Emydex technology was formed over six years ago with the aim of designing and developing data capture and production management software for the food industry based on open technologies. Emydex’s founders spotted a gap in the market place, as at that time the majority of available systems were unreliable, out-dated and tied to specific hardware suppliers.
Roll on six years and today Emydex software is in daily operational usage in over 30 plants owned by some of the largest single and multi-site food processors in Ireland and the UK, such as Dawn Meats, Dunbia the Kepak Group and O’Kane poultry.
Kepak’s journey with Emydex began in 2007. “Previous to Emydex, we had a number of separate in-house systems that weren’t integrated, so it was difficult to gain a true real time view of production. The Emydex platform gives us greater control of our production, better visibility of data, and a better understanding of the data that is critical to drive our business including Yields and Traceability,” says Jim O’Neill, group IT manager with the Kepak Group.
Today Emydex is running end to end in Kepak’s beef slaughter and processing plants in Clonee, Kilbeggan, Hacketstown, Athleague, Cork and Ballymahon. Emydex’s Lamb kill lines are scheduled to go live in Kepak’s Hacketstown and Athleague plants over the next few weeks. “We’re currently working on a project to complete our last Emydex project in Ireland, Cork Retail. We’ll also be looking at our Wakefield plant in the UK, and hope to have the implementation well advanced by year end,” says Jim O’Neill.
“What’s different about Emydex is you’re working with people who understand the demands of the food industry very well. Sometimes end users don’t always know what they want, Emydex have the ability to visualise an idea, without knowing the final solution, and see it through to completion” Industry knowledge coupled with a flexible approach to development allows for the delivery of solutions that adapt to suit customer business processes rather than the other way around. Jim O’Neill continues: “Our previous production management system was developed in-house. For Emydex to deliver a system to Kepak that offers the same level of flexibility, whilst at the same time being a totally reliable and robust solution, is testimony to how well Emydex software has been developed and deployed.”
One of the unique features of the Emydex system is the Carcass management module. This incorporates a Carcass Splitting engine used to break down and track quarters, and maintain stock in terms of derived weights. “Carcass management gives customers the ability to maintain accurate carcass stocks from time of kill to through boning and dispatch,” Jim O’Neill points out.
Another big win for Kepak was the introduction of a Work Order control process that sits over the whole production process.“Production Work orders are generated in Emydex and issued to the floor so that operators can no longer process without an order on system – a big gain for us,” he explains. The notion of incorporating Work Order control to manage production is an optional feature of the system.
“Emydex’s Warehouse management system is the single biggest bonus to Kepak. We are a fast moving business with a high volume of stock movements. With Emydex we now have complete warehouse control and real time stocks down to scan level, without having to compromise on functionality,” adds O’Neill. This functionality includes real time validation at point of scanning an order, where the system warns operators of any discrepancies that arise during order picking, allowing them to take corrective action.
The Kepak group IT manager concludes: “The best way to sum up Kepak’s experience with Emydex is to say that Kepak have experienced operators and supervisors who are 20 years with the company, who with 15 minutes of training are not only competently using the Emydex system every day, but more importantly openly acknowledge how essential and valuable the Emydex system is in assisting them with their day to day tasks.”
Food & Drink Business Europe, August/September 2010