October 2001

Vol. 3, No. 10

Further up the line:
Quality feed production contributes to food quality

Attention to food quality involves far more than simply monitoring the quality of what people eat. For Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of a giant pork producer Smithfield Foods, careful monitoring of feed manufacturing processes to assure high quality food for its pork production represents a critical contribution to the quality of that production.

Using CHARTrunner to monitor feed manufacturing processes, Murphy-Brown, the live production arm of the largest producer and processor of pork in the world, is able to compare actual to theoretical chemistry values in the food manufacturing. "This data helps our manufacturing team understand process capability and the impact of changes to their systems," says Jeff Hansen, Ph.D., nutritionist and manager of production research and development for the firm.

Smithfield Foods is a $6 billion dollar company, producing about 12 percent of the nation's swine. The production side of the business has been consolidated in the Murphy-Brown name.  Hansen, after participating in a seminar with statistician Donald Wheeler, Ph.D., was searching on the Internet for an SPC product that could automate Murphy-Brown's run charts, thus increasing reporting capability without expanding labor costs.

What he found was CHARTrunner, a PQ Systems product that can automatically generate SPC charts from existing data formats. "In addition, graphical representation of the data allowed us to understand longer-term trends or to identify when specific changes had been made," Hansen says. "I am able to generate reports for multiple levels of management, more extensive reports for managers, and less detailed reports for top management."

Export formats, such as .jpg and bitmaps, allow Murphy-Brown to share reports easily, he adds. "We expect to expand our reporting capability extensively in the near future." His next projects include individual lot reporting to the production management team, as well as financial reporting to upper management.

With CHARTrunner, data in nearly any database or spreadsheet program can be immediately retrieved by this easy-to-use program, which will create a variety of chart types with genuine visual impact. Unlike multi-purpose programs that store data, apply formulas to data, or organize information, CHARTrunner "lives and breathes to make your charts," according to Matt Savage, SPC project manager for PQ Systems.  

Copyright 2001 PQ Systems.

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