Back in January, the regulator published data to show some 121 food products were withdrawn from our shelves in 2015 – more than twice as many as in 2014, when the figure was just 56. And this wasn’t a freak occurrence: the FSA’s projections for 2016 suggest an even higher number may be on the cards when data from last year is available.
Label verification systems – or, more specifically, end-of-line vision inspection systems – are often billed as a silver bullet for all of a manufacturer’s problems when it comes to date coding and packaging accuracy. A vision system offers the potential to check finished products with a speed, accuracy and consistency no human can match, picking up on any number of faults that would otherwise be overlooked.
If you’re a decision-maker in the food and drink manufacturing industry, there’s a good chance there’s nothing quite like the prospect of a product recall to keep you awake at night. Having a product withdrawn from shelves is costly in the short term, damaging to your brand in the long term, and in the worst cases a serious threat to public health.
In response to the introduction of stricter rules, regulations and codes of practice set by retailers, food manufacturers have recognised the need to change their packaging, labelling and date code processes in order to keep compliant. Breaches of these codes of practice can result in substantial penalties as well as loss of reputation.
Recently we got to grips with how exactly the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is relevant to food and drink manufacturers.
In any factory there should be a desire to ensure all equipment is working to the maximum efficiency and output. Failure to do so results in higher operating costs and reduced profits.
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.
Best practices in labelling are just as important as best practices in production. Your customers rely on you to communicate accurately with them (such as listing the correct ingredients or allergens) and when things are incorrectly labelled – potentially resulting in a product recall – your brand's reputation is put at risk.
Accurate date coding and food packaging is essential to today’s food and drink manufacturers who need to cut costs and improve quality in their packaging process in order to meet increased customer expectation and improve efficiency in the packaging hall.
We’re in the midst of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) revolution and now more than ever, food manufactures should not only be embracing automation and IIoT technology, but looking at their existing solutions to ensure their systems are sustainable and future-proof.