Product-Highlight iba 2023

Turn-key solutions

From technological diversification to personalized innovation, from bulk-handling equipment to data, we aim to provide systems that can be managed in total independence once commissioning is done.

Riccardo Satta is a food technologist with two decades of food industry experience both in R&D and in the manufacture of bulk-handling installations. In CEPI, he handles R&D supporting the engineering department iand within the Sales Team, he is the Area Manager for Africa. Here, he speaks about turn-key solutions and how CEPI have developed and grown in recent times.

How does the turn-key quality of CEPI’s installations include machinery but also data?

A turn-key system is a system that manages all processes from storage to dosing. Because CEPI is able to do this for all materials, and additionally to track all ingredients and provide the data, we are able to offer an integrated and fully traceable system that enables food industry operators to always have production under control.

Our Tracking System software provides process control, warehouse management and full traceability with digitalization of all material movements. Our customers receive a complete picture of the production process in real time: we provide them with a history of storing and dosing operations, consumption statistics, batch report and related deviations, stock visualization and dynamic graphics illustrating all trends. Ingredients are monitored starting from the moment they enter the warehouse, carrying a virtual label through all production which adds new information every time an operation is performed on the ingredient.

All our data can be easily integrated with global ERP or MES to achieve organization-wide traceability. Our process control software is open, and the information is immediately available for the user, who can use it however they decide. Because we develop our software completely in-house, we are not bound to any third party and therefore our customers are not either.

Turn-key bulk-handling system

Why is data management important and in what ways can customer use the data provided?

Gathering, storing and making data on the materials available is crucial to a healthy process. Firstly, it allows traceability and ensures food security, by knowing which ingredient lot from warehouse was dosed into each final unit. Secondly, process data makes it possible to verify the efficiency of a system.

On top of this, the data can be used in as many ways as the customer wants. They can quickly carry out mass production balances, check consumptions, generate information for Quality Control and Purchases, create projections of future productions and optimize the current process. Data on the tolerance and queue of dosing processes can be used to check the status of the equipment and determine if it requires maintenance. 

We are also working on ways to generate more process data, including a historicization of alarms that can aid in planning personalized maintenance. We are also developing ways to historicize energy consumptions.

For you, what qualifies as a ‘turnkey solution’?

Earlier I mentioned that a turn-key solution in our sector is one that manages all processes from storage to dosing. This is true, but this aspect is a consequence of the main quality of a turn-key solution, which is to make the user completely independent.

What makes a system completely independent? As I said, the process needs to be covered from beginning to end, which in our case means storing to dosing. The builder’s technological offer should be very diversified in order to support any materials and processes the user wishes to include, without the need to involve another supplier. Then, the builder needs to possess all expertise needed to design, build and commission the system. 

This is our working method. CEPI has been founded and has grown around the very idea of being turn-key provider.



Why do you feel this kind of solution has value for your customer?

The customer is using a tailor-made installation that has been designed to meet their needs. We automatize and optimize their production, enabling their growth in a modular way without ever overturning their process. This means that a food manufacturer won’t have to adapt to a pre-made solution but rather the opposite happens.

Aside from the obvious considerations over reduced costs, working with a single provider also means interfacing with only one interlocutor, who will have complete knowledge of their system, and who has designed, built and commissioned it.  

Do you believe every installation requires an open dialogue with customers and crew?

Every installation is unique and has its own story. This is the heart of turn-key work: the dialogue and information exchange with the customer is always open, which creates growing opportunities for both of us. If the customer chooses it, CEPI can enter more deeply in their process and create an optimization proposal based on our experience. This is the case of a recent collaboration where we designed a more efficient dosing solution to include fruit and chocolate in a biscuit line, all without altering the authentic flavor of their product.

What challenges do raw materials pose and why is a turnkey solution integral to manage these?

A system is only turn-key if it governs all aspects of the production context it operates in. In our systems, the materials are managed and traced from the beginning to the end of the process. This not only allows extreme precision in the set-up of each operation (with management of aspects such as temperature and atmosphere), but also, we can constantly adjust them on the basis of the data.

Every ingredient brings their own challenges. Fats, milk derivatives and creams require temperature management through storing and dosing, while dehumidified air must be used for hygroscopic materials such as sugar and salt require the use of dehumidified air. Viscous ingredients require specific transport and dosage methods.

A turn-key partner like CEPI will be able to identify all such needs and provide the solutions required. Crucially, all these issues will be managed organically, coordinating complex processes in the most efficient way and producing data that is already integrated. 



What solutions does CEPI provide for the bakery market? How do the turnkey solutions of real-time data work with this?

Our method is applied across the board. The bakery manufacturers that work with us gain a modular and flexible system, access to an unparalleled technological offer and a tailor-made data management system.

Other than storing and dosing, we provide solutions such as modular, diversified fermentation systems, progressive flour cooling, flour fluidization, production and management of salt solution, blending and premix, management of liquid products with appropriate storage and conveying on the basis of their individual characteristics. We provide rework technology for bread and biscuit scrap, including sandwich biscuits.

Accurate blending and dosing all the way to the addition of inclusions is fundamental. That is where our automation system and the data we provide will make a key difference, as the automation is so customized and the data so detailed. The dosing stations we provide span from modular hoppers, to broad spectrum dosing stations for minor ingredients, to the 3in1 station, a system which weighs and blends in a single unit.

Riccardo Satta

R&D and Area Manager

Outdoor silos in stainless steelgbl.jpg (0.2 MB)

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