Today, the food and beverage industry is challenged in several areas. Most important is guaranteeing food safety. But also small margins, changes in stock and deviating orders pose a big challenge. For this, many manufacturers turn to track & trace tools. With these, they can follow their products, machines, people, … throughout the entire factory floor which can create a lot of opportunities.
Originally, producers in the food and beverage industry mainly used a paper data collection (manual process). This way, they tried to get an indication of the product locations and had to physically store the paper sheets somewhere. However, an automatic system is much more beneficial as it puts an end to the paper data storage, making real-time information available. This information system gives you a complete overview and also ensures that you can react more quickly and efficiently in case of problems.
Find the cause quickly in case of a recall action
One recurrent problem in the food and beverage industry is the difficulty in finding the cause in case of a recall action of a product from the shops. With the track & trace options offered by Objective, that problem will be a thing of the past. Using LOT genealogy, you can look what steps this product has taken, what ingredients were used, from what supplier the ingredients were obtained, thus finding the basic cause of this problem. LOT genealogy is best described as a kind of family tree of your product. During the production process every product is given a LOT (a unique number allocated to a batch after production). When this is entered in the Objective supervisor, every step, from receipt of the goods to shipment of the finished product, can be traced. This means that the cause is quickly found in case of a recall action.
Tracking and tracing from gate to gate
With the integrated MES and WMS solutions of Objective, all transactions and movements can be completely followed and registered, from receipt of the goods to shipment of the finished products. The track & trace functionality gives an overview of all logistics actions within the Objective Supervisor (who/what/where/when).
The track & trace functionality thus does not limit itself to the LOT genealogy alone: it also traces the actions of people at the production line or operator screens. Suppose someone has configured an adjustment to an existing production recipe in the software, e.g. by adjusting the amount of flour; then it may be that the product no longer meets the quality of the original production recipe. Through track & trace in the Objective audit trail screen you can find out who has adjusted the recipe and at what moment. In other words: track & trace is not only for products, but also registers who has carried out certain actions where and when.
Furthermore, track & trace also provides a real-time overview of your stock. In the WMS system all stock movements carried out on a certain stock are remembered and stored. If a pallet can no longer be retrieved in the storeroom, its location can be found in our software with just a few clicks.
One fully integrated solution
Without the right system for collecting, organising and making the information accessible of all steps in the production process, things can get very complicated. MES and WMS systems help organise this data, so companies can obtain an optimal added value from this. These systems can follow articles using various methods, from RFID to manual scanning of lot numbers. Manufacturers can use these systems as a dashboard representation in the complete production cycle, and can trace lot numbers for stock management for both incoming and outgoing products.
MES and WMS enable companies to register and visualise all their product and component data, with visibility being integrated into other systems, suppliers, distributors, sales channels and more. Other options include warehouse management to optimize shipment rates and packaging procedures and eliminate picking errors due to wrong identification of components. More about MES and WMS? Contact us for more information or apply for a demo.