Six powerful benefits when using the iMonitor smart manufacturing software

Do your production-floor operators still rely on time-consuming, failure-prone paperwork or Excel spreadsheets for process and quality management? Do you experience a lack of visibility and process control during production?

As a food and pharmaceutical manufacturer, you may already have an ERP or inventory management solution in place. But these solutions commonly do not cover process and quality management during production. So, when it comes to analyzing your quality and compliance status, you remain in the dark as huge paper piles or non-transparent Excel files impede real-time and comprehensive access to production data.

With iMonitor’s smart manufacturing software you can digitize your production floor - from inwards goods checks through production quality control to preventative maintenance tasks. As a result, you get full visibility and control of all data and processes, increasing profit, reducing waste and decreasing business risk.

6 benefits of the iMonitor smart manufacturing software

iMonitor’s smart manufacturing software solution enables you to gain significant competitive advantage by transforming your quality and production management.

1

Eliminate waste and reduce costly batch re-works or write-offs

Manual errors in food and pharmaceutical production can lead to costly re-works or write-offs of affected production batches. Common causes for production waste are:

  • mixing/compounding errors, e.g. adding the wrong ingredient or quantity of ingredients to processing equipment during production;
  • processing errors, e.g. heating a product at the wrong temperature;
  • packaging errors, e.g. using the wrong types or sizes of packaging for the final product.

With iMonitor you can tackle these issues and reduce the number of resources needed to produce your final products, increasing productivity and profitability.  

Prevent expensive mixing, processing and packaging errors
iMonitor can prevent potential mixing errors by automatically calculating the Bill of Materials for a given batch, displaying to the operator a list of ingredients with the exact amounts of the different ingredients needed to run a batch.

The manufacturing software drives all processes and sets off alerts automatically when pre-defined thresholds are passed, providing the right data to the right person at the right time. Know instantly when issues occur on the production floor to initiate immediate corrective actions, preventing processing errors from ruining a batch.

iMonitor can require operators to scan in the packaging barcodes to verify that the correct packaging is used, reducing the packaging errors significantly.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)1 believes that annually, approximately 14% of annual food loss, worth over 400 billion USD, occurs between the post-harvest and pre-retail supply chain stages (including storage on the farm, transport, processing, and wholesale). iMonitor projects that food manufacturers can reduce their food loss occurring in the processing stages by 90% when using smart manufacturing software and IoT technology.

2

Accelerate product releases

Paper-based processes can delay product release times as paper forms typically pass from department to department several times during a single production run. And multiple paper forms are often used during production, each containing the same product information at different stages. We found that a typical production team uses 14 paper-based processes, and a quality assurance team uses 24.

Speed up data flow to improve process times
By digitizing these paper-based processes in iMonitor, you can assign intelligent workflows to capture process, safety and quality data digitally and model workflows between different departments and even roles, enabling them to access data much quicker.

Centralized supplier database
Centralize all your suppliers and key contacts in one single database, providing easy autofill options for staff.

Provide your operators with an easy-to use tablet app that includes pre-built fields such as Bill of Materials or tables, enabling them to capture quality data similarly to your existing paper forms.

Improve process times by reducing double entries of common data points. Easily collate production and laboratory records into one simple workflow for instance, accelerating product release times, reducing warehousing costs and enabling longer shelf life of your final products.

iMonitor estimates that manufacturers can reduce their projected product release time by 80% simply by creating intelligent workflows.

3

Be audit-ready 24/7

Reduce compliance costs and improve product quality by storing all production and compliance data securely in the cloud and be audit-ready 24/7.

Create sharable audit-ready reporting for your teams, distributors, or suppliers and manage your processes, critical control points and corrective actions based on industry standards (GMP, GFSI, ISO 22000) across your operations.

iMonitor is compliant with FDA, European (ESMA), New Zealand and Australian food safety acts (FSANZ). Constant updates to the most recent regulations facilitate ongoing compliance.

The software also offers process update verification and full sign-off approval capabilities to enhance compliance.

4

Enhance traceability

Food manufacturers have extended their traceability policies from simply tracing the product itself to tracking and tracing every single item that is used to make the product.

With iMonitor you can easily track and trace all the data related to a specific batch run, enabling digitized traceability of all your products, their sensitive ingredients, and traceable details (e.g. date of delivery, delivery temperatures and process CCP), the equipment used, operator involved or even cleaning procedures.

You can also expand your traceability efforts by storing your suppliers’ certificates of analysis in iMonitor and linking it to an incoming lot.

Facilitate traceability exercises
iMonitor’s flexible and easy-to-use search feature enables you to trace and drill down to specific SKUs, processes, steps, batches, ingredients, machinery, operators, and data captured anywhere in the solution in seconds.

iMonitor estimates that manufacturers can reduce their traceability time from hours or even days to a couple of minutes, mitigating risks of recalls.

5

Real-time visibility and control of your processes

Recording manual checks and processes on multiple paper forms or in Excel sheets does not provide you with the visibility and control needed to uncover potential process improvements.

With iMonitor, you get real-time actionable data insights to analyze trends and prioritize processes. Rather than entering data into separate platforms like Excel to generate trends, you have direct access to all data in one place.

The smart manufacturing software solution creates a single source of truth to ensure that:

  • Your operators know what they are supposed to do at any given time;
  • You know what batches are produced where and when;
  • You have a complete overview of aggregated production data, e.g. the number of batches made or number of issues that have occurred.

iMonitor gives you full visibility and control of all quality, compliance, and production processes across all your production sites, enabling you to identify issues faster and reduce costs to rectify them.

Track process times and equipment to uncover opportunities for improvement
The iMonitor solution lets you control all production and compliance processes tightly by tracking the times each process step takes. Uncover best practices that can be rolled out across the wider team or bottle necks that can be removed to improve efficiency.  

6

Empower your staff to make quick informed decisions

Uninformed or poorly trained staff are not equipped to make quick decision when errors occur, or even worse, can give rise to errors themselves.

With iMonitor you can now empower your operators on the production floor to make faster decisions and improve efficiency.

Digital operator guidance and training
The iMonitor tablet app presents all information to the operator to make decisions during production runs. They can easily calculate production-related metrics on the production floor, e.g. the fat-to-protein ratio of a food product.  

You can also provide your operators with digitized standard operating procedures (SOPs), digital recipes or training material that are directly linked to the relevant process, enabling your team to make quick and well-informed decisions on the spot.

Free up staff for more important tasks
Digitized checks and streamlined processes take less time than hunting for and filling out paper forms with repetitive data. With iMonitor, your team will have more time to concentrate on more important tasks to improve efficiency.  

Ready to see iMonitor in action?
Start your free trial now or contact us for a demo.

Helpful resources

Want to learn more about our Smart Manufacturing Software’s key features?
Explore iMonitor's features here
10 Steps to success for implementation of an enterprise level monitoring and management system
Read article