The need for digitalisation of the food sector

Consumption patterns in recent decades have changed forever, accelerating digital purchases, the demand for low-cost fresh products and the interest in accessing clear and truthful information about each of the products consumed.

Along with the growth of the modern lifestyle, people are getting busier, especially in the cities or in the suburbs. At the same time, the internet and modernisation of technologies have led to a growing ‘farm to fork’ trend.

The food sector therefore faces the challenge of meeting the increasingly complex demands of consumers, in a faster way and with a much more exhaustive control over the quality and origin of the products.

In order to cope with all this, companies in the sector must be able to adapt to a constantly changing society, while minimising errors and maximising results.

In this post we will clarify how digital transformation is the only way for food companies to face an increasingly competitive market.

High production efficiency in factories

Due to the need to provide better and faster food, producers are currently seeking efficiency through digitalisation and automation.

Process automation offers greater control over data and analytics, connecting all machines so that they work efficiently with much more autonomy and reducing avoidable errors.

At the same time that efficiency is gained and costs are greatly reduced, producers are able to improve both the level of production and quality.

In addition, if the innovation of connected and automated machines is taken advantage of, manual and tedious tasks are greatly reduced, so that producers can invest their efforts in finding more sustainable models, optimising work with collaborators and innovating in terms of ingredients and products’ quality, among others.

Integration of the product chain

In a world in which the demand for more natural and healthy products is on the rise, traceability and transparency in the food production chain are necessary both at the ethical level and at the level of production strategy.

Technologies such as Big Data and IoT, which make it possible to connect entire value chains, offer a global vision from the planting or collection of raw materials until the final product reaches the consumer. This is not only essential in terms of transparency, but also necessary to compete with the level of agility and flexibility that the market demands.

In addition, the pressure of climate change and awareness for animal welfare and food safety respond to regulations and laws that can only be 100% complied with if you have a total vision of the production chain. This integration will also help us minimise the risk of both natural and human threats.

Technologies in the food industry

Digital technologies are the tool for food producers to close the gap between reality and perception, having total control over inventories, precision over processes and a solid base when making decisions.

Contrary to what many people think, digitalisation goes far beyond electronic commerce. Both global food production and services have moved out of traditional processing times to activate the concept of Intelligence.

IoT and Big Data as the base

Data is born from the connectivity between systems and machines facilitated by the IoT, which has taken a central role in all sectors of the industry. From the data collected, a deep and highly accurate understanding of internal processes, customers and the market is obtained.

This is the basis for making informed decisions on issues as diverse as choosing product lines to meet demand or managing plant technicians to increase efficiency.

Aplicaciones de las tecnologías 4.0

Technologies 4.0 cover a wide range of solutions, from robotics in irrigation systems on agricultural farms, digital collars for intelligent livestock management or automation of milking parlors.

New ICTs are essential when it comes to making the most of livestock and the rest of the production process. Blockchain technology is very useful when it comes to obtaining complete traceability of food and raw materials, Big Data is necessary for food safety and Artificial Intelligence to anticipate external situations and dangers, among others.

The digitalisation of Frutos Secos Alcañiz

An example of successful digitialisation in the food sector is that of Frutos Secos Alcañiz. Through the integrated operations platform Nexus Integra, it allowed the automatic integration of all the production information of the Alcañiz almond processing plant in a single point.

From the first moment, he was able to easily and agilely access all the information, thanks to the system’s native web interfaces.

In addition, supported by the reports and unified dashboards provided by Nexus Integra, it was able to obtain metrics and efficiency indicators (OEE) of each of the machines and lines that make up its production system, as well as visualise the data of that process crossed with Other relevant information.

As a result, the firm was able to benefit from the following:

  • Automatic control of stock levels, wastage, etc.
  • Access to all plant information from a single point.
  • Save time, resources and valuable opportunity cost in terms of information already stored.

Your way to digitalisation with Nexus Integra

The true revolution of digital transformation is in the management, marketing and sale of food products to reflect traceability, sustainability and food safety.

To be able to commit to these three points, you first have to create a robust advanced and intelligent manufacturing and supply chain integration system. It must be able to provide the development and deployment of operational excellence and efficiency in the use of resources, two essential requirements for the smart factories of the future.

The Nexus Integra integrated operations platform has the experience and infrastructure necessary for your company to gain efficiency and become a 4.0 food production plant. We guide you and provide you with the tools so that the path to digital transformation is as flexible and intuitive as possible, adapting to your needs at all times. Contact us so we can tell you more.

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