From data to valuable insights

The first step in Agristo’s digital transformation

In brief

Agristo faced a lack of essential context in their collected data. To address this, a mini-MES application was added to the existing Ignition platform. This allows for automatic registration of orders, start and stop times of batches, raw material usage, and downtimes.
This solution is currently being rolled out to all of Agristo’s production locations. Interim successes are already noticeable: central data collection provides better insights, while automatic registration improves reporting and ensures consistent downtime registration at every location. For Agristo, this means not only efficiency but also improved analytics and new growth opportunities.

About Agristo

Meet Agristo, a company that has been passionate about potatoes since 1986. What started as a modest family business in frozen potato products has now become a globally recognized player. Whether it’s pre-fried fries, crispy croquettes, or other potato creations, Agristo is known for its authentic craftsmanship. With an annual production capacity of 800,000 tons, Agristo delivers not only delicious flavors and coziness but also a conscious commitment to sustainable full automation. With over 1,000 dedicated “Potatoholics” spread across four modern facilities in Belgium and the Netherlands, Agristo masters the entire process from potato seeds to distribution.

The challenge at Agristo

Agristo has plans for the future and aims to embrace the ongoing digital transformation. The first step in this process is to collect reliable data, including factual and accurate information. Despite already using the Ignition platform, which enabled the company to obtain a lot of data, essential context was lacking. For example, while they could see the temperature of each sensor and the speed of the motor, it wasn’t clear afterwards which type of fries had been produced, how long an order lasted, or which potatoes were used. In short, more background information was needed alongside the collected data.

As part of their digitization efforts, Agristo also wanted to eliminate the manual paper-based process of recording when and why a production line was down. This process was highly error-prone and time-consuming. Agristo sought a streamlined, error-free transition to a digital working environment.

“AT-Automation has provided us with valuable insights into our production process, allowing us to work more efficiently without making significant modifications to our machines. The data delivered was essential for our digital transformation and growth.”

Tine Vandekerckhove, Agristo

A customized solution

Machine overzicht Ignition applicatie Agristo
Downtime redenen splitsen Ignition applicatie Agristo

A customized solution

To provide more context to the existing data, we built a mini-MES application on the Ignition platform. This application not only registers every order but also provides detailed information about batch start and stop times, raw material usage, and automatic downtime registration.

Currently, Agristo is in the rollout phase of this innovative solution to other production locations. Special attention has been given to the production line in Nazareth, where specialties such as potato croquettes are produced, requiring some adjustments to the application. The timeline is ambitious: by the end of the year, all production locations should be fully operational.

While the final outcome has not yet been achieved, interim successes are already visible. By collecting all production data centrally, Agristo can link information and generate better insights. Automatic registration has improved reporting and ensured that every production location consistently and immediately records downtime.

For Agristo, this means more than just efficiency; it also means better analysis and growth opportunities. In the long term, the company aims to apply machine learning for even deeper insights into the production process. Ruben Devos of Agristo emphasizes the significant results achieved by AT-Automation with just a few simple adjustments, enabling Agristo to confidently embrace the digital future.

AT-Automation fosters a non-rigid culture, which is highly refreshing. They are approachable, collaborative, and flexible, allowing us to deviate from fixed structures if it leads to better outcomes.

Tine Vandekerckhove, Agristo

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