Benchmarking energy and water usage as short as a decade ago often proved difficult and expensive, but wireless technology and other information-gathering control systems now make it much easier to measure, track and analyze how efficiently a snack or bakery manufacturing facility operates.
“It used to be a very laborious process,” said Eric Battino, supplier sustainability manager at PepsiCo, which is based in Plano, TX. “It wasn’t timely. It was tough to get the detail you needed. Now, it’s almost instantaneous. You now have actionable data in a timely manner, and technology has made that possible.”
Advances in technology, he said, mean that new opportunities for improving plant efficiencies through sustainability programs will become more affordable in the future. In other words, Mr. Battino said, identifying the proverbial low-hanging fruit of tomorrow is an ongoing process that continues to change. Much of it simply involves training and engaging a company’s workforce on best practices.
“With today’s technology, you can pinpoint an issue and take action where in the past it might have taken weeks or months,” he said. “Now, you are taking action immediately to eliminate losses in the process. Technology improves our ability to manage our operations better day to day and shift to shift.” Read more about Sustainability