How to get real-time data from the packaging hall

Jun 19, 2017 | Graham Podmore


Access to real-time data is crucial for factories to excel in both food safety and efficiency. Recording real-time events is essential in order to provide an accurate understanding of efficiency and downtime losses, enabling proactive steps to be taken to improve.

However, many records and quality checks performed in factories today are still paper-based. Paper trails are naturally vulnerable to human error and can be very slow-moving since they rely on operators to manually key information into a system. In addition, they are often done retrospectively and not recorded in real time which hinders the accuracy of the data.

So how do you get real-time reports from the packaging hall? [Hint: it’s not more paperwork!]

(Recommended reading: How to automate the packaging hall and unify your  stranded assets)

Time to automate

An integrated, automated system creates greater scope for the collection of data, which can be used for reporting purposes. Built-in line reports and audit logs increase traceability and accountability.

Additionally, details of all quality checks can be consolidated into an audit log, reducing the amount of physical paper records that have to be retained and stored.

A packaging line running an AutoCoding system gathers data automatically. It increases visibility of key metrics enabling you to assess the effectiveness of the equipment and the line, such as:

  • Which product is being manufactured
  • The start and end time of the run
  • The line speed during the production run (via continuous in-line scanning of packaging)
  • Whether the line is stopped or running (again by in-line scanning of packaging)
  • The total number of products made and any defective items
  • The reason for the line stop and when it happened

This automatic data collection removes the primary problem with manual/paper-based systems, which don’t record everything and are highly inaccurate. Ultimately, to maximise data accuracy, checks should be recorded in real time.

An additional benefit of an AutoCoding system is all the data can be collated and visualised in a set of reports. Inefficiencies can be identified and addressed quickly rather than waiting for historical data. Reports can be viewed anytime and anywhere via a network or internet connected device such as a PC, tablet or phone.

An automated data collection system provides the objective measurements required to optimise any continuous improvement initiative, without the need for additional resources to gather, analyse and report on the data.

Sounds ideal? To find out more about how automation can help your business, download our free guide: How to automate the packaging hall and unify your stranded assets


Topics: food packaging

Graham Podmore

Written by Graham Podmore

UK Sales Director