FMCG operations require to produce goods to exacting standards to meet the ever stringent regulatory and customer demands. This challenge becomes even more pronounced when the operations are on high speed machines and are spread across multiple locations. To meet these requirements a well-evolved FMCG shop floor demands sophisticated automated inspection solutions. The ones which enable them to produce goods matching the global standards with utmost accuracy without affecting the speed of the multi-layered production process. The inspection solution is required to give the manufacturer the right capabilities to detect flaws in the products, the labels, packaging, barcodes, etc. – all together at the same time – without affecting the production speed without any human intervention.
This demanding mandate requires highly synergetic association with an industrial automation solution provider who should score high in the ingenuity of solutions and preferably also have a complete end-to-end solution capability and a futuristic long-term vision going beyond the short-term objectives.
This story of a leading FMCG Maker in India and Omron Automation - India’s leading supplier of industrial automation solutions - reflects these challenges and how they were resolved with mutual collaboration. The project has attained the status of being the largest vision based Quality Inspection project of its kind in the entire Industrial Automation segment in India.
Grappling with errors like incorrect printing (manufacturing / expiry dates), cross labeling and wrapped packing, the FMCG maker was spending a lot of unrequired resources and time in managing the cost of rejections and customer complaints impacting its brand image and sales across their personal care product segments.
All this drove the central quality assurance team to urgently implement vision systems to capture and identify the manufacturing date and other printed data, such as price, correctly so that the wrongly labelled and incorrectly printed products do not reach the end-consumers. This was to be achieved by utilizing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) & Optical Character Verification (OCV) technologies and then remove the non-conforming products from the production lines. Additionally, it was also required to capture the OEE data based on this quality inspection. The challenge was compounded by the fact that the manufacturer planned to implement this on over 100 lines spread across 14 locations in the Indian sub-continent simultaneously!
Today, Omron Automation is the total, end-to-end solutions provider for the quality inspection management at these 14 factory locations spread across five countries in the Indian sub-continent; comprising of over 240 vision systems.
The story is a very relevant instance of automation players collaborating more with the FMCG manufacturers who are looking for impeccable management of quality control issues with an end-to-end solutions approach in an environment where the production speeds and quality demands are continuously increasing. It is abundantly clear that the manufacturers need an automation partner who has a broad and complete vision empowered with advanced technical know-how as well as availability of local execution capabilities. These are the qualities that were the bed rock of the success of this project. Omron is uniquely positioned to address such requirements. It has the widest product portfolio in the industry and has invested in building engineering and execution capabilities in India over the past several years. The brand is now aiming higher by leveraging this success to expand its presence in the FMCG manufacturing arena by positioning not only its vision solutions but also its other cutting-edge offerings such as the robots and cobots.