SWITZERLAND – Swiss chocolate wafer producer Kägi is partnering with leading food equipment supplier Bühler to build a smart factory where the entire machine park will be digitally networked and all process data visualized by 2024.

Pascal Grin, Chief Operating Officer of Kägi Söhne AG, revealed that decision to build a smart factory was informed by the company’s “vision to produce the perfect Kägi every day, whether it is 30°C in summer or minus 10°C in winter.”

The first steps towards the smart factory started in 2019 when Kägi and Bühler teams conducted a Performance Assessment Workshop to discover where improvements could be made in the production process of the chocolate wafer manufacturer.

After all factors relevant to the production were analyzed, the teams identified areas for improvement and defined plans to address them going forward.

One of the first actions of the team was to connect most of Kägi’s production to the Bühler Insights platform.

“From raw materials, to baking and filling of wafer sheets, and to chocolate coating, data can now be recorded, analyzed, and interpreted at any time,” reveals Judith Spreitzer, Project Manager Bühler Services.

Kristina Polic, Project Lead, Smart Factory 2024, and Continuous Improvement Manager at Kägi says that connection to  Bühler Insights has enabled both operating staff and management to take their decisions based on data, facts, and figures.

By linking and visualizing the data in Bühler Insights, Kägi expects to see an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) increase of 5% to 8%.

“We are already using the data in real time and our employees can react immediately to fluctuations in quality, thus preventing unplanned downtime. For us, this leads to cost savings and an uncomplicated overview of the process,” says Pascal Grin.

Another advantage of Bühler Insights is that, by connecting processes, devices, and data, it supports companies in addressing key issues related to sustainability, such as measuring their environmental impacts.

Kägi adopted Bühler’s Environmental Quantification Service which supports organizations in measuring their environmental footprint according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Bühler experts analyze the performance of assets and optimize processes to avoid unnecessary CO2e emissions, improve resource efficiency, and reduce waste.

With this, Kägi now understands its CO2e emissions and is able to prioritize actions to reduce its footprint along the whole value chain.

Additionally, Kägi has decided to invest in a fully automatic BM-W 180-H batter mixing plant, a highly efficient SWAKT-80 wafer baking oven, and a fully automatic WIS-EAGLE In-Line wafer sheet inspection system.

Franziska Babst, Head of Quality & Development at Kägi, says: “We have a full range of new, innovative products planned. We have enough ideas. With this plant and Bühler at our side, we are now ready to scale up new products to high quality and large volumes.”

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