Shh…Dairy Company Reveals Secret to Reducing Product Waste
Heinrichsthaler Milchwerke GmbH, based in Radeberg, Germany, produces 200 tons of finished dairy products on 12 production lines every day. Five combination checkweigher and metal detection systems form critical control points (CCPs) behind the company’s thermoforming and tubular bag machines, and each inspection system checks approximately 7000 products per hour.
To maximise line efficiency and remain competitive, the company recently invested in ProdX data management software from Mettler Toledo. By seamlessly integrating product inspection devices, ProdX provides real-time production monitoring to ensure processes are under control at each CCP, as well as full product traceability.
The software integration was a strategic decision as Production Director Mr. Gründinger explains, “By using ProdX, we’re in a position to monitor and optimise the mean values of the packaging weights and real-time proactive data preparation helps us to avoid costly overfilling. We were able to reduce product waste from 3% to only 0.9%, immediately saving two grams per package. This means our investment in the inspection management equipment paid for itself within three months.”
Complete Production Monitoring
The company’s cheese production involves three shifts operating seven days per week and Heinrichsthaler relies on the constant availability of its lines, as well as ProdX for early warning of potential defects as Mr. Gründinger explains, “Technical defects with the cutting machine can mean inaccurate completion of final packaging. The earlier we identify any defects, the greater the line’s availability.”
In addition to monitoring the status of inspection equipment components and displaying critical information using colour-coded symbols, ProdX also provides reminders when performance testing is due.
Passing Audits with Flying Colours
Just a simple glance at the software’s PC or tablet screen allows Mr. Gründinger to familiarise himself with the status of current production processes and carry out periodic data analysis at hourly intervals as he explains, “I check to see how many packages have gone through per hour and their average weight. This means I can see what the current shift is producing and whether everything is under control. I even check data on all system alerts and rejected products, in addition to the regular metal detector performance test results.”
What’s more, with all five inspection systems networked, production quality data is stored centrally and can be easily exported when required by the weights and measures authorities or the IFS certification office, helping to ensure successful audits.Leave a reply →