Use of advanced technology in dairy industry in India and global markets improves sustainability, efficiency, and traceability of operations. The dairy market is extremely dynamic and competitive, reflecting rising demand for healthy, nutritious products that meet the needs of people in emerging nations. Dr Peter Martin, VP, business value solutions, Schneider Electric, in an interaction with Nandita Vijay talks about the current scenario in dairy market and way forward. Excerpts:

How have your solutions helped the dairy sector in India?
Schneider’s farm-to-fork solutions help our customers in the dairy industry improve sustainability, efficiency, and traceability of operations. These comprise solutions in milk reception, processing, packaging, warehousing & expedition and delivery to customers.

Such solutions are based in the spheres of energy and sustainability, manufacturing management, power management, supply chain management, and food safety compliance.

Energy and Sustainability Solutions improve the sustainability of the dairy company’s operations and reduce energy bills by 30%. Manufacturing Management Solutions strive for zero waste while increasing flexibility on the client’s plant floor. Power Management Solutions improve safety, availability and flexibility of power during the entire plant life cycle. Supply Chain Management Solutions give full visibility into the client’s value chain, increase end-to-end throughput, and reduce logistics costs. Food Safety Compliance Solutions help the client’s food safety compliance and preserve its brand equity and shareholder value.

Such solutions help customers seize new market as well as profit opportunities based upon zero waste and 100% traceable production.

Dairy Products
                              Dairy Products

How receptive are the Indian dairies to adopt these solutions?
Once the dairy companies comprehend the benefits of these offerings, they are most receptive, perceiving them as investments that boost quality and improve production. For example, in energy-sourcing solutions our cost-control options are useful for regulated as well as deregulated energy markets. In energy-efficiency consulting, our experts with specific experience in dairy utilities and process like Clean-in-Place (CIP), pasteuriser, and dryer, find efficiencies in a utility’s operations that reduce and optimise energy and other resource use (water, chemicals, waste, etc.) for all the clients’ facilities around the world.

Given our expertise and its benefits, clients are eager to adopt such solutions once they are aware.

What are the key strengths of your dairy solutions?
The strengths lie in addressing critical dairy industry challenges that cover managing a growing number of SKUs (stock-keeping units). Trace critical control points and detailed genealogy. Improve CIP station efficiency. Improve efficiency of spray dryers by online milk powder quality analysis.

Reduce milk product loss. Decrease specific energy and water usage. Improve the utility’s Coefficient of Performance (COP). Integration machine and process control to synchronise on common standards. Liquid Food Library for Milk Processing application. Batch processing to improve manufacturing efficiency. MES to improve production planning to improve production line efficiency.
Digital recording and traceability in compliance with 21 CFR Part 11, FDA Grade-A PMO (Pasteurised Milk Ordinance) and other global standards. One Click track solution for monitoring the milk quality at Bulk Milk Cooling stations and truck monitoring.

Besides this, by building standard applications using object libraries, Schneider can develop an architecture and application for the specific dairy company that can be reused to duplicate their plant design anywhere in the world. Through an extensive network of local application centres and systems integrators, Schneider offers rapid, cost-effective services and support from experts that are close to the client.

From reception to shipment, clients can be provided with suitable solutions for all their challenges in terms of design, development and production site operation. Building on a thorough understanding of production processes, building utilities and site management, the client’s plant will witness increased performance by enabling team members at every level to work with greater efficiency and confidence.

What is the competition for your company in this space?
After acquisition of Invensys, Schneider Electric is the integrated solution provider in industry. However, for electrical packages, ABB & Siemens are major competitors and for automation package, Siemens & Rockwell Automation are the major competitors.

Globally, how have you captured the dairy market and which are the dairies and countries using the solutions?
In India and globally, the present dairy market is extremely dynamic and competitive, reflecting rising demand for healthy, nutritious products that meet the needs of people in emerging nations. In this scenario, innovation, responsiveness and flexibility are critical for the industry, where growth hinges on the ability to quickly introduce new products, improve existing formulations, and update packaging – while simultaneously striving to curb costs.

