Modern data management systems in the dairy industry

In the dairy industry 4.0, modern data management systems are decisive for process efficiency

The dairy industry is facing major challenges: Low margins exacerbate the cost pressure weighing on farms. High demands on quality and process stability are offset by the rapid turnover rate – dictated by the best-before date. One solution is offered by powerful data management systems such as the TRAPO Intelligent Managementsystem TIM. It provides producers with the necessary support to get the most out of their plants and to recognize maintenance requirements at an early stage.

Industry 4.0 is making its way into the dairy industry – with good reason: According to the IFCN Dairy Research Network, global demand for milk is expected to grow by 35 percent by 2030, and with it the required production volume. For example, the relatively short storage period of three weeks or less for chilled drinking milk plays a key role in the supply chain from milk production to sale of the finished product. Although milk-processing companies in Germany are well positioned, with a production volume of 33.04 million tons and sales of 26 billion euros in 2018, there is a need for optimization of facilities in the plants in view of the surge in demand, not least from abroad.

Those who maintain an overview have a clear advantage

A flexibly configurable data management system clearly brings its added value to bear for dairy processing plants: data analyses can be used to improve production processes at an early stage and uncover optimization potential. Ideally, such a solution provides management-relevant sales and production figures as well as detailed information on plant conditions at a glance and via the cloud in real time. For users, it also proves valuable if they can achieve an optimization of the energy requirement, higher utilization and, as a consequence, a decisive advantage in the process efficiency of their plants through the logging of parameter changes and a performance comparison based on the changes.

In addition, the increase in earnings forms another core aspect of a modern data management system. In addition to the yield-optimized expansion of production times, advanced systems score points with effective time management and at the same time enable cost reductions as well as quality improvements which pay off especially in the volatile and, in terms of quality, demanding market. Especially for companies that are active across national borders in the international growth market for dairy products, it makes sense for systems such as TIM to provide them with transparency and enable the collection of key figures at several plants and locations, including evaluation.

Customized solutions for industry-specific challenges

Predictive maintenance is also becoming increasingly important: reliable spare parts and preventive service ensure high plant availability and prevents downtimes and production losses. In addition to displaying due maintenance tasks, this includes early notification of potential wear parts as well as reliable information on replacement intervals for spare and wear parts. To optimize usability and transparency, it is recommended that a digital shopping cart be made available to the requesting departments. The TIM® system solution scores with suitable functions both with regard to preventive maintenance and real-time interventions: As soon as performance drops in production, the personnel at the machine receive a warning including a definition of the affected part or fault.

In order for the change to meet the individual conditions of each plant, it is essential that the data management system allows flexible adaptation and company-specific configurable queries. In addition to the definition of interfaces to third-party systems, there are also far-reaching import and export functionalities, including connection to the ERP systems commonly used throughout the industry. The advantage of TIM: All data is available in one system. For this cloud-based database, limited access rights are assigned to different user groups. In this way, the company using the system ensures that employees always have access to the information they need for their daily work. In addition, the operating level at the machine receives comprehensive online support – a solid basis for the milk processing industry to collect targeted production-related evaluations, improve production processes at an early stage, and plan personnel deployments over the long term.

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