Organic Bakery De Trog of Ypres received the prestigious ‘Factory of the Future’ award from the Minister-President of the Flemish Government Geert Bourgeois. This is the second time the bakery has won this award.
During the Factories of the Future event at Kortrijk Xpo, Fevia, the Belgian food industry federation celebrates the most future-oriented production companies of Flanders. Organic Bakery De Trog is an organic, artisan bakery that uses natural sourdough. One of the challenges De Trog has is the reconciliation of artisanal craftsmanship and upscaling production. To ensure quality, the bakery uses big data.
Co-organiser Jan Vander Stichele, president of Flanders’ FOOD, the spearhead cluster of the Flemish agricultural industry: ‘The winners of the Factory of the Future Awards demonstrate that any food company, including the many SMEs, can take steps to adapt to the needs of Industry 4.0.’ The fourth industrial revolution, following revolutions unleashed by steam, electricity and computers, centres on intelligence. Big data, the cloud, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are radically changing the way we work.
Organic Bakery De Trog has responded to this evolution by collecting data about the production process. Natural sourdough is a living culture that reacts to environmental factors such as temperature and atmospheric humidity. The company has been collecting data about these ever-changing conditions for years. It uses algorithms to learn from this information.
The app is a faster and more reliable way for our people to learn.
Marc Van Hoeck, founder and managing partner, valueXstream
In addition, Organic Bakery De Trog also uses Google Glass, inspection cameras, automated monitoring and custom-made machinery. The type of raw material used, organic flour, and the labour-intensive process require automation. ‘We choose to work with state-of-the-art equipment and have digitised operational processes. Our employees are central. We make the work less physically demanding through ergonomic technology and ensure limited repetitiveness,’ says Hendrik Durnez of De Trog.
The Bakery Battle quiz, developed by Liftov, is a fun and easy educational tool for our employees to learn about safety rules and the production process. ‘The app is a faster and more reliable way for our people to learn,’ says Marc Van Hoeck of De Trog and valueXstream, specialist provider of consulting and interim management services in the field of supply chain management. Fevia praised the initiative as ‘a clever way of implementing digitisation to increase awareness and knowledge within the company of safety regulations, how to operate machinery, and internal rules.’ The Bakery Battle app of Organic Bakery De Trog previously also picked up the Digital Project of the Year award of Data News.
‘But even more important than winning this award is the recognition that we have prepared De Trog to continue being the leading organic bakery in the Benelux in the future,’ says Stijn Switten of De Trog. The catering department of Colruyt and food laboratory Lavetan also received an award.