Schneider offers sustainable solutions that help clients meet challenges in terms of competitiveness, innovation and food safety, while fully complying with environmental policies. Using the expertise of a network of dairy process experts, Schneider works with clients to develop flexible, optimised solutions that meet local requirements anywhere in the world. Our control systems and electrical distribution solutions cover all process, packaging, utility and building applications, while helping clients make the most of their energy.

To cite an instance, Danone’s Cikarang factory in Indonesia was completed within eight months, from basic design to commissioning. The project was drawn up in accordance with Danone’s Affordable Strategy concept in order to provide affordable long-life products that were easier to produce and had good nutritional content. Schneider Electric offered Danone a complete system to control the entire production line from raw materials reception to the final products. The solution manages the main processes from reception to inoculation.

Similarly, other such initiatives have helped capture the dairy market in different geographies. All the major international dairy players and top Indian dairy customers are using these solutions.

In your opinion, how much would technology drive the growth and revenues for the dairy sector?
In the dairy industry, public health is too important to take any risks. Compliance with standards, quality raw materials and critical point monitoring are all key factors in building and maintaining trust in a brand. Accordingly, it is important to meet traceability requirements set by health and safety authorities. For this, Schneider provides a comprehensive material flow management service specific to the dairy client’s needs that generates a complete genealogy of each batch. This provides a reliable system for tracing all batches affected by an ingredient, production phase or another batch so the client can alert recipients should a problem be discovered at a later stage.

Technology can play a major role in ensuring quality as well as boosting production and profitability. For example, in Plant Management there could be a slew of initiatives to ensure such favourable outcomes by reducing inventories; measuring and lowering product and energy loss; downloading work orders from the ERP system; improving processes online; improving the HACCP system; implementing global production tracking; managing products and materials genealogy; managing process and machine safety; and producing healthy and affordable products.

Clearly, such benefits across the entire value chain via various technology solutions could increase output and outcomes in a major way.

What is the game plan for your company to improve presence in the market?
Schneider is well positioned to offer collaborative platforms to improve a dairy company’s products and performance. Our collaborative platform offers: high-performance tested and approved architectures; transparent integration of equipment; open connectivity with ERP (enterprise resource planning) software tools. Schneider experts and consultants offer to help clients analyse what exists and to define and deploy specific solutions.

Today, the focus globally is on environment-friendly, sustainable operations. Given this scenario, Schneider’s commitment is guided by three key objectives: reducing consumption through active energy-efficiency solutions, promoting renewable energy to achieve cleaner production, and optimising consumption by making eco-design products and equipment more widely available. Many of Schneider’s easy-to-implement solutions can generate substantial energy savings and ensure rapid, quantifiable return on investment.

Each solution is developed through a 3-stage process involving measurement and auditing of energy use, energy optimisation and sustaining the level of performance of a client’s installations. A customised response is provided to suit the client’s requirements and budget, drawing on a range of speed variation, reactive power compensation and control system technologies. Additionally, clients will benefit from end-to-end project support from Schneider’s teams of experts.

Depending upon the dairy company in question and various other allied parameters, Schneider Electric is committed to reducing the energy bill and carbon emissions of its customers by 10 to 30%. Based upon the above comprehensive solutions, Schneider believes it is well placed to increase its presence in the market once there is awareness about these customised solutions that boost a dairy company’s operational efficiency and help build plants at lower costs in lesser time.

In addition to helping dairy companies effectively and efficiently control energy consumption and manage a sustainable operation, Schneider Electric can help to control the raw material, production value and overall operational profitability of dairies through the effective application of real-time controls in all aspects of the production operation. As a global leader in real-time automation and control, we bring the latest, state-of-the-art advance technologies to dairy companies to improve dairy performance.