CASE STUDY

Taza Chocolate

Taza used Tulip to bring analog machines online and create real time process visibility in its chocolate factory.

Taza is a bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer based in Somerville, Massachusetts, where they process nearly 800,000 pounds of chocolate annually. In their Somerville plant, they begin with premium cacao beans, and end with “perfectly unrefined” chocolate discs and bars, wrapped for sale. Their stone ground chocolates are available internationally, and carried by some of the world’s largest distributors.

Customer

Taza Chocolate

Industry

Food and Beverage

Location

Somerville, MA

Customer Website

The Challenge

Taza’s business is growing quickly. After securing an account with a major wholesale retailer, Taza set to increase the pieces of chocolate they produced by nearly 30% while decreasing cost of goods sold (COGS). In order to meet these goals, Taza needed more insight into their production processes.

Much of their manufacturing equipment, however, was analog. While their equipment ran effectively, it was expensive and lacked native connections to the internet. This made it difficult to track key production information during runs. 

We’re running our production on old analog legacy machines with no connectivity. Previous to Tulip we didn’t have any visibility into our processes.”

-Brian, Plant Manager, Taza

The Solution

Bringing Legacy Machines Online with Analog Machine Monitoring

Using Tulip’s plug-and-play IoT connectivity, Taza attached sensors to analog machines, allowing them to track performance data in real time. With Tulip, Taza now tracks metrics like RPM, cycle time, engine speed, machine efficiency, temperature, and humidity for their entire production line. This data has helped Taza optimize their production processes and create accurate benchmarks for the business. Using Tulip for analogue machine monitoring, Taza now has an data-driven picture of machine uptime and downtime, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), the amount of waste generated by machines, as well as a quantitative picture of quality.

Identifying Bottlenecks at the Source

Before Tulip, Taza struggled with production bottlenecks. When faced with increased demand, their alternative solution was to purchase more machines. With Tulip, Taza was able to identify new bottlenecks, and confirm process inefficiencies that they previously lacked the data to confirm. When bottlenecks do happen, an inline Tulip app allows operators to record the conditions immediately, aiding in root cause analysis. With Tulip, Taza increased the amount of pieces produced per shift by 15%, and improved machine uptime. This, in addition to the money they saved by not purchasing new machines. 

Real-Time Analytics and a Holistic Perspective with Shop Floor Dashboards

For Moran, it’s important to see how each of Taza’s machines are performing in real time. “It’s an important concept of lean manufacturing, and things like the Tulip dashboard provide a more real time picture of what’s going on.” Moran built a Tulip Analytic dashboard to display prominently on the shop floor, so that all engineers and operators can view production data for their full line in real time. With Tulip, everyone has access to information regarding how many units they’re producing, which machines are running, and whether or not their meeting quotas.

The Bottom Line

Increased uptime

Full process visibility

+15% pieces per shift

Real-time analytics

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