Chocolatey moments with Industry 4.0

ATS Applied Tech Systems Pty Ltd

Friday, 01 November, 2019


Meet Jack. He loves chocolate. Jack really doesn’t care about how chocolate is made, he just loves it.

He doesn’t care about how the raw ingredients are managed, about production scheduling or supply chain issues. At ATS Applied Tech Systems we do and we know that if you’re in the food and beverage industry you probably do too.

With three offices in Australia and a global partnership with Siemens, we can help you realise the benefits of Industry 4.0 and digitalisation. Whether you’re thinking about taking that first step into Industry 4.0 and digitalisation or have plans to realise all of the benefits, we’re here to help.

At Spanish manufacturer Chocolates Valor, Preactor APS drives the digitalisation of industrial processes by streamlining production scheduling. Chocolates Valor’s competitive advantage is its reputation for high-quality products, accompanied by a manufacturing strategy focused on achieving excellence. The company selects raw materials at source and processes them at its plants ensuring the traceability of cocoa from origin through to finished product.

Chocolates Valor operates two modern production sites which produce almost 21,000 tons of chocolate annually. For Chocolates Valor, digitalising the company is essential as it means obtaining available and more accurate information, which simplifies decision making. “A high degree of standardisation is required in all processes,” said Jordi Barbero, supply chain manager at Chocolates Valor. “Starting from that and with the appropriate training for our staff, very good results can be achieved in an acceptable period of time.”

Before implementing Preactor APS software, Chocolates Valor used Microsoft Excel. This required a lot of manual effort to capture data from the plant, was time-consuming and resource hungry. The information retrieved was often inaccurate and did not enable a flexible and efficient decision making process. It also offered little visibility on relationships between various production processes, making the whole supply chain less transparent.

“Our chocolate manufacturing process maximises the quality of the final product,” said Barbero. The company thus decided to invest in digitalisation solutions for the production environment, using Preactor APS, which is a family of products for production planning and scheduling that improves the synchronisation of manufacturing processes and offers greater visibility and control. “We decided on the Preactor APS solution because we needed to be more flexible and accurate when it came to production,” Barbero said.

The implementation of Preactor APS delivered significant benefits. The solution enabled Chocolates Valor to sequence production orders faster and to conduct more accurate production planning. It also streamlined updating of production master plans and enhanced interdepartmental communications. The amount of time required for production planning time was reduced and on-time delivery of products improved.

Chocolates Valor plans to continue with the digitalisation of its factories. The main goal is to be able to display information in real time across the whole supply chain to improve flexibility across the organisation. The company is aware that having efficient processes is not enough, they also need to be a flexible organisation and digitalisation plays an essential role in enabling that.

ATS Applied Tech Systems is an Independent Solution Provider for Smart Digital Transformation and a proud Siemens Preactor Partner. Just like Jack we love chocolate, but unlike Jack we really do care about how it is made. We also care about how other food and beverage products are manufactured and distributed. If you would like to know more about Siemens Preactor and how it can improve productivity for manufacturers, contact Bill Ellerton on 0458 377 351 or at and he’ll send you the information you are looking for and a nice block of chocolate.

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