In today’s food sector environment, Food Safety is paramount and tracking and tracing of materials is a fundamental component of that aspect of our businesses. Our EMC GF2 Food Sector Networking Event provided peers with a means to discuss current challenges from a tracking and tracing perspective, sharing current traceability initiatives and gaining insight on a new automated process that could also help highlight necessary KPI’s and plant production information.
|Siemens Canada Limited Sr. Vice President, Joris Myny, warmly welcomed fellow Manufacturers to their facility in Concord and provided a great overview of their company and current priorities including reducing time to market, enhancing flexibility, speed, and increasing efficiency. |
Our Host also provided thoughts around Industry 4.0 – a topic that we are certainly hearing more and more about. We discussed its concept of “simulation” and how that translates in expediting innovative opportunities, speed to market and building general competitiveness. Capturing real time data is essential because that data can be turned into information that you can use and subsequently make meaningful to benchmark from. You “simulate” what you are going to do, and the more you can simulate, the faster you can innovate. Failure occurs in a virtual world so to speak, and therefore, people have the freedom to make mistakes which thereby encourages creativity.
As mentioned above, this is a concept that companies are starting to think about and as we consider the changes in our workforce dynamics and in particular, ongoing initiatives to attract more youth into a role within the Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector, Industry 4.0 may offer some intriguing elements not only from an efficiency and market competitiveness standpoint, but also as a key element from an attraction, engagement and retention perspective…
|Turning our attention to the topic at hand regarding Food Safety Traceability and KPI Tracking, our Host, Mark Girard, Food and Beverage Manager, laid the foundation with respect to the key food system elements, and the importance of tracking and tracing for all processors sharing the quote below:|
“Tracking and tracing is a must in the food and beverage industry. It also offers plenty of benefits that can be felt along the entire value chain – provided that process information can be comprehensively collected and systematically applied.”
With current and impending legislation such as the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and Safe Food for Canadians Act, Processors are embracing concepts and best practices to enable compliance. As such, this session was designed to gain insight, share ideas and highlight potential tools to help manage regulatory requirements.
To set the stage from a legislative standpoint and requirements to build prevention into every step of Food Safety – we watched a CFIA Video on the “Safe Food for Canadians Act”:
Customer and regulatory requirements, process and cost control, mitigation of risk, loss or in defense of brand equity are all elements that drive traceability. During roundtable introductions, our guests were polled on what challenges they faced regarding tracking and tracing:
· Short shelf life of products
· Moving to more automated processes
· People – hiring and retaining good people
· Dealing with specialized product – meat, organic needs
· Developing Supplier relationships
· ERP implementation and working with old software
After reviewing challenges, we then looked at food traceability and tracking means, and peers in attendance shared their experiences with items such as:
· Track and trace programs
· Audit trail (regulatory compliance)
· Performance monitoring
· Automated processes opportunities
From a concept of looking at ways to make things easier if you will for those in the food sector, Siemen’s has developed a tracking and trace program called WinCC. A great demo was provided by Dominion Automation who reviewed the capabilities of the program and both Siemens and Dominion welcomed feedback on any opportunities for improvement. Using a live demo program, we could look at several features and discussed elements such as:
· RFID readers
· Raw material inputs
· Managing recipes, material inputs and inventory
· Date management – manufacturing, storage, due by, etc.
· Alert messages
· Search modes and batch parameters
· Operator interfaces
· ERP compatibility and use of middleware
· Ease of integration – manual and automatic systems
This subsequently led to additional dialogue surrounding waste identification and management, allowable variances and reconciliation steps, bar code implementation and enforcement, RFID tags, reporting and onboarding time for training.
One of the areas of most interest to participants related to KPI requirements and we talked about some of the elements that our companies were tracking including:
· Yield – raw materials
· Availability – target and actual production
· Operating time
Taking those KPI’s into consideration, we then chatted about automated process opportunities, like WinCC and how automated programming of that nature could help determine KPI’s such as:
· Increasing manufacturing efficiency by tracking Uptime and Downtime and OEE;
· Providing visibility to KPI goals and real time progress;
· Increasing accuracy and reducing time of productivity, quality reports and escalation procedures; and
· Accessing plant production information remotely via web technologies.
It was an interesting segment of our session and companies in attendance expressed a keen interest in delving further into KPI’s at a future event. Supplementary information was shared with everyone after the session as well that included charts and methodologies for a variety of different KPI’s that EMC Members have queried on in the past.
Certainly, a highlight of this networking event was touring the Siemen’s facility in Concord. Well entrenched in lean methodologies, it presented the perfect opportunity for companies on that journey – or considering one - to gain direct insight into the possibilities that come from embracing these principles. Our Guide was terrific, the visuals were awesome and the group totally enthralled with the tour!
There were lots of questions during the walk-about and follow-up emails after. One of the most favoured items reported by those in attendance were the “Meeting Circle” areas. These were located directly in front of a white board with various KPI’s and metrics for a given area. Each meeting area had footprints placed in a semi-circle and labelled with the title of the Team Member. It would be easy for any leader of such a session to know quickly who was missing from their huddle. This was just one element of many wonderful things that we saw or we learned about during this tour.
Complimenting the lessons learned from this tour, it was the perfect time to remind everyone about our Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Program opportunities. EMC has been very grateful for GF2 Funding (a Federal, Territorial and Provincial initiative), and through this program we have been able to offer free in-house training on various introductory aspects of Lean together with Public Productivity Workshops that are currently being delivered across Ontario. The next Events in that regard follow below, if you would like to take part, we would be delighted to have you do so:
09-May-17 – Ottawa - Root Cause Problem Solving/ Leadership and Management of Change
10-May-17 – Brampton – Root Cause Problem Solving/Introduction to the Kaizen Process for Implementing Change
11-May-17 – Guelph – Leadership and Management of Change/Introduction to the Kaizen Process for Implementing Change
Supplementing the above, is our EMC GF2 Self-Diagnostic Tool. This is a great continuous improvement mechanism that allows you to consider where you might be on the CI continuum and to benchmark within your company and sector. Essentially, it is a resource to help identify where opportunities may lie. It takes about 20-25 minutes to complete and has 16 specific key areas that it looks at. Answers are all confidential. To enroll or for more information please click on the following link: www.emccanada.org/fbbdiagnostic.
Very special thanks to our Host Siemens Company of Canada and their entire Team for such a warm welcome, Dominion Automation for reviewing WinCC with us, and to all of our Processors for participating!!
All the best as always!
Bren de Leeuw, Director - EMC Food, Beverage, Bio & Ag Program Canada
Excellence In Manufacturing Consortium - email@example.com - 519-372-6009
EMC receives funding under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. However, the comments or opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada or the Province of Ontario.