Real-time plant metrics target cost savings at Intersnack

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lean manufacturing, Overall equipment effectiveness

Tackling a projected lift in demand for snack products without a parallel rise in costly capital spending, European snack maker Intersnack has turned to a software solution that uses real-time plant metrics to improve plant efficiency.

Tapping into the premise that during a recession consumers increase their settee snack attacks, crisp and cracker producer Intersnack is expected to implement CDC Factory to help them take advantage of "this increased demand".

For application at its Doetinchem and Hardinxveld plants in the Netherlands, the software, brought to the market by US and Hong Kong-based CDC Software, is slated to boost the company’s lean manufacturing initiatives, such as plant capacity and efficiency improvements, as well as cutting costs.

Snack processors, along with all other manufacturing players in the food industry, are under mounting pressure to maintain profit margins. These remain threatened by tights costs for materials, and vulnerable to any additional capital expenditure. For Intersnack, the pre-packaged offering from CDC Software has the potential to carve out cost efficiencies that could ultimately contribute to margin relief.

"Our immediate challenge is to meet the rising consumer demand for our in-home products while offsetting price pressure,"​ said Arjan Lammers, managing director of operations of Intersnack.

The CDC Factory profit audit estimated that with its software in hand, Intersnack could potentially improve overall plant efficiency by approximately 10 per cent each year.

"The audit established a very specific performance target for each site and set a clear implementation roadmap that should enable us to begin delivering financial benefits within about 12 weeks from project commencement,"​ added Intersnack's operations' managing director.

The pre-packaged software uses real-time plant metrics, such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness​(OEE) and cost per unit, to provide a real-time framework that "unites scheduling, operations, quality and maintenance"​ to deliver performance improvements and cut production costs.

The sheeted-snack and pretzel maker also plans to use the CDC Factory as a platform to standardise its daily work control practices, a move it projects will "further improve employee productivity with its hourly workforce."

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