Intelligent CIO North America Issue 27 | Page 71

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Software for Business

OFS helps Ninkasi Brewing take ‘ on-timein-full ’ orders with real-time data

OFS , an Australian craft brewing software specialist – is helping Ninkasi Brewery , an Oregon-based company , capitalize on the demand for new products and co-packing contracts by focusing on data to streamline packaging operations .

Australian manufacturing performance software company , OFS , has signed a deal with Oregon-based craft brewer Ninkasi Brewing Company , removing manual processes for its manufacturing team and helping it to increase on-time-in-full ( OTIF ) orders from 40 % to 94 % as the brewery expands its product portfolio .

Founded in 2005 and famous for its Total Domination IPA , Ninkasi makes approximately 150,000 barrels of beer every year . The craft brewery has also recently expanded its operations to contract out its production lines to budding brewers and producers of canned cocktails , hard seltzers and other popular drink lines .
The new production model led Ninkasi to rethink its approach to data capture and efficiency improvement initiatives and seek a provider that could help it reduce downtime , speed up product changeovers and improve its production scheduling .
“ When we were small , it was easier to keep up with production demand , but we reached a point of growth and diversity where we needed a new approach ,” said Daniel Sharp , Director of Brewing Process Development , Ninkasi . “ We were intrigued by the overall equipment effectiveness ( OEE ) standard and carefully evaluated providers that could help us understand how we measured up .”
Ninkasi deployed OFS ’ line performance software system , OFS-X , on its packaging line to provide accurate , real-time OEE data and detailed insights into the length of production , length of changeover , how well lines were performing and how different shifts and crews were performing . This gave the brewery the data it needed to work out best practices and vastly improve its operations .
“ Our team on the floor compared all the systems available to us – OFS was the clear , undisputed winner . It was simple to use , made our lives easier and it supported our drive to grow and diversify while improving our uptime ,” added Sharp .
“ Before OFS , we often had three or four changes to our production schedule a day – an issue OFS identified was usually caused by a packaging delay . It was wreaking havoc on our entire team and our ability to do what we love – making great beer .
“ Now , we ’ re down to about five schedule changes per week . We ’ re using data to assign uptime and run rates for different packages on a crew-by-crew basis , leading to new best practices being discovered .”
The efficiencies Ninkasi has achieved have led it to increase its on-time-in-full ( OTIF ) orders from 40 % to 94 %, leading to better outcomes for customers and other brewers using its lines .
“ Beer has a great seasonality to it too ,” said Sharp . “ The data is easy to pull and keeps us ahead of the game when it comes to ramping up or ramping down . We ’ re prepared for what ’ s in front of us now .”
Data playing a greater role in drink production
Following the success of the OFS-X solution , Ninkasi is now considering OFS Flow to help remove paper forms and digitize manual processes . The craft brewery is also aiming to use data to reduce the level of aluminium that gets wasted as part of its sustainability initiatives .
Sharp believes this kind of technology will become a no-brainer for breweries once they reach a certain production threshold . p
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