Feature article

Feihe Dairy selects Siemens PLM as digitalization technology partner

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Senior Editor, Automation World
In a move aimed at modernizing its operations, the Chinese dairy producer will implement the Siemens digital platform to achieve operational efficiency.

New challenges in the food and beverage industry are putting pressure on manufacturers to evolve operations. Specifically, they need ways to respond faster to changing consumer demands, cost pressures, quality control, and global and regional regulatory compliance.

For Feihe Dairy Co., Ltd., founded in 1962 as one of the earliest milk producers in China and now a domestic leader of milk powder formula for infants, the growth of the Chinese market and increased global competition has prompted the manufacturer to upgrade to a modern digital architecture that will provide transparency and agility within production and across the supply chain. To do that, the company is enlisting the help of Siemens PLM Software.

Recently, Siemens PLM and Feihe Dairy, headquartered in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, signed a strategic agreement in which Siemens’ digitalization technology and applications will be used across the dairy producer’s operations, including research and development, simulation and testing, quality monitoring, supply chain management and production execution. With Siemens’ end-to-end digital platform and industry expertise, the cooperative effort will not only help Feihe Dairy to realize its own digitalization strategy, but it will also set a benchmark for digital innovation in the Chinese dairy industry as a whole, the companies said.

“Siemens PLM Software has a forward-looking strategy and global experience that best supports our goals and vision, as well as those of the entire Chinese dairy industry,” says Feng Hailong, CIO of Feihe Dairy Group. “We trust Siemens PLM Software to help us overcome the challenges in the journey to digital transformation.”

While the partnership was just announced, Feihe Dairy began work with Siemens PLM over a year ago with the deployment of a manufacturing execution system (MES) in its Kedong factory. But Feihe Dairy faces many challenges in looking to transform the business model as it has to address the whole process of control from pasture planting, large scale dairy farming, to production and processing, logistics and warehousing, channel management, and even after-sales service.

Siemens PLM’s end-to-end strategy includes the ability to integrate multiple aspects and systems to fully support the transformation to digitalization, including enterprise resource planning, product lifecycle management (PLM), MES and automation. In addition, the embedded quality and advanced planning and scheduling (APS) functionality of the Siemens’ offering are important to Feihe Dairy.

Specifically, the Siemens platform can create comprehensive and precise digital models of products and production operations as a means to manage the complexity and simulate the performance of smart products and smart production operations. This helps manage data and processes within the value chain to maintain a high level of quality. It also helps to streamline and digitalize business processes within the group, which can improve efficiency in production chains.

With this integrated solution, the manual process and paper files will be replaced by an automated process and digital files, which can enhance efficiency within Feihe Dairy. Meanwhile, customers can also access the information about products and orders in the process and system so that product information can be truly traceable. This can help drive Feihe Dairy’s business model toward make-to-order (MTO) and gain great competitive advantages on the market. Feihe Dairy plans to first implement these solutions in its plant in Kedong.

“We are honored to be selected by and work with Feihe Dairy in their digital transformation,” says Leo Liang, senior vice president and managing director of Siemens PLM Software for Greater China. “Feihe Dairy is a leading brand in the industry and the nation, and the dairy industry is a key aspect of people’s wellness. Siemens PLM Software is committed to helping not only Feihe Dairy but the whole Chinese dairy industry to upgrade and transform.”

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