The Mewah Group is an integrated agribusiness focused on edible oils and fats. One of the largest vegetable oil processors in the world by capacity, Mewah produces a wide range of refined and fractionated vegetable oils and fats. It produces oils and fats from palm oil, lauric oils such as palm kernel oil and coconut oil, and soft oils such as soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower seed oil, and corn oil. The addition of new products under their brands, particularly rice and dairy products, is opening up new opportunities and providing significant synergies with their existing business.
As a leading player in the agriculture and food and beverage industries, the Mewah Group is striving throughout its supply chain to engage in sustainable business practices and have a positive impact on the environment. The Group is doing this by, for example, selling only palm oil products that have been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), have qualified for International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), or have received other certifications as approved by a partnering bank. The Group is also taking the approach of instituting smart manufacturing methodologies at its plants that will contribute to sustainability in terms of product quality, safety, energy efficiency, and training.
The Challenges and Solutions
The oleochemical and food and beverage industries are undergoing rapid transformation due to a challenging business environment and advances in digital technology. As an industry leader, the Mewah Group has to attain both corporate profitability and customer satisfaction, while ensuring safety and compliance with cost-effectiveness measures throughout a complex supply chain and meeting its responsibilities to society.
With its own vision, wish list, and roadmap for taking its operations to the next level, the Mewah Group was looking for a competent partner to help it accelerate its implementation of Industry 4.0 initiatives, with a clear actionable roadmap. Before making any investments, the company needed to conduct a structured digital maturity assessment that would ascertain both its current digital state (“As-is”) and desired future state (“To-be”).
Having ascertained that Yokogawa had the IT/OT integration skills and industry know-how needed to facilitate the next step in its digital transformation journey, the Mewah Group asked Yokogawa to provide consulting and guidance in the conduct of a structured Smart Manufacturing Assessment Workshop that would define a comprehensive and actionable digital transformation roadmap.
Smart Manufacturing Assessment Workshop
In accordance with its vision statement, the Mewah Group adopted the widely used, industry-standard Smart Industry Readiness Index (S.I.R.I.) for this assessment. S.I.R.I. is a suite of frameworks and tools that help manufacturers, regardless of size or industry, to start, scale up, and sustain their manufacturing transformation journeys.
The conduct of the Smart Manufacturing Assessment Workshop involved close collaboration between the Mewah Group and Yokogawa’s subject matter experts and leaders. Through the successful completion of site surveys, dialogue sessions, and other activities, Yokogawa came to appreciate the tremendous efforts made by the Mewah Group management team and their strong leadership in assigning the right people to these activities, which was a major success factor contributing to the accuracy and relevancy of the assessment.
The Smart Manufacturing Assessment Workshop helped to establish common objectives and a shared understanding of what would be needed to accomplish a digital transformation within the Mewah Group. In the dialogue sessions with leaders from different Mewah Group departments and corporate offices such as MOI Foods Malaysia (MOIFM) and Mewah Oil Sdn. Bhd. (MOSB), there was an open and comprehensive sharing of views on the main challenges faced by the company and its plants.
Digital Maturity Assessment
One of the objectives of the Smart Manufacturing Assessment Workshop was to assess the organization’s digital maturity. This was an important step that would help the Mewah Group gain an in-depth understanding of its current Industry 4.0 maturity level. In the workshop sessions hosted by Yokogawa, the three main Industry 4.0 building blocks of process, technology, and organization were holistically covered.
Business Priority Assessment
Priority assessment is essential to the formulation of an effective strategy and blueprint for a business, and this was performed using the TIER framework proposed by the International Centre for Industrial Transformation (INCIT). Yokogawa utilized its knowledge and expertise to analyze how distinct Industry 4.0 areas could affect the company’s profits, and identified which would generate the greatest financial return. This assessment took the customer’s business drivers (KPI), cost drivers, and current digital maturity level into consideration.
Following the completion of the Smart Manufacturing Assessment Workshop, Yokogawa prepared a comprehensive report and presented the results in a debriefing session to the Mewah Group.
Based on information that was collected during factory tours, interviews, discussions, and workshops, the comprehensive report included digital maturity scores that covered the 16 dimensions of the Industry 4.0 areas of assessment. This report helped the Mewah Group gain a clear understanding of its current digital maturity level.
In addition, Yokogawa helped the Mewah Group identify and prioritize areas where transformation could have the greatest impact in improving operations and financial returns. Yokogawa also aligned those focus areas with the business and digitalization vision set out in the Mewah Group’s Industry 4.0 roadmap.
Refinement of this roadmap is a major first step in the company’s transformation journey. The roadmap is a complete plan encompassing everything from pilot initiation to end goal development, in phases and stages, with regular review and scale-up milestones.
The Mewah Group management team and the Yokogawa team worked closely together to develop a detailed roadmap covering foundation and infrastructure aspects such as data availability, network connection availability. The roadmap reflects Mewah’s wish list, priorities, and expected return on investment (ROI) while mitigating the risk of rework and over-investment. The roadmap can be gradually modified as needed with the addition of advanced functionality and new modules on top of the defined data integration platform.
With the completion of this exercise, Mewah Group is ready to leap forward in its digital transformation journey.
“Yokogawa had been an important and valuable partner in our journey to digitalization. The workshop and solutions provided were relevant and an enabling factor for our steps toward Industry 4.0.” - Loh Chee Fei, Senior Vice President, Mewah Group.
At Yokogawa, we understand that today’s food and beverage companies face unprecedented challenges in climate change, consumer demand, and increased global competitiveness. Overcoming these challenges will require innovative solutions that focus on key areas of production, asset management, and food safety and quality.
Solutions that accelerate DX activities in right way and realize Smart Manufacturing/IA2IA goal by utilizing Yokogawa capability on consulting/project execution and S.I.R.I. assessment.
Applying Digital Transformation to production and manufacturing will help realize Smart manufacturing goals.