Hot potato: Food supply scares heighten demand for product recall technology

In light of recent product recalls, manufacturers must be ready to respond quickly to supply chain issues to protect consumers as well as brand reputations. That’s why right now many food & beverage manufacturers are looking to expand their use of solutions that offer capabilities in product genealogy, lot tracking & tracing, and alert notification.

02/25/2009



In light of recent product recalls, manufacturers must be ready to respond quickly to supply chain issues to protect consumers as well as brand reputations.

That’s why right now many food & beverage manufacturers are looking to expand their use of solutions that offer capabilities in product genealogy, lot tracking & tracing, and alert notification. Although these features may not be new to the supply chain space and have been included in many warehousing and inventory systems for years, their use in product-recall scenarios is quickly becoming a necessity.

When the tomato recall happened in summer 2008, manufacturers were forced to respond quickly with data that showed which lot was produced in which facility, and where and when it was shipped. “Track & trace for those in the process industries, such as food and beverage, is very challenging,” says Karin Bursa, a VP with supply chain software vendor Logility . “With other consumables such as car seats, workers simply look at a bill of material to tie part numbers to a variety of end products.”

Traceability gets more difficult as the amount of raw materials increases and the number of supply chain partners grows, adds Bursa.

“Production operators and copackers may use the same semi-finished goods to make several other finished products,” she says. “Jam or jelly can be sold as a finished product but also can be used for pie filling, which adds another step as well as several layers and levels to the process.”

The Logility Voyager system manages alert notification for a recall by automatically contacting partners via the Internet or alerting customer relationship managers about the issue. “Since speed is of the essence during a recall, having quick access to product data, vendor information, and locations where product last resided is very important,” says Bursa.

To prepare for potential recalls, Moore, Okla.-based Vaughan Foods enacted a plan to host two mock recalls a year. The event begins with the company’s quality assurance department, which is notified that a mock recall is in effect, and the team has three hours to complete the process.

“We must isolate the contaminated product, have knowledge about where the product is in the supply chain, and file accurate and timely reports to the authorities,” says Victor Gramillo, quality assurance manager for Vaughan Foods, a supplier of fresh vegetables, refrigerated deli salads, soups, and fruit. “If there is a quality issue with a product, we need to know when and where the product went, and in what production line.”


To prepare for potential recalls, Moore, Okla.-based Vaughan Foods enacted a plan to host two mock recalls a year. Once an event is in process, the quality assurance department team has three hours to complete the process. (Photo courtesy Vaughan Foods)

During routine inspections, hold tags are placed on questionable products using Logility’s Voyager system, allowing users to view which products should not shipped. “Even if a physical hold tag is missing, a bar-code label can serve as an electronic tag, signaling the system to send an immediate alert to operators,” says Gramillo.

Vaughan Foods lost profits resulting from the tomato recall last summer since its customers did not want to buy tomatoes from them, despite Vaughan’s assurance that its supplies were uncontaminated. “We realized we have to minimize risks and take money off the bottom line to prevent any serious problems from occurring,” says Gramillo.

Next up, Gramillo intends to use the mock recall program for marketing purposes, selling the company’s preparedness and proactive stance.

“We can show the results of the mock recalls to potential customers since quality and safety are key considerations in today’s grocery market. Price is still important, but it has moved to the back burner."









No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me