Arla Foods: Putting customers first and
enhancing productivity with cutting-edge
By Jesper Bach, Managing Director, Trivision
During these difficult and unpredictable times, food processing companies must focus on staying productive and reducing downtime. This is easier said than done, with many factors to consider such as labour shortages, social distancing regulations and lockdowns, all of which have caused difficulties for businesses around the world. However, due to Covid restrictions, consumers are less likely to visit restaurants, and are increasingly relying on supermarkets as their primary food source. This increased strain on the food packaging and processing industry means that scaling up demand, whilst maintaining customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance.
Arla Foods is a global dairy company and co-operative owned by 9,900 dairy farmers. The company is committed to finding innovative solutions to the issues that impact the food processing industry, with their UK facility becoming the first net zero carbon site of its kind. They discovered that manual quality checks were contributing to a significant amount of downtime, and even then, products with faulty packaging were still reaching customers and damaging their brand reputation. More specifically, it required a solution that could check that the protective paper was placed correctly on its Lurpak® butter during the quality control stage.
The company decided they needed a solution with the ability to immediately detect errors and report faults in real-time in the production line. The solution they selected was the TriVision VisioPointer®. This highly accurate system gave Arla the necessary assurance that its customers would receive consistently flawless products with high quality packaging. The unique TriVision system does this by empowering customers to secure both product quality and optimise production at the same time, by providing unique production insights leading to root-cause-analysis of the problems causing the product error.
The VisioPointer® has a high definition touchscreen along with an intuitive interface, which allowed Arla to ensure that its employees had the ability to closely monitor for any errors and determine whether there was a fault earlier in the production line, for example misprinted bar codes or incorrect placement of labels. By doing so, puts an end to the costly process of re-printing labels for an entire production line, and even having to dispose of products, vastly reducing waste outputs.
Arla was looking beyond just a technical solution, they needed to ensure that they could rely on a supplier to provide comprehensive customer service, and act as a partner. They were impressed by TriVision’s ability to view Arla’s dashboard online and offer resolutions while Arla could see how the issues were being solved.
Empowering customers with data
The VisioPointer® also uses data driven insights that augment the quality control checking process, to create tangible and valuable recommendations for optimising production. The system collects data about the production process and analyses it to spot trends, and offer recommendations. The insights are gathered into reports which can be accessed via email on the online portal, with valuable statistics such as amount of rejected products, cycle time and error distribution.
Whether that’s increasing the conveyor belt speed or carrying out maintenance, these recommendations are key in reducing downtime, increasing cycle time and increasing throughput.
A bright future
Using TriVision’s VisioPointer®, Arla has eliminated the issue of packaging errors causing downtime and brand damage. All products that don’t meet its specifications are removed during the quality check phase. For Arla, this has resulted in a sharp decrease in customer complaints, further strengthening its reputation as a leading provider of high-quality dairy products.
Not only this, by using this state-of-the-art quality control system’s ‘production intelligence’ module, has allowed Arla to increase its overall production efficiency and substantially boost productivity. This is because when a malfunction occurs, the operator can use the module to access the history of the system to identity and rectify the issue.
Many businesses with facilities in different countries are struggling with fast-moving and vastly different lockdown regulations. By automating quality control, Arla can ensure that they are still compliant with Covid social distancing regulations, whilst keeping staff members safe and productive, leaving them free to focus on other areas of the business.