August 13, 2020
Enacting Quality Control in the Bottling Industry
A bottling company is more than just a company that mixes drink ingredients and fills up cans and bottles with the drink. It’s a purveyor of things we use and enjoy every day. It supplies the products we love to the stores we frequent in containers that give us a sense of continuity, comfort, and happiness.
Bottlers are committed to providing consistently produced, high-quality beverages that consumers expect—and upon which their brands are built. Challenges arise when bottling companies attempt to standardize plant operations and processes without something that is absolutely essential for the endeavor—clear visibility across processes, products, and plants—
better known as enterprise visibility.
Bottlers can all agree that operational efficiency is vital to optimizing profitability, especially those companies that need to implement and monitor quality initiatives across multiple
The InfinityQS Enact®
Quality Intelligence platform is here to enable comprehensive control across your entire bottling organization.
What is Enact?
Enact is a software-as-a-service (SaaS
) quality intelligence solution, built for the enterprise, which brings bottlers a new level of visibility into the entire organization. The benefits of SaaS are many and far reaching. Dramatically reduced IT expenditures; flexible, real-time data collection; centralized data storage; and unmatched accessibility—these are just a few of the myriad ways in which a SaaS platform like Enact can improve your business.
The visibility that Enact provides is exactly what bottlers need—enabling you to identify and prevent quality issues at every step of your operations, from receiving to filling, all the way to packaging and palletizing. Enact ensures consistency and compliance while helping you reduce overfill and waste, cut costs, and improve productivity.
With complete historical data, real-time exception reports, and actionable intelligence, Enact provides the insight you need to ensure quality at every stage, turning your data from something you “just collect to keep an eye on things” into a valuable strategic resource.
The Excellence Loop
The process of re-imagining quality in your bottling organization creates a cycle of continuous improvement—something that we enterprise-quality experts at InfinityQS call the Excellence Loop
The Excellence Loop begins with unification
of your quality data—the collection and storage of all quality data in one place. Making all your quality data accessible in a single area provides enterprise-wide visibility
, enabling you to assess quality performance for every region, every operation, and every product in your company. With this Hubble
-like visibility, you gain true operational insight
that can fuel high-level, prioritized improvement of product quality and spark some exciting, proactive, strategic decision making. With access to this level of information, companies gain the ability to globally transform
their business through process improvements, cost reductions, and better resource utilization.
Enact in Your Plants
Enact’s robust, user-friendly features support plant-floor operations in real time.
- Empower operators with role-based dashboards. Users see the information they need to do their jobs and get the real-time data they need to adjust and improve operations on the fly.
- Schedule reminders for timed data collections. Tailored prompts ensure critical quality checks and data collections take place on time, every time.
- Generate automated alerts. Minimize downtime by ensuring support personnel can quickly respond to missed data collections and violations related to specification limits, net content control, control limits, and other parameters.
- Automate data collection. Enact makes it easy to collect measurement values from a multitude of data sources—regardless of data format.
Across Products, Processes, and Plants
Centralizing information from across all your production lines, sites, and even suppliers, means bringing all your quality data together in one place. Enact data centralization means no more data “silos.” Quality professionals and leaders can view manufacturing data across the entire organization—and uncover insights
for overall operational improvements.
With Enact’s powerful, flexible, and proven analysis tools, you can slice and dice your centralized data in multiple ways, uncovering critical information—across plants, lines, products, shifts, and suppliers. This enables you to significantly improve quality levels and consistency across your entire organization.
This enterprise-wide visibility provides strategic insight that can transform your bottling operations. With shared insights and a centralized view of data, you can:
- Ensure corporate quality standards are followed at all plants
- Prioritize the process improvements that will make the biggest impact
- Develop best practices to improve product quality across the organization
- Reveal opportunities for greater productivity and profitability
And Enact can easily integrate with your existing data collection devices. No need to replace any existing data collection technologies. Enact supports data collection from virtually any technology, including electronic gauges and measurement equipment, TCP/IP, OPC data streams, flat files, databases, and more.
At the Corporate Level
Enact’s unique analysis methodology simplifies decision-making and enables effective, continuous operational improvement.
Analyze any quality data across your enterprise. Dynamically view information from across plants, lines, and suppliers using predefined dashboards, or perform ad-hoc analyses on any data. Enact enables you to drill down through your data using a wide variety of analysis and statistical tools (control charts, Pareto charts, Box & Whisker charts, and more).
Data Stream Grading
Leverage patent-pending Data Stream Grading
and analysis. Enact automatically analyzes and aggregates your data streams, rolling them up in a simplified, easy-to-understand “traffic light” format. Enact’s unique patent-pending Data Stream Grading technology facilitates simple yet sophisticated performance comparisons and assessments of quality levels across your enterprise.
And Enact’s Data Stream Grading helps you prioritize continuous improvement projects. This powerful methodology quickly identifies easy wins and long-term improvement projects, helping you quickly prioritize quality team resources that will yield the greatest corporate-wide benefits.
Enhance your organization’s collaboration. Enterprise-wide quality reports provide the manufacturing intelligence that enables enhanced collaboration with site quality specialists and supports adherence to corporate quality standards.
Enact Brings It All Together
The bottled beverage you pick up off the shelf in the grocery store is the culmination of a complex set of processes. InfinityQS Enact makes monitoring these processes a breeze.
