04 Jun 2018 --- SIG and GE Digital have announced a strategic partnership to power digital innovation in food and beverage packaging. Digital technologies are permeating markets and the packaging sector is no exception. It is hoped the move will drive new levels of efficiency, create intelligent solutions and enable new possibilities for its customers. SIG will deploy GE Digital’s Predix Asset Performance Management (APM) and Predix ServiceMax industrial applications across more than 400 customer factories worldwide, the digital innovations will also feature in ways that directly meet the consumer.
The food and beverage industry is ripe for digital transformation, with consumers increasingly seeking innovative, convenient products that are not only safe and sustainable but also affordable and differentiated. At the same time, producers are facing competitive pressures, supply chain complexities and ever-shorter production cycles. This creates an increased need for technologies that can enable producers to quicklyClick to Enlarge identify, predict and act on changing consumer and market demands.
“All over the world, the need for high-quality, sustainable and convenient food and beverage products is increasing. Due to shifting demographics and rapid urbanization, consumers are living more on-the-go lifestyles, which is impacting the way they consume products. They are seeking convenient packaging solutions that are not only easy to use but are easy-to-interact with, enhance their experience and reduce their impact on the environment,” Christian Alt, SVP Corporate Development & Digital at SIG tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“Digital is reshaping every sector, and industrials know they need to own the productivity of their assets to succeed,” says Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital. “By adopting Predix applications, SIG is establishing itself as a leader in the transformation of food and beverage packaging. This partnership brings our teams together to write a new chapter for SIG and for the industry.”
The combination of GE Digital’s APM and ServiceMax applications will enable SIG to build an end-to-end digital platform that will bring a new level of insight and data-driven intelligence to its customers worldwide, helping them and SIG transform how they predict, manage and service the entire lifecycle of SIG filling lines, according to the company.
By automatically collecting and analyzing asset data – tapping into billions of data points across its operations globally in real time – SIG and their customers hope to move beyond traditional asset monitoring and predictive service models to reimagine their supply chain, enhance quality control technologies and evolve their portfolio mix.
“Our ability to harness data is central to delivering on our promise of opening up new opportunities for our customers,” says Rolf Stangl, CEO of SIG. “By tapping into information in new and innovative ways, we will be able to deliver an unmatched level of performance, security, transparency and creativity across the entire food and beverage supply chain – through to the end consumer.”
According to SIG, the new digital service model will also enable them to deliver new solutions and business models based on advanced performance metrics, including as-a-service delivery, performance-based and subscription solutions.
“This will be a true strategic partnership,” says SIG’s Rolf Stangl. “We are excited to work alongside an experienced digital industrial company to collaborate on innovative solutions from 3D-printed spare parts to a fully connected, intelligent supply chain to innovative ways to bring advanced tracking and intelligence direct to the consumer.”
For the consumer
Aside from streamlining and enhancing production processes and data harnessing, the digital partnership will also reach the consumer in a more direct manner: “We are building an E2E Digital Platform with GE Digital to link Connected Assets (e.g. our factories, our customer filling lines) with Connected Packs. With this, a consumer can scan a pack and not only get all the relevant information about origin/authenticity, quality and sustainability but also engage and interact with brand owners and retailers on relevant digital marketing campaign and added-value offerings,” says Alt.
Essentially, “Digital is the mega trend in many industries, also the consumer packaging industry we are in. Digital, however, does not replace the traditional efforts of innovation and continuous Improvement, but rather supports and complements them,” concludes Alt.
The initial deployment is expected to go live in July 2018 with the global rollout anticipated to begin in January 2019.
By Laxmi Haigh
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