June 25, 2024

Next-generation food & beverage systems with EcoStruxure

Schneider Electric supports manufacturers’ drive to decarbonisation while improving profitability, outlines Tanya Bayley, Segment Marketing Manager – Industrial Segments, Schneider Electric

Food and beverage (F&B) production is a fast moving, competitive, and highly varied sector. While each and every manufacturer is different, tackling their own challenges and developing their specialised product portfolio, there are common elements that are shaping the future of the entire sector, especially when it comes to improving processes to become more profitable while making meaningful steps in sustainability. Doing so requires unlocking the next generation of hyper-efficient F&B systems, creating a bold new approach that will even help shape how manufacturers meet the needs of customers.

Industries of the (flexible) future
Facing the challenges of the fast-moving CPG industry requires manufacturers themselves to be fast-moving, agile, and flexible – with the caveat that these capabilities all play a role in sustainability. Increasing real-time visibility of processes is a vital early step in driving performance of flexible operations, enabling the delivery of the right product at the right time. By understanding how each asset is performing in real-time, manufacturers can harmonise processes across multiple sites and drive continuous improvement. Bringing this visibility together with the EcoStruxure platform plays a crucial role in enabling truly flexible operations. Manufacturers can use insight from across the enterprise to adapt to customer needs, easily modify production and introduce new products without having to create a whole new manufacturing process.

With a dedicated digital partner, F&B manufacturers can deploy EcoStruxure to become even more agile. Not only can they expect to improve production processes from within, but they can further use the real-time data to meet the direct needs of customers by enforcing quality inspection, reducing inventory waste, and automatically recording best practices. EcoStruxure users report an increase of 10% in shipping efficiency, a saving of 25% in product give-away, and up to a 20% increase in plant throughput and time to market.

Representing the combination of intelligent hardware and best-in-class industrial software, EcoStruxure delivers innovation at every level of a F&B production facility. The backbone of Schneider Electric solutions enables manufacturers to act on real-time insights, all while advancing on decarbonisation journeys.

Striving for sustainability
Sustainability is a driving force that is pushing food & beverage to seek the next generation automation systems. It is also a factor that is influences the purchasing decisions of customers, with recent surveys reporting that even in the wake of a cost of living crisis, 65% of UK shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Statistics like this prove that together, customers and manufacturers are participating in a collective effort to reduce environmental impact and strive for a zero-emission future. Partnership with Schneider Electric and the EcoStruxure platform provide a pathway to NetZero operations. 

Sustainability underpins all partnership efforts of Schneider Electric and EcoStruxure is a perfect representation of that. Manufacturers actively seeking improvements in sustainability should be rewarded with maximised return on capital expenditure on all assets, both new and legacy.
Even seemingly disconnected capabilities like workforce empowerment plays a role in effective use of resources and will improve sustainability when combined with real-time insight. 

The Schneider Electric mission is to be the chosen digital partner for sustainability and efficiency across the entire F&B sector. As the industry which feeds the world, it’s more important than ever to deploy the latest digital technologies to create the most sustainable sector possible. Businesses of all sizes can use EcoStruxure as the next-generation backbone that will support all future capabilities, giving business owners the tools to be agile and flexible to the needs of the market, prepared to face any challenges to the supply chain, and meet the needs of customers by producing products sustainably.