In the beverage industry the introduction of smart beverage technology and bottling equipment is transforming beverage manufacturing and bottling processes in ways that cannot be understated.
This includes robots that utilize artificial intelligence, smart sensors providing real-time data on the production floor, automated inventory control platforms, and a broad range of digital applications.
The term Smart Technology can be used to refer to applications that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence. Perhaps even more importantly, it includes applications that utilize the Internet of Things (IoT) - a network of physical objects embedded with sensors and software, in order to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet.
When it comes to the management of beverage manufacturing processes and bottling equipment, smart technology – leveraged correctly – offers unbelievable advantages
These are 5 ways in which smart technology is having an impact on the soda industry.
- Less Waste
Smart tech allows employees to operate more efficiently, backed by real-time data. Manufacturers and bottlers have access to real-time assessments of equipment, predictive maintenance, and power consumption. This information addresses inefficiencies and reduces downtime, as computerized processes handle certain aspects of production (without requiring human assistance) – eliminating unnecessary delays. Also, IoT-enabled systems provide a more streamlined supply – improving safety, reliability, and connectivity while also improving output, contributing to accurate sales projections, and ultimately generating savings.
As pointed out by the Food & Beverage Technology Review, emerging technology might also be the key to solving the world’s waste problem. That’s not only because of the increased outputs supported by technological solutions, but also because smart systems and robots can bring down the cost of keeping foods and beverages fresh.
As pointed out in a previous blog, automated processes also cut out one of the greatest causes of waste: human error. Generally caused by a lack of standardized procedures and insufficient training, human error is estimated to be one of the primary causes of food waste. Solutions such as flow-through sortation, for example, cut out many of the aspects of manufacturing and bottling that are prone to error, and can drastically reduce waste.
- More Consistent Outputs
Beverage technology can be leveraged to improve the consistency of products by facilitating the collection and analysis of real-time data, which provides specific insights into how to optimize processes. For example, some management systems that are based on artificial intelligence (AI) have an intuitive, “single pane of glass” dashboard – which provides easy access to data and supports report generation based on specific definitions or filters. All this makes it easier to track and maintain quality.
Moreover, smart solutions that introduce automated processes practically eliminate the possibility of human error. This reduces the chance of a plant experiencing the kind of food contamination problems and mislabeling accidents that require recalls.
It goes without saying that avoiding recalls is crucial; the cost of recalls includes not only bad publicity but also the potential costs of government fines and lawsuits, in addition to possible production downtime.
- Faster Response to Changes in Environment
With AI any changes in temperature and humidity in the production environment need to be responded to quickly, without delay. This reduces downtime, ensures high quality, and reduces spoiled products.
Beverage manufacturers and bottlers gain quick access to information, which allows them to be in control of the production process from start to finish.
- Better Traceability
Using AI, you can track a bottle's production from start to finish. You know where the bottle is and where it has come from – leaving no space for questions.
Bottom line: With smart beverage technology handling traceability, products are easily tracked, product labels provide more accurate information, and 100% of the labels in the manufacturing or bottling plant are checked.
- More Effective Stock Control
If you still rely on pen and paper for inventory logging and stock take, you’re not alone. Many manufacturing and bottling facilities still rely on manual counting processes. However, this method is highly prone to human error – leading to mistakes in the data, which lead to the disruption of operations.
By implementing a smart inventory control platform, you can automate stock counting and improve logistical efficiency. Data is tracked systematically for real-time accurate reporting that reduces production downtime and increases savings. Moreover, production floor managers don’t need to be on site to access this information, which is available remotely.
Keeping up with the growing need for efficiency as well as with increasing consumer demands requires manufacturing and bottling plants to be equipped with technologies that help them streamline all of the processes associated with manufacture and production.
However, adopting new digital solutions also poses new challenges. There are many options to choose from – and obtaining information about the most appropriate option, and obtaining it at the cheapest possible price is very time consuming. Moreover, once a smart solution has been implemented, there are issues of cyber security that need to be addressed.
At RC Cola International, we have expertise in smart technologies and are familiar not only with the current product offerings, but also with future developments. We provide assistance to our bottlers in the process of digital transformation – helping them choose the solutions that effectively increase their productivity, at a price point that they can meet. Bottlers partnering with RC Cola benefit from ongoing support and guidance in making important changes to their existing processes. Join the RC Cola family today.