Turning a meat processing plant into a smart factory isn’t just about adding the latest automation technology. In fact, a modern meat factory wants to be “smart” right from the design phase. The result of this careful planning is an installation with seven specific qualities.
1. It’s built around a data-driven management cockpit
You can only control what you can measure – that’s the rule of thumb for new construction and extension projects. The most important element of a smart meat factory is its central nervous system, which relies on ERP. With correct, accurate, and up-to-date metrics, metrics, and KPIs, you’ll be able to monitor performance, identify issues, and intervene systematically to further optimize operations. There is obviously a reason why the major companies in this industry are not just meat factories, but also data factories.
2. It allows a constant and transparent flow of data
A smart meat factory tracks data at every entry point and processing stage, from delivering raw materials to shipping finished products, and uses technologies that help software, hardware and people communicate effectively the ones with the others. Today, machines and ERP systems can easily communicate with each other, achieve full process transparency, monitor performance and compare planned and actual data.
3. It puts IT at the forefront from the design phase
Building a smart meat factory is above all an IT project, whether it is a new construction or an extension. While you should work closely with your construction contractor to ensure the design reflects your vision, you should also keep in mind that working with the right IT partner from the start is of strategic importance. Making the wrong choice and having to replace an ERP system can have far more serious consequences than investing in the wrong machine.
4. Its physical space is efficient, flexible and future-proof
As a producer of meat products, you also need to optimize the space around which your process takes place. In a smart meat factory, however, the “physical” implementation is not just based on your current processes. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to know today what you will produce in five or ten years and what technologies you will use. Therefore, you should not block your spatial flexibility, especially in areas such as production, logistics, order picking and warehousing.
5. It uses automation to close the loop between goods and data
Once the right IT and physical infrastructure is in place, a smart meat factory takes full advantage of the latest automated and robotic technologies. The greatest potential currently lies in intralogistics, where many meat companies have developed groundbreaking standards in automated packaging facilities, semi-automated picking systems, automated weigh price labeling and robotic warehouses. .
6. It is ready for future innovations
A smart meat factory is well positioned to introduce new technologies in the future, such as artificial intelligence (AI), “brain interfaces” where operators literally control their production machinery through mind reading or advanced image recognition systems capable of detecting contamination and damage in meat more accurately than ever before. When a facility is designed to accommodate future solutions, innovating at a rapid pace becomes much easier.
7. It’s not built like an island
A smart meat factory is built as part of a value chain that extends beyond its walls. It is designed to be optimized and flexible and adapts quickly to changes in market prices and consumer trends or to unforeseen disruptions in other production centers of the company. It constantly exchanges information with other business units of the company, suppliers and customers. It always operates at the limit of its resources, but not of its capacity. In this way, it achieves higher average capacity utilization, better utilization of means of production and lower unit costs.
Early planning saves investment costs
Fully digitizing a meat processing plant is not only possible, it also makes perfect business sense. Whether you are building a new facility or renovating an existing one, these seven success factors are an ideal starting point that will open up huge opportunities for realizing cost reductions. Onboarding your scanning partner early saves you over $145,000 just by improving interface coordination with machine and equipment manufacturers and transparently evaluating vendor offerings. relevant service providers.