CHINA – Unilever’s Nutrition factory based in Tianjin, northern china has joined the network of the world’s most digitally advanced factories following the company’s utilization of new technology to boost productivity and efficiency.

The World Economic Forum has been recognizing such companies since 2018 that incorporate AI technology, among others in the Advanced Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), into their manufacturing and supply chain operations.

This technology is used by companies worldwide to equip their workforce with digital skills and limit their carbon footprint in a bid to be environmentally friendly.

The adoption of 4IR technologies at Unilever’s Taijin Nutrition factory where Knorr and Hellman’s products are produced makes it the world’s first lighthouse factory in the savoury foods industry.

The company noted that the new technology has helped its business grow despite the coronavirus pandemic negatively impacting China’s food service industry in the last few years.

It has also helped accelerate their market expansion as well as enhance and strengthen the presence of Unilever products in towns and small cities.

The Chief Business Operations Officer, Reginaldo Ecclissato said, “To be named a Lighthouse Factory is one of the world’s most influential awards in the field of advanced manufacturing.

It’s not only a professional endorsement but also means that we have advantages over our competitors in terms of better products and service.”

The company revealed that they are using data analysis and machine learning to learn how it can serve existing customers.

They are using a smart-selling approach to tailor recipes based on their reviews and the style of cuisine recorded. This information is then applied to potential clients and has proven positive as they have noticed an increased number of customers since 2018

With efficient manufacturing processes, Unilever has also been able to adjust production levels in response to customer demand and orders. This not only avoids business loss but also minimizes waste.

The Taijin site also uses green electricity generated from wind, water, and biomass as well as the solar and geothermal energy from the industrial park within which it is located.

They have so far helped it reduce its electricity consumption by 32% and its carbon emissions by 17% through a series of ongoing improvements in their systems.

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