Improving Food Safety Thorough Digitalisation

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Food safety and quality are non-negotiable factors for consumers. Buying a product that is safe to consume is the bare minimum people expect. Therefore, food safety is the number one concern for food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers.

Tetra Pak’s latest Cost of Quality webinar revealed that 58 percent of food producers worldwide have been affected by a recall in the last five years. The cost of issues like these can be far reaching. From appraisals to prevention to managing production failures and product returns, the financial impact of a product recall can be felt for weeks or months after the event. Poor product quality and safety issues impact not just a company’s bottom line, but also a brand’s reputation with retailers and consumers.

Digitalisation of tools and services plays a vital role in mitigating the risk of product faults. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR) and others is helping F&B manufacturers manage food safety risks more effectively. Insights from machine learning and advanced analytics (Big Data) enable F&B manufactures to collect information from across their systems, allowing for a constant state of renewal and adjustment.  Scrutinising data from all parts of the value chain empowers us to predict and raise overall quality, removing the need for costly sampling and instead focus on end-of-line analysis.

This, however, can only be achieved through maintaining precise records. Detailed live data enables full compliance regulation, traceability and the opportunity to automate reviewing processes, therefore saving both time and money. Having access to data will also allow manufacturers to drive industry standards, not just keep up with them.

Today’s cloud computing architecture is enabling the analysis of large amounts of data to help manufacturers make important business decisions, reduce maintenance, and mitigate against risks that could jeopardise food safety. Tetra Pak’s Condition Monitoring service has been a great innovation in this space. Based on Microsoft Azure Cloud, Condition Monitoring provides real-time analysis of operational performance data from more than 5,000 connected filling machine lines around the world. This is then used to advise customers on their maintenance needs in a more timely and effective way than was previously possible, allowing them to order parts in advance, schedule the manpower required, and plan other repairs during the scheduled downtime.

Digitalisation is transforming the way F&B manufacturers are operating and changing how we work with our customers to create new opportunities. It’s playing a crucial role in protecting manufacturers from errors which could jeopardise food safety and, ultimately, the relationship with the end consumer.

At Tetra Pak, we expect this trend to continue and will be working to develop and introduce solutions and tools that support our customers in the management of food safety and contribute to improved overall production performance.

Contributed by Alexander Bromage, Food Safety and Quality Director, Tetra Pak.

 

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