Volac - a leading manufacturer of high performance, dairy-based nutritional ingredients for the global food and feed processing markets – recently began the implementation of a tailored SoftTrace Dairy Manufacturing Management solution at its extensive facility in Felinfach, West Wales. As part of ongoing investment in the Felinfach plant infrastructure, the SoftTrace Weighbridge, Intake Management, LIMS and In-Process modules are being implemented on a phased basis.
The solution tailored for Volac by SoftTrace will provide comprehensive raw materials, quality management and manufacturing data visibility in a single, central database. This will be achieved by seamlessly integrating SoftTrace’s whey intake and manufacturing management functionality with Volac’s existing ERP and process automation systems.
Phase one of the SoftTrace project went live on schedule in early October.
Phase One Priorities: Raw Materials Data Management
Volac’s immediate priority in phase one of the project has been to achieve optimal data management in raw materials intake and in-process manufacturing control with an associated focus on efficient quality data management and traceability. To meet those objectives, SoftTrace have installed the SoftTrace Weighbridge and Intake Management modules along with those aspects of SoftTrace LIMS functionality required for intake quality management. The modules have been customised for Volac and implemented by SoftTrace to efficiently record raw materials received, integrate all associated quality data, and provide tight control over intake loads and silo fills.
Meeting Volac’s precise quality management and traceability objectives for phase one of the project involved:
- Implementing and configuring the SoftTrace Intake Management module along with an interface to the weighbridge indicator to update weighbridge loads to the Intake Management module in real-time.
- Seamlessly integrating the relevant aspects of SoftTrace LIMS to meet intake analysis requirements and interfacing with laboratory instruments for direct data capture.
- Configuring the SoftTrace modules and interfaces to provide real-time visibility and control over weighbridge loads, quality sample creation and analysis, and create an electronic link between tanker loads and silo batches.
- Integrating with Volac’s ERP system for the transfer of stock usage records and agreed figures for supplier loads and composition.
The decision to deploy SoftTrace was based on the software’s proven ability to provide significant efficiencies in Volac’s internal quality control and traceability procedures, as well as enhanced data management throughout the manufacturing process.
“SoftTrace was designed specifically for our industry. We recognised it as the best solution to meet our requirements because of that and because of its focus on the critical business success factors of product traceability and quality control. It means the implementation at Felinfach will be efficient in terms of time, effort and cost. It also means a significantly smaller capital outlay than with other systems operating in the MES layer. On top of that the SoftTrace team has extensive experience of providing software solutions to the Dairy industry, they understand our requirements and they’ve plenty of advice to offer.”
Jonathan Hogg (General Manager, Volac Felinfach)