Case Study

A.I. Loves Food. Process Optimization of Food Production Lines

Case study: A.I. For Food Production. Process Optimization of Food Production Lines

Process Optimization of Food Production Lines

About our Customer

A world leading food processor which:

  • employs nearly 12,000 people operating out of more than 30 countries
  • operates about 60 production facilities
  • generated annual sales EUR 6.0 billion (USD 7.1 billion) in fiscal year 2017/18

Food Production



Project Duration and Effort

3 months from the kick-off meeting of the project requiring 46 working days.

Customer Involvement

Monthly workshops with regular meeting calls. The customer spent 8 working days on modelling.

Technology Used
  • DataStories AI Platform for Modelling
  • Python for Data Preparation

The challenge

Data driven reduction of production cost for profitability and competitiveness

Food production industry is a highly competitive market, hence reducing the production cost is critical for the profitability and competitiveness of the product. Producing food can be a complex process. The product should not only taste and look good but usually other properties such as sensory, kinetic, or physico-chemical properties must be within its specifications.

Cost reductions can be achieved by optimizing the following attributes of the production line while keeping the properties mentioned above within its specifications:

  • Production line equipment and its settings
  • Environmental conditions
  • Way of working / Operator productivity
  • Formulations and recipes

In 2018, our customer decided to start optimizing their production line in a data driven way. This required the capability to aggregate the different data sources containing the production attributes listed above for optimization and to analyze which of these attributes are the most important ones for reducing the production cost.

Within 3 months DataStories AI Platform helped to significantly reduce the cost of a food production line

The solution

DataStories AI Platform empowered our customer to analyze the production process data to reduce production cost

Effective analysis tools like DataStories AI Platform allow inspecting thousands of historic production variables in a holistic way and finding their optimal settings for reducing the production cost.

Before being able to find key variables and their optimal settings, the data needs to be combined in a single format. This was a challenging task as the data was stored within multiple sources (ERP, SAP, sensor data, etc.) and needed to be combined on production batch level. In total we had over 200 GB of data spanning across 4 years containing at least 350+ sensor signals. To find the most actionable drivers, we extracted more than 7000 potential drivers (features) out of the 350+ sensor signals.

With the holistic data, the DataStories AI Platform empowered the process engineers to create accurate & robust predictive models based on a handful of actionable key drivers selected out of these +7000 features. As the model behavior is explained via powerful ‘What-if analysis’ visualizations, the models provided more understanding of their process and helped the customer to determine the optimal settings of the key drivers of their production line.

Effective analysis tools like DataStories AI Platform allow inspecting thousands of historic production variables in a holistic way and finding their optimal settings for reducing the production cost.

The impact we created

Great insights for cost reduction were generated in just 3 months

This project delivered clear ROI on the formulated targets and contributed to future process excellence initiatives in the following ways:

  • This project showed that data analytics projects, even on a new production line with a lot of data, can be executed successfully in a short period of 3 months.
  • Obtained insights can also be deployed on other lines leading to additional cost reductions.
  • New insights gave birth to new innovation projects.

Talk to us about how you can turn your data into a system to deliver success

Our core expertise is in business-driven applications of predictive analytics and data science to solve complex business challenges which directly impact the bottom line.