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Continuous Process Manufacturing

  • 1.  Continuous Process Manufacturing

    Posted Sep 06, 2019 03:25 PM
    Hello Everyone,

    I am working with a company in the food industry that runs a 'continuous process manufacturing' environment.  What that means is that raw materials go in one side of the facility, and finished product comes out the other, and all of the processing is done with the product on a conveyor belt with no batching or segmenting of the product during the process.

    In this environment, it is very difficult to associate raw materials to a specific finished good as many of the additive ingredients (like salt or flavoring) is mixed in a tank and blended into the raw ingredient while it is flowing by on the conveyor belt.

    Traditional ERP manufacturing with NAV is not working well.  We need to consume and output by day/shift with consumption and output done via a custom inventory adjustment, or so this is our current idea.

    Has anyone heard of that or know of a NAV end user that has modified NAV in this way?

    Thanks and have a great week-end!

    Victor Diercksen

    Victor Diercksen
    President, CIO/NOW Inc.
    Sandy UT

  • 2.  RE: Continuous Process Manufacturing

    Posted Sep 09, 2019 09:17 AM

    In my opinion, the first question that needs to be addressed with the customer is risk:  What recall window is the customer willing to tolerate?  If they run a long period of time in this continuous mode, the entire run may need to be recalled.  This may influence the customer to consider defining batches and have a short cut-off within the context of continuous manufacturing.  Surely there is a sanitation cycle at some point which could facilitate a cut-off.

    I have seen environments where raw materials are accumulated in a bin but output is posted real-time.  Then when that eventual gap in continuous manufacturing occurs, raw materials are posted to the production order from the accumulation bin.  I think the "full bin consumption" concept may have been a customization.  This associates the lots used with the lots produced which maintains the recall integrity.  But it requires a reasonable cut-off (days) likely not weeks of continuous manufacturing.

    One environment was considering leveraging the PLC information within the dispensing equipment.  The equipment "knows" how much it is using and so raw material consumption could be automated.  This is somewhat complex to orchestrate and requires middleware to fire NAV web services to work the magic.  Plus it required knowledge of the order in which an item/lot/qty was added to the mixing tank.  But conceptually it can be done.

    I hope that helps!


    Alex Scheler
    Carma Laboratories, Inc.
    Franklin WI


  • 3.  RE: Continuous Process Manufacturing

    Posted Oct 16, 2019 03:58 PM
    we do three production orders per finished good (mostly).  the main raw ingredient (protein) and depending upon the recipe this ingredient gets processed (trimmed) and has waisted too. X amount of raw goes in and x Amount get yielded for this 1st WIP.  This is batch driven and the consumption of raw is done by item and lot.
    The spices get mixed into 300 or 3000 gallon batches and so the ingredients are consumed into the production order and output is another WIP.
    Then the first two are mixed together for a final WIP Protein.  All are tracked, lot tracked and released to a production location / bin.
    Final production order take the WIP Protein (with spices, etc.) and consumes to the final production order and packaging, etc. for a final finish good.
    For some finished goods the packaging box has a small label scanned for continuous flow through the scanner / scale  for containerization (pallet) and released to the blast freezer.  Shift supervisor monitor using power bi reports the status of the production order: schedule and remaining; along with the inventory of WIP in their unique locations.  These location are to be empty at the end of the shift or day (shifts).

    This process for us gives us the data capture, traceability necessary for quality, production and customer order fulfillment.  Additionally, if a plan was to close down the separate types of inventory: raw, WIP , WIP protein and finished goods all have separate types of value: RAW and WIP (1st) are valued one way by a back as compared to the WIP Protein which now has the spices (can't take out the spices). and finished goods. etc.

    Ronald McVicar, IT Software Mgr
    NSP (Quality Meats)


  • 4.  RE: Continuous Process Manufacturing

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 08:36 AM
    I have worked with similar cases.  We output the mixed blend in "batches" which is then consumed by other production orders.  This allows the proper lot tracing to occur for all the materials used and where they were used.

    Kevin Fons
    Senior Application Consultant
    Innovia Consulting
    waunakee WI


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