Sharing a customer’s success story is one of the best parts of my job. Working with a customer committed to global sustainability is even better. We recently collaborated with Maple Leaf Foods, the largest processor of packaged meats in Canada, to co-create an optimized factory solution at one of their meat processing facilities. Maple Leaf’s vision is to be the most sustainable protein company on earth. That’s an impressive goal and one we fully support. Being proactive, the leadership at Maple Leaf decided to modernize their operations with the technologies that are transforming manufacturing today: IoT, automation, edge technologies and predictive analytics.

Maple Leaf and Hitachi worked together to identify and define the company’s needs. We co-created an end-to-end solution using the latest technologies for operational excellence to protect food quality and food safety, maintain regulatory compliance, assure animal welfare, improve yields and promote long-term sustainability. Today, the facility has a Microsoft Azure IoT platform and more than 100 Hitachi wireless and LiDAR sensors and smart cameras, providing access to process operations in real time.

With immediate access to information, the company can not only spot problems and stop them, they can often prevent them. For example, sensors that monitor temperature and issue alerts for variances improve food safety. Smart cameras monitor worker productivity and production waste, improving labor effectiveness and production performance.  Sensors and scanners enable floor managers to monitor throughput, and proactively avoid bottlenecks and costly downtime.  The solution allows the company to improve employee performance, meet their requirements for food quality and safety, and reduce waste – all leading to an improved bottom line.

Maple Leaf chose Hitachi Consulting based on the depth and breadth of Hitachi’s manufacturing experience, along with our proven expertise in transforming manufacturing businesses into showcases for operational excellence. “Hitachi brought a complete end-to-end game, from professional services to technology, processes and hardware implementation,” said Dan Di Salvo, vice president of infrastructure, Maple Leaf Foods. “The ability to work with a company that had so much manufacturing history made us feel safe in our selection. I don’t think we would have been successful if we didn’t have the flexibility and open-mindedness that Hitachi Consulting brought to our team – as an extension of our team, in fact.” 

Learn more about the transformation of Maple Leaf Foods at NEXT 2019 in Las Vegas, October 8-10.