It began over 120 years ago in a three-room creamery in 1896: the commitment to make new, and better, dairy products. That was when J.P. Gehl first had an idea for improving the quality of local butter. His “renovated” butter caught on quickly with local bakers, and soon the business grew to offer a whole range of better-quality dairy ingredients.
HistoryAlways quick to adopt new technologies, J.P. Gehl saw an opportunity to serve the retail market with a more consistent-quality milk in the 1920s. Ice cream was added, and by the 1950’s Gehl’s became a popular household brand in the delivery of dairy ingredients.
As the retail market changed in the 1960s, Gehl Foods traded its regional milk business for new technology to produce sterile, non-refrigerated dairy products. Gehl Foods became a pioneer in making puddings and cheese sauces for some of the best known grocery brands, while still offering high quality dairy products to bakers and restaurants under the respected Gehl Foods name.
Today, their leading efforts in sterile packaging have created an entirely new category–our direct-from-the-pouch sauces for foodservice. At the same time, their technology has shaped the nation’s weight loss shakes and iced coffee drinks.
Batch Control with Ross ERP Interface
To control the manufacturing and quality processes in their state of the art operation, Gehl Foods decided to invest in the V5 Batch Control Scale System from SG Systems LLC, to make their already robust batch weighing process even tighter. Gehl Foods needed to take their manual batching process to the next level and bridge the gap between their ROSS ERP System (Brand owned by Aptean) and the shop floor weighing operations. Ross ERP software typically manages a company’s business processes, including the Bills of Materials (BOM), Production Schedule and Inventory.
SG Systems has a history of Batch Control Scale System with installations in many countries over many years, providing compliance with the latest traceability and allergen control regulations.
For any business running ERP, it is important that ERP remains the master database. SG Systems demonstrated a clear, safe and practical method for handling ingredient data using their Gateway import / export mechanism. In addition, SG Systems is a company who is flexible enough to customize hardware & software to meet the needs of a demanding, high productivity, production led operation.
Companies usually print the Production Schedule and BOM’s from Ross ERP onto a sheet of paper and hand it to the production team to complete the weighing and batching processes, and then return the completed paperwork to the production supervisors to enter the inventory used and batches made into Ross ERP. This process is now well known to be problematic. Operator errors in the weighing process and inaccuracies in lot control are usually not reflected in the paper trail – this can cause problems with accounting, inventory and purchasing in addition to the quality of the product from batch to batch.
The Solution – V5 Batch Control Scale System
It all begins with a download from Ross ERP. Once a manufacturing order has been created in Ross ERP, a file is transferred to the V5 Batch Control Scale System containing the Production Plan (number of batches, required batch size, job number, substitutions and production locations) and the BOM containing the recipe steps and target weights. The job specific inventory is made available for the system to consume from lot numbers, stock codes and quantities. The Inventory is controlled through Ross DC (Data Collection) and only lot numbers which have been allocated to a specific job through a material issue process can be used.
The Production Plan is then available at the custom made operator workstations. The station consists of an SG15 Touch Screen Industrial Computer which controls the Industrial Scales, a Label Printer and Barcode Scanner.
The V5 Touch Screen User Interface allows the Production Plan (transferred from Ross ERP) to be displayed using easy to follow screens. This eliminates paper schedules and prevents operators making incorrect or out of sequence formulations. After selecting the required recipe, the operator follows simple screens which prompt for lot number scans. A simple speedometer display ensures the weighed items are portioned correctly and within tight, management set tolerances.
The operator cannot weigh up too much or too little as the system will not accept out of tolerance weighing. This has a big impact on batch consistency and overall product quality.
‘Worry Free’ Paperless Lot Traceability
In addition to the tightest possible quality control, the V5 Batch Control Scale System provides actual usage based on the scaling weights, instead of theoretical usage based on target weights. This allows accurate yields to be calculated which provides visibility for supplier inventory accuracy. SG Systems comments “The new V5 Batch Control Scale System installation ensures the correct material is weighed out at the correct amount every time, we have seen greatly improved inventory accuracy and client confidence & trust in our traceability is very satisfying not to mention making audits quicker and easier. Gehl Foods Provided lots of feedback about our V5 product and we were happy to make changes to the product so that we met their application requirements 100%”