Talent, passion and hard work – the time honored ingredients in making the finest baked sourdough bread. Dinh and Mina Nguy founded United Bakery in 1991. The Nguy family created an authentic and unique San Francisco sourdough bread taste using a sourdough starter nearly 100-years old.
A quality focused bakery, United Bakery is currently certified against the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – Global Standard for Food Safety and Quality. The facility was awarded the prestigious grade A. By achieving and maintaining BRC certification, United Bakery is able to compete in the global markets. Many UK, North American and European retailers, and brand owners will only consider business with suppliers who have gained certification to the appropriate BRC Global Standard.
To provide the highest level of service to their customers, United Bakery contacted SG Systems, with a clear set of objectives: Raw Ingredient Traceability, Production Ingredient Weighing Control, and Finished Product Monitoring.
Dallas based SG Systems has many global installations and many years of implementations addressing traceability challenges within the food industry, they were selected for the United Bakery implementation with a project start date of Jan 2011. Their solution provides traceability in line with most auditing and traceability standards, such as SQF, AIB and BRC.
The Solution – Overview
The SG Systems solution is a unique combination of modular software and hardware designed to bridge the gap between management level and the shop floor operations (Receiving, Ingredient Weighing, Finished Product Management and Sales Order Fulfillment).
The networked solution communicates in real time to ensure accurate traceability information is available on demand, without unnecessary delays.
Receiving Inventory (Minors, Bulks & Bags)
The Inventory Management Software is installed on an Intermec CK3X Mobile PC used within the receiving dock.
As each commodity is received, the software is used to record the supplier’s lot number, supplier name, expiration date, quantity and location. This allows the product to be booked into the company’s facility. A new internal lot number is generated to guarantee the uniqueness of the lot number.
When the ingredients are bagged or in tablet form, barcode labels are generated to capture the pallets, containers and bags.
The software prompts for Commodity Specific Quality Assurance Questions for each received item. Questions relate to supplier seal numbers, driver initials, black light inspection checks, allergen protocol compliance, and the like.
Each lot is booked into the database and marked as POSITIVE RELEASE, this allows the inventory to be recognized by the weighing terminals and bulk handling equipment.
1 x SG Systems Touch Screen Terminal with Integrated Weighing Scale, Label Printer and Barcode Reader is installed in the Mixing Area. The majority of hand weighing for the plant takes place in this location. The terminal has an Operator Touch Screen which requires a secure login before displaying the formulas required for the production line. All ingredients which can be weighed in advance of mixer production are weighed in this location.
All formulas in the system are approved by Mina Nguy, Mina comments “The operators in the weighing area can select formulas which they are running in the bakery. As the operator selects the formula, the system prompts for each of the ingredients which are weighed out within management set tolerances (+/- 0.02lbs from target). Each ingredient requires a lot number to be selected from the ingredient bin (managed FEFO). The system allows the use of multiple containers. The system guarantees a much higher percentage of on target batches and a reduction in the waste caused by a conventional scale system”
Tracking and Tracing
All of the aforementioned processes communicate with a central server which validates and stores traceability information relating to production, inventory, operators, locations and formulations. The server has a reporting tool to allow supplier lot number led recalls to be tracked through to the batch. United Bakery internal system then allows the batch to be traced through to the finished product.
The various processes required during the baking process make traceability a challenge for any baking company. The implementation of the SG System product has allowed United Bakery to capture traceability information at the point of receiving and processing (instead of using the traditional paper trail), without really altering many of our bakery processes. The real time data allows audits to be completed in a matter of minutes, instead of hours, which installs confidence in our customer base. SG Systems has provided us with on-site and remote support when we needed it and training at multiple levels.”
The solution provides the backbone for production traceability and is available in modules to suit most company’s needs and budgets. For more information on SG Systems products and services, please contact their Dallas Corporate Office +1 (214) 819-9570 or at www.sgsystemsusa.com