Food safety and quality control are top concerns for many food and beverage producers today. Several well-publicized food safety incidents have shown the negative impacts that processing mistakes have on consumers, but they can also cost companies billions. Sick customers, loss of revenue, brand reputation damage, regulatory fines, and costly litigation fees are only a few among dozens of recurrent obstacles you can expect to encounter after one of your contaminated products finds retailer shelves.
If the latest wave of food incidents has taught manufacturers anything, it is that time is of the essence when it comes to mitigating problems in the food supply chain. When the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed in 2011, the legislation gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authority over how foods are grown, harvested, and processed. The additional regulatory scrutiny that came along with these new powers translated to more pressure on food suppliers to increase visibility and traceability throughout their supply chains.
The FSMA gave the FDA authority to instigate mandatory recalls while the law mandates that food manufacturers conduct their own routine hazard assessments. After completing the evaluations, plant owners must, in turn, develop a safety plan with the findings before implementing the necessary controls to ensure optimal food safety and remain compliant.
The increased federal regulatory attention to your processes means that industrial bakeries and other food manufacturing facilities have started turning to industrial automation solutions to gain additional real-time insight and enhanced control over their respective supply chains. Food manufacturers and distributors are held to strict quality and safety standards across every stage of their production. As such, food companies are expected to meet lofty sanitary and safety throughout each of these critical steps.
How do smart traceability systems help food manufacturers?
Lack of accurate traceability is one of the primary reasons food and beverage producers fail to ensure food safety standards less than 100% of the time. Reliable food safety management depends on accurate insight into your supply chain. Whenever your operators handle an item, whether it entails combining raw materials or packaging the end product, manufacturers must have streamlined access to current data so that they never lose track of a recalled item.
Automated traceability solutions, from connected mobile devices to RFID scanners, help food and beverage producers protect themselves against theft and other forms of food fraud. Industrial automation software helps manufacturers combat common sanitary and safety issues at their plants. Industrial automation solutions from EZSoft also help companies keep an accurate record of everything that occurs inside their facilities.
Access to live-time production information allows food production plants to resolve their safety issues quickly. Factories that continue to rely on paper-based recording processes will perpetually miss out on the benefits enhanced warehouse traceability provides. They are subsequently prone to human error that contributes to safety issues and other unnecessary risks that could disrupt your normal operations.
Automated traceability solutions
EZSoft offers a diverse range of industrial automated solutions to meet the needs of the most complex manufacturing plants. These systems allow you to identify and scan all your inventory and compare it against the job information already written into the master database. These automated traceability solutions assure that your goods are always delivered in the correct packaging and contain the appropriate food item labeling and date code.
Some systems don’t require printers, virtually eliminating any prospects of human error. Problems on this front typically arise when operators incorrectly input information on your factory printers. An automated solution will flag the error, restricting the operator’s decision-making before escalating the resolution up through established company protocols and responsibility chains.
Traceability systems ensure accurate lot numbers and expiration dates critical to maintaining a safe supply chain. They eliminate the often potentially disastrous risks associated with data entry and transcription errors. Your plant will be less than reliant on paper after introducing an automated traceability solution to your facility, eliminating common headaches like poor handwriting on paper and misplaced clipboards.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems give manufacturers an additional toolset for tracing raw material data and inventory with a real-time history of their ingredients routing along with barcode and RFID tracking solutions. ERP solutions allow you to see everything from product creation to the item’s delivery to storefront shelves. Food traceability software and information controls let you assign individual lot codes. The solutions allow you to account for every unique piece of inventory that passes through your plant.
ERP and other automated food traceability solutions give companies a complete audit log of their entire production processes, making it simple to track down specific lot codes in the event of a food item recall. You can also generate reports on the fly through connected mobile solutions. Automated solutions for food production tell you where your inventory is from anywhere, at any time, ensuring the fastest reaction speeds after an incident in your supply chain.
Blockchain technology and food safety
The food processing industry has started to rely on blockchain solutions to keep track of their raw materials that could spoil or potentially contaminate one another. Of course, these items must be stored and processed accordingly. Blockchain solutions integrated with an ERP solution can give you a process log of your workflows, including an immutable record of it held on the blockchain.
Blockchain technologies give food and beverage more control over their product traceability and access to a highly accurate and essentially uneditable record for auditing purposes. Factories that ensure all their processes are well-documented are less likely to experience issues with their supply chain that could lead to regulator fines. The blockchain is also highly transparent and integrable with an array of cloud-based systems.
Where can I find industrial automation companies near me?
EZSoft is an industry-leading, full-service systems integrator of process control systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and IT/reporting services in Malvern, Pennsylvania. We service clients in the life sciences, pharmaceutical processing, food and beverage industry, and metal manufacturing markets.
For more on how our traceability solutions can improve food safety and quality assurance at your food manufacturing plant, complete our request for contact form online or call us now at (484) 568-5040.