Batch Control and Tracking for Food and Beverage Manufacturers

October 7, 2013 at 10:02 AMIan Benoliel

How to control and track batches

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to control and track batches that go into multiple pack sizes. Here is the scenario. A manufacturer of juice creates several batches of juice each day. As part of their manufacturing process, each batch is stored in a temperature controlled environment for a period of time until it is poured into several pack sizes.

Create a multi-level bill of materials

A bill of materials or BOM is also known as the formula, recipe, or ingredients lists. It is simply a list of the ingredients and their quantities of each needed to manufacture a product. However many food manufacturers create a multi-level or indented bill of materials structure. The first BOM would be for the batch and would contain all the raw materials or ingredients to create one unit (pound, gallon etc). The second BOM would be for each pack size that you sell. One of the ingredients in the pack BOM will be the batch BOM. For example the pack size for a 4 ounce pack may contain 4 ounces of the batch, a carton and label.

Use lot or batch numbers

Now that you have the bill of materials set, each time you create a new batch you assign a batch or lot numbers. Each time you create new packs you also assign them a lot number. You need to keep a record of which batch number was used within each pack you create (the lot number of the pack does not need to be the same as the batch number). Using this methodology, knowing the lot number of the pack you can trace back to the batch and even to the lot number of the ingredients used in the batch.

How to do this in All Orders

In All Orders you would create an 'Item' of type 'Assembly' for batch BOM and the BOM. You would indicate that these items have 'lot numbers'. When you create a batch you would create a 'Work Order'. You would indicate on the work order the quantities (and lot numbers) of the ingredients uses and assign the back a unique lot number. You can even print a label directly from the work order. When you create the pack BOM you would also create a work order and similarly indicate the quantities and lot number of the batch used.

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