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Project: IMSFood (Innovative Management System for a Sustainable Food Industry)

VIS/CO: Collectief onderzoek van Vlaamse Innovatiesamenwerkingsverbanden

1. IMSFood project aims to develop practically applicable, efficiency increasing and cost reduction techniques, which are adjusted to specific conditions, facilities and resources of the SMEs working in the food chain.
2. The project is also aimed to develop a toolbox made of a set of practical methods tested in factory environment in a wide range of food industry, which can be adopted by a large number of food SMEs all over Europe to establish their specific solutions for cost reduction and increase efficiency.

European food SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises)

1. The first step of the project is to develop a structured inventory of different cost reduction techniques useful for food SMEs.
2. The second step is to organize workshops and working party sessions with companies to understand the specific needs of the companies. According to the special needs the appropriate techniques will be selected for implementation.
3. After the identification of latent waste and the selection of appropriate techniques, several case studies will be carried out by the scientific partners in close cooperation with food SMEs.
4. In the fourth step we will develop a tool-box or industry best practice guide on cost reduction techniques for the food industry based on the practical experience from the case studies.
5. And finally, the testing of this guide will be done by carrying out pilot projects on cost reduction techniques implemented at food SMEs in the participating countries.

1. At the outset of the project, all international partners prepared an inventory of available cost reduction techniques from different manufacturing sectors such as automobiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals in both large as well as small and medium sized enterprises (M 1.1 and M 1.3).
2. The workshops with the companies in all partner countries were organized to identify needs and priorities of the food SMEs (M 2.1). There following five priority areas were identified: 1.Raw materials, packaging costs, 2.Energy costs, 3.Water consumption, 4.Effective utilization of manpower, 5.Maintenance. After identification of the five priority areas appropriate techniques to solve the problems were presented in the workshop in all partner countries. The key aspects such as procedures, investment and benefits of the techniques were presented and discussed in groups. After overviewing the identified techniques with the food SMEs the participants of the workshop judged the applicability of the techniques in their companies (M 2.2). The participants revealed their preference for the following techniques based on their
needs, resources and business strategy:
7 deadly wastes, 6 Sigma, 5 S, Quality costing, Dry cleaning, Just-in-time, Milkrun, Spaghetti diagram, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Employee suggestion system (ESS), Standardized work, Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Mistake-proofing/Poka-Yoke,
3. Subsequently, data on different types of waste and losses in the production process were collected from the user companies and a comprehensive list of different waste and losses was prepared in collaboration with all international partners (M 3.1 and M 3.2). Based on the priority areas, the preference for the
techniques and the identified waste and losses, a preliminary toolbox or management system was prepared (M 3.3).
4. For the consistency of the results and analysis of the case studies in all partner countries, a mutually agreed framework for the organization of case studies to test implementing the toolbox was established (M 4.1). The case studies were carried out in ten food SMEs in Belgium, Flanders, Germany and Hungary involving a range of products (ginger bread, dried ham, sausages, chocolate, confectionary, fruit and vegetable) to test the newly developed toolbox/management system (M 4.2). Based on the case study results, the final version of tool box for implementation of the management
systems for cost reduction was developed (M 4.3).
5. The working party sessions representing user companies and other food companies were organized to discuss the results of the case studies (M 5. 1). Based on the discussion and analysis a best practice guide on cost reduction techniques was prepared for
the use of the food SMEs in general (M 5.2). Finally, pilot projects were carried out in all partner countries to further fine-tune the best practice guide (M 5.3).

1. Ghent University, Belgium 2. Research Association of the German Food Industry (FEI), Germany 3. German Institute of Food Technology (DIL), Germany 4. Campden BRI Hungary (CCH), Hungary 5. Federation of Belgian Meat Industry (FENAVIAN), Belgium 6. Fede

Federation of Belgian Meat Industry (FENAVIAN) at the Belgian level, Research Association of the German Food Industry (FEI) at the European level
1. Debailleul products (Belgium, Brussels), 2. Noyan NV (Belgium, Evergem), 3. Corma NV (Belgium, Destelbergen), 4. Vleeswaren Antonio (Belgium, Gavere), 5. Vondelmolen NV (Belgium, Lebbeke).
Adrienn Molnár
Ria Bruynseels, Bert Bellens (Werken en Leren vzw), Karolien Vanstraelen (Alva verse vruchten), Luc Verhoeven (Just Innovation), Luc Larmuseau (iLLumoo)
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