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Thinkage, Odom`s Tennessee Pride write recipe for total product control

BOC Gases : 13 November, 2002  (Company News)
Executives from Thinkage Systems and Odom
Thinkage helps food processors reduce or eliminate process yield fluctuations, equipment downtime and product inconsistency by using the proprietary Think Gatestm service and technology offering from the BOC. The Think Gates offering lets processors monitor and control the state of their food product as it moves from one processing cell to another.

Jim Stonehocker, Odomís executive vice president and chief operating officer and Mark Grace, president, Thinkage Systems, delivered the presentation, 'Controlling the Product Beyond the Current Edge of Productivity,' last month in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stonehocker said, 'In order to continue to grow, we must be able to produce more and more products using largely the same facility, staffing, equipment and work day. In addition, these new products have very specific and increasingly tighter customer requirements. More things are happening in the plant, which means more and more variation can sneak in. Unchecked variation will kill growth, and we cannot allow that to happen.'

The solution, according to Stonehocker and Grace, is to implement a system capable of real-time monitoring and reporting on the state of the product at each and every step of the food processing operation.

'The problem with traditional process monitoring is that it provides a snapshot taken by one person on one part of the process, reported after the fact. Itís a very limited tool,' Stonehocker said.

'On the other hand,' says Grace, 'real-time reporting, which is possible using the Thinkage System, provides a picture of the entire process that is immediately accessible by anyone, anytime, anywhere in the plant. The information it provides allows plant floor personnel to take immediate, corrective action. It eliminates product variation and ensures consistency and quality.'

Stonehocker told the group that the key to success in eliminating product variation in the quality control stage was elimination of variation in the symptoms. 'In a five-cell process, cutting standard deviation in half results in a 30 percent reduction in product variation,' he said.

Odomís Tennessee Pride Sausage, Inc., is headquartered in Madison, Tennessee. Since 1943 the company has manufactured and processed premium pork sausage products using a secret family recipe. The company is now in its third generation of family ownership and has manufacturing facilities in Madison, and Dickson, Tenn., Dickson, and Little Rock, Ark. All three facilities have state of the art manufacturing equipment and exceed all required U.S. Department of Agriculture safety and sanitation standards. With over 300 products in its portfolio, the company manufactures and distributes the finest premium pork sausage in many form types such as rolls, links, patties, sausage balls, sausage gravy, biscuits, appetisers and more.
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