Siemens is surveying food and drink manufacturers to explore the challenges posed by production variables together with potential solutions.
The company is quizzing firms about the ways unplanned variables in the production environment affect factors such as quality, yield and efficiency and asking what some of the barriers to addressing these are.
one example could be how external weather conditions, such as temperature, could influence the viscosity of liquid products such as chocolate, explained keith thornhill, Siemens head of food and beverage for UK & Ireland.
Hotter temperatures could make chocolate more free-flowing during the production process, whereas colder temperatures could mean it was processed more slowly and could become more claggy, said thornhill. This could have implications not just for production, but also for hygiene and cleaning, maintenance and even food safety.