Something to Chew On: Digitization in MENA’s Food & Beverage Manufacturing

Something to Chew On: Digitization in MENA’s Food & Beverage Manufacturing

November 06, 2018 at 12:11pm

That bottle of milk, box of juice or bag of chips may look simple to make, but, in fact, there’s a complex manufacturing process behind it. With costs rising, margins shrinking, and customers rapidly changing their minds, digitization provides a powerful tool for regional food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers.

That’s one finding in a new white paper from GE, entitled “Digital Transformation: A Bold Future for MENA Food and Beverage Manufacturing,” released today at Gulfood Manufacturing 2018.

Using Digital Industrial solutions, also referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0, food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers in the region can gain a competitive advantage through lower costs, greater efficiencies, more flexibility and new types of innovation, according to the white paper.

For instance, that juice box may need to be folded five different ways by five different machines, which all have to be configured for those actions. At the same time, manufacturers may be asked to change something about the box, or switch to a different type of container, to help retailers and consumer packaged goods companies meet fast changing consumer preferences. Digital solutions can help companies be more agile to accommodate all of this.

The report also says that regional manufacturers can use digital industrial solutions to do things like improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), asset utilization and throughput; raise product quality and consistency; lower rates of defects and waste; reduce energy consumption and total cost of ownership; shorten outage, service and repair times; and implement predictive maintenance that services equipment when it needs repair, not at some fixed date, whether or not the equipment needs it.

“In looking at the current state of operations of many food and beverage manufacturers in the region, we see enormous opportunities for major enhancements to operations through the implementation of digital industrial solutions,” said Ali Saleh, Chief Commercial Officer in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey for GE Digital.

“We see that digital solutions can help manufacturers achieve operating efficiencies exceeding  95%, and realizing as much as a 10% reduction in both total cost of ownership and cost of production

The white paper can be downloaded here. Copies of the report also are available at Gulfood Manufacturing, where GE, SIG, and Obeikan are showcasing their advanced suite of digital solutions to support F&B manufacturers along the value chain.

 Read more stories here about how GE is supporting a digital industrial future across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan region.

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