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Manufacturing

Pathway Chicken Saves $2.4 Million in Yield Annually with Operational Manufacturing Intelligence

Pathway Chicken has been able to save more than $2.4 million annually by using analytic dashboards from Logi Analytics to better respond to real-time data.

With sales close to $5 billion and customers in more than 100 countries, Pathway Chicken is one of the top three producers of poultry products in North America. Their largest complex, presented here is a raw, cook, and distribution plant, where the product enters the production cycle and is processed through a vacuum to marinade, dusted, battered, and cooked. Three shifts work around the clock to produce over 300,000+ pounds of product every day.

The Challenge

Producers at Pathway’s food processing plants make significant investments in equipment and systems used for packaging and data collection. At raw and cook plants, producers collect data on the number of units through each cycle, temperature, weight, packing, etc. in order to ensure a quality end product, minimize waste, and improve efficiency. To support its just-in-time (JIT) production strategy, Manufacturing Systems Application Development Manager, Ryan Matthews, needed to reduce the lag time between the point at which measurements were taken on the floor and when the data was presented back to the line, so workers could make necessary adjustments.

Their old reporting solution was a manual process that required many man hours and involved Excel and printed reports, often utilizing data more than a week old. Matthews knew that relying on stale data to improve hisplant’s JIT productivity was highly inefficient, so he chose Logi Analytics to bridge the gap between their current systems and optimal strategy.

In its first operational MI project with Logi Analytics, Pathway Chicken is saving more than $2.4 million in yield annually.

Ryan Matthews - Manufacturing Systems Application Development Manager

The Solution

Matthews assembled a team that included his Complex IT Manager and Director of Plant Operations to solve the problem of faster data processing and presentation.

The team immediately took the approach of solving a business problem that would require a particular kind of technology to improve plant operations. They recognized the need to support a continuous flow of business requirements and processes to provide immediate access to the information to those working on the plant floor. Dashboards are an excellent way to present scannable, high-level information, and the team saw the need to present real-time information as plainly as possible so that workers could make immediate adjustments instead of spending a lot of time analyzing data.

The Results

“I like working in Logi Info. The interface is intuitive and it’s a lot easier to write reports in than SSRS.Pathway-Chicken-Dashboard2-300x169 Even before the training, I was able to build a couple dashboards. While they probably weren’t done the best way possible, at least I got some visual results within a couple hours of having the software. I found Logi Studio to be very user-friendly and for me it was great.”

After evaluating several business intelligence (BI) platforms, they chose Logi Analytics because of its agility,ease of use, fast time to implement, and web delivery model. The fact that Logi Analytics is 100% web-based enabled them to display dashboards via the browser on LCD monitors with NEMA4 encasing directly on the plant floor.

The team’s first deliverable was a set of dashboards that displayed near real-time information on temperature, pick-up, weight, pack, etc. They used bold graphics and rich colors so that the dashboards would be easily adopted and consumed by workers on the line shift. By glancing at the large LCD displays, they could quickly determine if they were on target for any of management’s key operational metrics.

In addition to displaying this information on the line, Pathway was also able to present the dashboards in the hallways, employee offices, even halfway across the world, since everything is accessible via the browser. This meant that stakeholders across the organization would be even more directly informed and involved in achieving these key objectives.

With a new solution in place, Matthews estimated that his plant is saving more than $2.4 million in yield annually by being able to better respond to real-time data in improving day-to-day operations. Logi Analytics has become the standard technology for manufacturing intelligence at Pathway Chicken, and teams are working on additional projects at eight other plants and functional areas.

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