The food and beverages industry is of prime importance for the European Union (3rd industrial employer with more than 26,000 companies employing about 4 million people for a yearly turnover of 815 billion euro). In this particular industry, there is a huge amount of variables and parameters related to the manufacturing process which makes it impossible to analyse them manually.
Due to the increasing number of challenges for the food industry depending on the new technologies, we have created an international consortium and have launched an incentive to explore the potential of recent advances in the ICT sector. Key factors like consistent quality, productivity, safety, environmental conscience and consumer satisfaction are essential.
ICT systems have transformed the production process of the whole industry. The use of the new information and communication technologies (NICT) to support and facilitate the practical implementation of these complex integrated BPMS is very recent and generally limited to large food production units. Nevertheless, the development of innovative ICT solutions can be extremely helpful for manufacturing process in food SMEs as well.
The specific objective of this project is to introduce NICT in order to establish more effective and efficient supply chains by means of data capture, data analysis and decision support systems (DSS). The main aim is to go a step forward in the food processing and supply management chain, offering an integrated Business Process Management System (BPMS) for the Food Industry and leveraging the Knowledge Management at every level of the value chain.
Other notions like data processing systems by mean of sensing and communication techniques are also going to be considered. Advanced sensor and information technologies will get employed to automatically capture process, product and quality related information throughout the chain, and supply with tailor-made information to the food SME. FoodTEC will deliver a comprehensive information management system for the full chain, enabling collaborative work, tracking and tracing information, production-related safety, rapid alert and withdrawal, quality management and customer information, employing the latest technologies and standards.