If you’re a protein processor that has yet to take a significant step into the world of Industry 4.0, you're not alone. Globally, 90 percent of manufacturing companies are Digital Novices, Followers, or Innovators, and less than one-third are well-advanced on their digital journey. If you are just starting out, here are five practical steps to help meat and poultry processors improve manufacturing performance by digitizing their plant floor operations with Industry 4.0 technology.
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At Purdue University's National Conference for Food and Agribusiness, speakers presented results of the University’s research study analyzing what data is collected across the food value chain, how it’s shared, and to what extent it is used to make strategic decisions. The study focused on five levels of the value chain: (1) Ag Input Manufacturers, (2) Ag Retailers, (3) Farmers, (4) First Handlers/Food Processors, (5) Food Manufacturers, and (6) Food Retailers. The event included panel discussions with representatives from each part of the value chain discussing trends they’re experiencing.
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On March 20, Cargill Thailand hosted CMT / CAT Squared Modernization Day, a technology event promoting to their employees the work Cargill Meats Thailand is doing with CAT Squared and SAP. CAT Squared specializes in developing MES (manufacturing executions systems) that manages a company’s plant floor and interfaces production data into ERP systems like SAP ERP.
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It's common within family-owned businesses to see intergenerational conflict regarding when and how to adopt new technology. Often, I hear, "The CEO's son is interested in our system, but he’s got to wait for Dad to retire to make a move." This comment tells me that there are many company executives who are (understandably) intimidated by new technology and want to continue operating for as long as they can within their comfort zones. After all, they built the company and know it better than anyone else… Why change?