FMCG production line troubleshooting and continual improvements

FMCG manufacturer increases line outputs by 10% after investigating heavily automated line using a digital twin

Key achievements

  • Verified accuracy of equipment supplier forecasts in the crisp bread line design.
  • Value of increase in outputs covered the cost of the simulation model.
  • Improvements identified to be rolled out to other sites to drive further value to the business.
  • The model created acts as a digital twin of the operation, an asset which can be used to drive continual improvements to the business.

The project highlighted the impact of specific downtime issues on the whole line, which we can now deal with – and roll out learnings to other lines

Head of Projects at the FMCG manufacturer


When producing high volumes of biscuits and other consumer goods across 7 UK sites and 37 global locations it’s vital that equipment delivers to design capacity. As is often the case with complex dynamic systems, there can be discrepancies between predictions made in static spreadsheet models and actual machinery performance, which impacts on sales forecasts.

The challenge to address

The team were tasked with investigating the existing production line to identify opportunities to drive further capacity without any risk or additional production costs such as turning the main oven off.

The work

By creating a 3D model of the line ‘as is’, the team were about to to verify accuracy of equipment supplier forecasts in the line design and pinpoint ways to reduce production costs. Using bespoke coding to accurately simulate machinery performance data, the team were able accurately explore and control how to get optimum value from equipment, factoring in downtime and pinpointing improvements to increase capacity.

The results

The digital twin of the operation enabled the team to verify equipment forecasts from suppliers and put in place, as well as checking operator ergonomics and delivering interactive training for staff by integrating the 3D model with virtual reality.

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