. In a survey taken from ‘The Cost of Poor Communications’ by David Grossman, it was reported that from 400 companies with 100,000 employees each, there was an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year due to miscommunication and error. 

Implementing a Smart Factory Software Solution mitigates miscommunication and drives accountability across teams, supports waste reduction and acts as a hub for all critical communications to be reported, shared and accessible throughout the shop floor. 

With Smart Factory software, employees are able to:

  • Track individual and team performances
  • Visually see plant progress, productivity and important announcements on Shoplogix automated dashboards
  • Implement and act on real-time schedule changes
  • Set up and view work action plans for maintenance efforts

3. Smart Factories Attract Smart People

The manufacturing industry is experiencing a growing need for employee recruitment and this number will continue to skyrocket as baby boomers move towards retirement. According to a report by Deloitte, by 2028 there will be an estimated 2.4 million unfilled jobs due to the major skill gap in the manufacturing industry. 

Food and beverage production is a major player in the manufacturing space and in under 10 years, there will be a larger need for skilled workers with a range of skills in digital technology, operations, and skilled production. There is an urgency to change the perceptions of the manufacturing industry and appeal to the digitally savvy millennial. By transforming outdated, manual operations, the F&B manufacturing industry will offer better learning opportunities, career advancements and more value for prospective workers. Attracting the right candidates corresponds to an increase in efficiency, competitive advantage, and a productive shop floor. 

Converting your manually operated F&B production lines into a digitally automated Smart Factory Plant provides many benefits. Some of these include:

  • Accurate real-time data collection
  • Accountable teams and communications
  • Attract and retain skilled employees

We want to know more about your journey towards improving shop floor productivity and visibility for your manufacturing operation. Comment below and join the discussion!