Enact provides quality management and operational insight at every crucial step (and checkpoint) in every process of a bottle’s journey—from receiving to water treatment, mixing, bottle blowing, filling, and all the way through packaging and palletizing. For the purposes of this blog, let’s focus on filling, capping, and labeling. All of the steps from loading dock to store shelf are important, but we feel that these three processes are particularly critical to the bottling process. Let’s dive in.
Benefits in Filling and In-Process Checks
Operators and lab personnel use timed sampling to verify that every batch and bottle meets specifications. Catching defects in real time means that operators and plant-floor supervisors can act instantly to save costs—and prevent imperfect products from reaching customers.
Enact helps ensure that required sampling happens on time, every time, by:
- Enabling scheduling of timed checks and automated notifications
- Allowing configuration of separate system alarms for multiple types of defects (including visual defects)
- Enabling collection of multiple types of data for multiple products in a single data collection screen
- Supporting manual, semi-automated, and fully automated data collection
In-process checks on the bottling process are essential for ensuring a happy customer—and for reducing waste and overfill, keeping costs down.
The Dreaded Overfill
As InfinityQS COO, Doug Fair, mentions in the Food & Beverage
blog series (article 3
), when bottling companies “invest in a solution to improve quality on their fill line (and in the rest of the operation), their expectation—naturally—is some sort of growth. And it should be. These companies want to prevent quality problems from happening, and refine and improve processes, thus improving their bottom line and further solidifying their brand reputation. Investing in quality control measures is much more than just a necessary evil, or another expense. Moving to a statistical process control (SPC) solution is an investment in the future.”
Discussing fill-line issues, in particular “overfilling,” Doug reveals a common problem: on the surface, everything looked okay, or “in-spec.” His description from a specific experience: “Focusing on one line, we revealed that although everything was within their specification limits, they were still overfilling
every bottle… The data they gathered was turned into insights that identified discrepancies in fill-head performance, product-to-product differences, the effect of speed on filling, and other information they never had
. As a result, they were able to make a variety of improvements (some bigger, some smaller), which ended up saving them over a million dollars per year
—on just that one line.” Those are the kind of savings every bottler would love to make.
Benefits in Capping
Torque is defined as "the rotational force applied during cap application or removal from a container." When capping a container, such as a bottle, it’s important to utilize the correct amount of torque to ensure a proper seal. Ideally, torque should be evenly distributed throughout the closure process.
Have you ever heard this one? “The tighter you apply a closure the less likely the chance the product in the container is going to leak.” Well, not true. Applying too much pressure to a closure can actually increase
the chances of product leakage.
But ensuring proper cap torque doesn’t just protect your products from leakage. An improper seal can also reduce the product’s shelf life, affect freshness and taste, and allow contamination.
Enact provides the ability to:
- Preform Cap Torque checks
- Send testing equipment output to the data collection screen
- Conduct Cap Head setup verification
- Analysis of multiple Capping Heads with roll-up capabilities
- Evaluation of Capping chuck and torque devices.
Benefits in Labeling
Labels do more than identify a brand; they are essential for compliance with food safety and traceability regulations. Data accuracy and accessibility are essential.
- Integrated data collection for label verification using predefined defect lists for efficiency and accuracy
- Date code evidence collection through direct image capture and storage
- Centralized data storage
- Instant data availability for audits, reporting, and analysis
Steve Wise, InfinityQS VP of Statistical Methods, contributed article 7
from the Food & Beverage
blog series. In part of his article he focused on the importance of date codes on food packaging, including bottles. They’re stamped directly on the bottle, in most cases, but are still considered a form of labeling. “Date codes keep consumers informed. Obviously, date codes are critical because when bad product gets into consumers’ hands good things rarely occur. Today’s headlines are filled with stories of products that don’t meet quality standards. SPC software [like Enact] can keep track of your date codes, ensuring that the public is properly informed and that date codes are correct.”
Time to Move to Enact
Today, beverage bottlers face enormous pressure to outperform their competitors—in every area of operations. It’s no longer a matter of keeping up; now you must stay a step ahead. Enact gives you the power to make that transformative shift.
It’s time to re-imagine quality and transform your business…with Enact.
Quality is the Key
Enact’s unique features enable you to change the way you capture, measure, and use data throughout your product lifecycle.
With Enact, you can empower your plant managers, engineers, and operators to proactively address issues during production. In addition, Enact’s centralized and standardized quality data enables quality professionals to ensure that corporate standards are followed—at every plant—and create local accountability for all aspects of quality management.
The result is across-the-board improvements in quality, productivity, consistency, safety, compliance, packaging, and logistics.
Centralized Quality Data is a Powerful Strategic Resource
With Enact, you get the power of Data Stream Grading—our patent-pending quality analysis methodology—which provides a unique way to roll up and interpret performance across parts, lines, processes, and sites.
This big-picture insight enables you to quickly review performance across all your sites. It’s easy-to-interpret visual approach helps you quickly locate areas of greatest need—and greatest opportunity for ROI and effective quality wins.
Elevate Your Operations from “Good Enough” to “Nobody’s Better”
The Enact Quality Intelligence solution offers you a proven, cost-effective method for implementing real-time Statistical Process Control (SPC) and continuous process improvement efforts.
Many leading bottlers around the globe already enjoy the benefits of InfinityQS solutions. Now, it’s easier than ever for your team to do the same. Enact offers powerful benefits in filling and in-process checks, capping, and labeling. Take advantage of our experience and expertise in the bottling industry by giving Enact a try.
Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips today: contact one of our account managers (1.800.772.7978 or via our website
) for more information.
Learn more about Enact and about how InfinityQS works with the bottling industry in these detailed white papers: