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Smart Manufacturing Rises from the Ashes: Campofrio’s La Bureba Factory

- February 20, 2017 - 7 Comments

Rising from a devastating fire two years ago, Spanish food manufacturer Campofrio Food Group rebuilt its La Bureba factory from the ground up to be a state-of-the-art, digital food processing facility. The executive team at Campofrio Food Group knew that this factory could become a true showcase of Spanish food manufacturing processes, quality, and automation as well as a source of pride for its workers and the residents of the Burgos province. As part of its “Factory 4.0” vision, Campofrio Food Group implemented Industrie 4.0 and smart manufacturing pillars of full connectivity and visibility across processes, sensors, production lines, and people.

This Campofrio Food Group video encapsulates the emotional and intergenerational ties that employees and residents feel in the rebuilding of the factory. In fact, the King Felipe of Spain visited the rebuilt Nueva Burgos factory in late November 2016 and touted the Campofrio organization for showing true “resiliency in the face of adversity.”

When our team first met with Campofrio Food Group’s IT and operational leadership in Madrid in 2015, I was struck by how committed they were to building a truly connected factory. Javier Alvarez, the CIO of Campofrio Food Group, had a vision of an innovative, converged, networked factory architecture that could be “future-proof” and a showcase example for other company facilities. Partnering with Cisco, Campofrio Food Group leveraged our manufacturing and networking expertise to implement a robust wireless infrastructure based on Cisco Connected Factory throughout its factory of over 99,000 square meters producing over 101,000 tons of food products a year.

More details are available in the press release here:

“We’ve created one of the most advanced food manufacturing plants in Europe. Designing our ‘New Bureba’ facility with connectivity at its core, we are confident to have a Factory 4.0 blueprint that will help us in continuing to demonstrate excellence through innovation, competitive pricing, and rapid time to market.”

-Javier Alvarez, CIO, Campofrio Food Group

From the beginning, the new “La Bureba” factory was going to be innovative by implementing tracking and traceability of all SKU’s along the different steps of production (slicing, drying, etc.). The factory went a step further in terms of data management of various recipes as well as real-time visibility  of materials, operational equipment effectiveness (OEE), and labor utilization. Another key concern was worker safety. With 5 different buildings in the La Bureba campus and with the inherent risks of food manufacturing, people tracking was key for safety and security.

How did they accomplish this? They applied our proven validated architectures for Connected Factory, Security, and Wireless, which resulted in a robust infrastructure comprised of hundreds of WiFi access points and nearly 2000 connection endpoints. They also used our latest Industrial Ethernet switches to better track production lines, improve redundancy, and also leveraged Cisco Prime for monitoring and maintenance.

The robust WiFi coverage throughout the manufacturing floor allows for the ability to remotely control robots within the specific operational secured environment.

Javier will be graciously sharing the Campofrio Food Group Bureba project best practices and critical success factors as part of the IT management track at our Cisco Live Berlin user conference on February 21st. We are honored to have been partners with Campofrio Food Group in this journey of launching their showcase factory. As Javier said, “any disaster can represent an opportunity” and certainly Campofrio Food Group has seized that opportunity to start a new chapter and show a new standard for food manufacturing.

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7 Comments

  1. Excellent. Javier Alvarez is a true leader and got a chance working under him in Allied Domecq and learnt a lot from him.

  2. well done Douglas!!! sometimes technology is there but what is needed are the people who have the courage and know-how to keep industry moving in the right direction. congratulations!!

      Fernando, Thanks for the note and it is an incredible industry that is looking at technology as a way to transform their business and change their operations for the better.

    It's interesting that they had a vision for how to take advantage of what was a catastrophic loss. Also neat that Campofrio gave a commitment to the employees to give them all their jobs back once the factory was rebuilt!

  3. Excellent case for all Food Manufacturing.

    This definitely a good story.

      Roxanne, Thanks was a great project and one I am proud to be a part of

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