The Competitive Advantage: Reliable, Consistent Data and Automated Processes


Inflation pressures, sourcing challenges, strict quality controls and the need for higher outputs have created a perfect storm for food and agriculture manufacturers that typically operate in analog environments. How can they find new ways to hit quality standards more consistently and remain competitive?


Combining timely, accurate data with automated processes, so informed decisions occur in real-time on the production line, is a huge competitive advantage. Smart, connected instruments sharing data, along with automation, provide unprecedented opportunities for growth and productivity. Technologies can gather, monitor, and react to a massive collection of data, and then set those actions in motion with highly systematic robotics that support production objectives. For example, a food production facility can save millions of dollars by just slightly adjusting the moisture, protein or fat on a production line.


What does intelligent data-driven production look like?

Think of sampling frequency for starters. Smart factories increase their sampling frequency without additional costs. Instruments like near infrared (NIR) analyzers provide a wealth of valuable data from just one test taking less than a minute. NIR is faster than using external laboratory services and provides more internal control. Analyzers can be placed in one or multiple facilities and share data through a secure, cloud-based solution. Data is monitored at the plant or remotely by connecting to the cloud. NIR also produces more accurate results, greater speed of sample testing, and requires less sample preparation, producing a higher throughput of tests.

Setting the standard for analytics in the food and agriculture sectors
FOSS has been a leader in analytical testing in the food and agricultural sectors for over 60 years, setting the standard for quality testing and analytics. FOSS has compiled hundreds of thousands of calibrations across most food and agriculture segments. This data helps ensure highly accurate, efficient, seamless results even with seasonal changes.


FOSS understands food manufacturers are challenged with inconsistent source products, making it more difficult to hit quality targets. Samples need to be taken every minute to get a good result of ingredients which requires regular, consistent sampling.


“There are so many opportunities for growth when organizations embrace digitalization. It’s about least cost formulation and finding the best ingredients in the most cost-effective way while meeting quality standards,” explains John Folino, Sales Director, FOSS North America. “Thankfully there are smart instruments that make this process simple and efficient. Factory owners and technicians can have peace of mind with more constant uptime, consistent results, and reduced risks for everyone involved.”


Employee Recruitment in a Post-Pandemic Factory

Hiring employees in a post-pandemic world has its own set of challenges. Employment opportunities have changed with many desiring to work from home or changing careers and not returning to manufacturing jobs. Factories have looked to automation to help solve their hiring and retention woes.


Automated instruments, cloud computing, and robotics can assist with the sampling process and take away the pressures of employee on-boarding so factories can be more competitive. Employees become available for value-added, cross-functional responsibilities based on real-time data gathered on the production line.





Analytics Meets Robotics

As the leading global provider of analytics for the food and agricultural industries, FOSS is continually looking for innovative ways to integrate new technologies to assist manufacturers in reaching their targets and working more efficiently. That’s why ATLINE (robot laboratory technology) is available to support select FOSS instruments for additional automation opportunities. ATLINE uses patented robot-operated technology in process and laboratory environments to assist with bringing samples to the FOSS NIRS™ DS2500/DS3, with no human interaction required. This integration of analytics and robotics offers many advantages for high-volume production facilities, especially those having difficulties with employee recruitment.


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“With a person on a production line, a measurement can be taken every 10 minutes or so. With a robot, a measurement can be taken every two minutes,” explains Thomas Jørgensen, Managing Director of ATLINE. “Robotics increase efficiencies and outputs substantially. FOSS intelligent analytics provide reliable data which is essential for saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint; for understanding how your manufacturing process is performing; for determining KPIs; and for evaluating if you’re saving money or losing money. This is all possible to know in real-time on the production line.”


Consistent, reliable data, reduced costs, higher productivity and better quality are just some of the benefits that data-driven processes can offer food production manufacturers experiencing unprecedented growth and rising inflation rates. Implementing automation and smart analytics now is a smart investment with benefits that can be realized today and well into the future.


Want to learn more?

Contact Inside Sales at FOSS today at 952.974.9892, option 2.

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