SoftTrace is finalising the implementation of its manufacturing, traceability and quality management software at Mullins Cheese & Mullins Whey in Mosinee, WI. The project has been a huge success. The next stage will see SoftTrace rolled out into the Mullins cheese production facility at Marshfield, WI.
Listen to what Adam Mullins has to say
The system Mullins implemented…..
To date, Mullins have implemented 5 of the 6 SoftTrace modules in Mosinee: Intake Manager, LIMS, In-Process, Inventory Management, and the Traceability Engine. The decision to invest in SoftTrace was based on a rigorous investigation of the system’s functionality and configurability, tours of reference sites, and a review of the company’s immediate and long term data management objectives. Based on all the evidence, the management team were in no doubt of SoftTrace’s proven ability to provide the necessary efficiencies in internal quality control and traceability, as well as enhanced data management throughout the entire manufacturing process.
“We chose SoftTrace because of the system’s focus on the Dairy industry. As the implementation proceeded we became increasingly impressed with its flexibility and customizability. We’ve been able to adapt SoftTrace to our processes and our needs and use it to do things that just wouldn’t be possible with a canned program or generic system. It’s a cohesive system that ties all aspects of our operations together."
Adam Mullins, Operations & IT Manager, Mullins Cheese & Whey
How it works…..
At the Mullins facility in Mosinee, SoftTrace has been custom configured to manage milk and ingredients intake (including intake measurement, analysis and process allocation), process control, quality control (raw materials, in-process, finished goods and environmental), inventory management and traceability reporting.
What it does.....
SoftTrace interfaces with Mullins’ third party process automation, patron collection, producer payroll and business system to provide an integrated platform for increasing operational efficiency and profits, maximising product yield management and reducing downtime and overhead costs. It monitors and tracks all milk and ingredients received and released into the manufacturing process; captures information from laboratory instruments; manages laboratory information; tracks and integrates process data to silo, vat and unit level; manages inventory; controls dispatch based on positive release procedures; guarantees full traceability to shipped product.
“It has been a great experience. We have basically rolled several systems into one as well as a lot of manual entry and paper and pen. Just having one system from front to back is the best thing. We’re not jumping from one program to another and another, which was the case in the past. It hasn’t really changed how we do things – it just increased the efficiency and the speed at which we do them.”
Volac – a leading manufacturer of high performance, dairy-based nutritional ingredients for the global food and feed processing markets – is implementing a tailored SoftTrace Whey Manufacturing software solution at its extensive facility in Felinfach, West Wales. Phase 2 of the project, focused on providing integrated quality management across all processes, is underway.
Phase 2 Priorities: Fully Integrated Quality Management
In phase 2 of the project, Volac are focusing on integrating SoftTrace LIMS across all areas of the Felinfach facility to cover micro-biological, chemical and physical testing of incoming raw materials and packaging, in-process bulk product and finished product as well as environmental testing. Volac’s objectives in this phase – for both dry and wet blend execution - include:
- Full, bi-directional traceability from ingredients to finished product.
- Completely eliminate paper / manual logs and achieve optimal efficiency in laboratory and quality management data entry.
- Achieve automatic data capture from laboratory instruments.
- Maintain a link between SoftTrace LIMS and the product technical specifications held in the ERP system for automatic quality monitoring and alerts along with case investigations.
- Incorporate full barcode functionality on a site-wide basis for sample management and non-conformance monitoring / reporting.
- Provide secure, remote access for data entry and reporting from external laboratories.
- Achieve a secure, enforced analysis regime for at line and in-line quality management.
- A web-based supplier interface for certificates of analysis and conformance upload.
- A full suite of weekly / monthly reporting options available “at the touch of a button” along with a suite of stakeholder specific reports.
- Full system access security and audit trail.
Phase 1 Priorities: Raw Materials Data Management
Volac’s immediate priority in phase one of the project was 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 Intake Management modules along with those aspects of SoftTrace LIMS functionality required for intake quality management. The modules were 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.
New Dairy Dynamics: Evolving World Markets and Trade
SoftTrace are looking forward to attending the 21st annual DIN Conference in London, May 24th & 25th. Anthony Connolly, SoftTrace CEO, will be available throughout the event and happy to discuss the SoftTrace Dairy Manufacturing Software System we have tailored to meet the requirements of our UK, Irish and US Dairy industry customers. Email Anthony or contact him on LinkedIn if you would like to arrange a meeting while you're there.
About the DIN Conference
Managing risk and responding to market shocks are now central for participants in managing dairy markets, which in the past 8 years have experienced no fewer than 3 boom and bust cycles, and are once again teetering on the edge of a potential new bust - or possibly not. For Dairy companies trying to manage milk supply in post-quota Europe and beyond this near annual boomeranging is challenging the best brains. The continuing uncertainties of Brexit, political and environmental extremism, the unpredictable Trump administration in the US, and unreliable production in emerging markets are compounding the challenges. In this context, we look to this year's impressive speaker panel at the 2018 DIN Annual Conference to shed some light on how these issues might be tackled.