Uzwil (Switzerland), Toggenburg (Switzerland), November 15, 2022 – Swiss technology group Bühler is taking the long-lasting and fruitful relationship with Kägi Söhne AG, the Swiss chocolate wafer producer, to the next level. Bühler is supporting Kägi in building its smart factory. By 2024, Kägi plans to have its entire machine park digitally networked and all process data visualized.

The first steps towards the smart factory started in 2019 when Kägi and Bühler teams conducted a Performance Assessment Workshop to discover where improvements could be made in the production process of the chocolate wafer manufacturer.

Our vision is to produce the perfect Kägi every day, whether it is 30°C in summer or minus 10°C in winter.

Pascal Grin, Chief Operating Officer, Kägi Söhne AG

After all factors relevant to the production were analyzed, the teams identified areas for improvement and defined plans to address them going forward. The quality of Kägi’s products has always been high, explains Grin, but the goal was to ensure a high level of quality without interruption and with fewer rejections.

The digital journey

One of the first actions of the team was to connect most of Kägi’s production to the Bühler Insights platform, Bühler’s digital tool that connects devices, operational metrics, and analytics. With that, the level of transparency on process and machine data has increased significantly.

25 to 30 data points per machine connected to Bühler Insights enables both operating staff and management to take their decisions based on data, facts, and figures. This is of special interest for the Continuous Improvement Process at Kägi.

Kristina Polic, Project Lead Smart Factory 2024 and Continuous Improvement Manager, Kägi

Connecting Kägi to Bühler Insights platform creates unique transparency on process and machine data. From raw materials, to baking and filling of wafer sheets, and to chocolate coating, data can now be recorded, analyzed, and interpreted at any time.

Judith Spreitzer, Project Manager, Bühler Services

In addition, all process-relevant data and KPIs for each production step are visualized via dashboards. This allows each operator to see how well the respective process is performing and take the necessary action when needed. This results in higher performance and optimization of processes. By linking and visualizing the data in Bühler Insights, Kägi expects to see an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) increase of 5% to 8%.

We are already using the data in real-time and our employees can react immediately to fluctuations in quality, thus preventing unplanned downtime. For us, this leads to cost savings and an uncomplicated overview of the process.

Pascal Grin, Chief Operating Officer, Kägi Söhne AG

Another advantage of Bühler Insights is that, by connecting processes, devices, and data, it supports companies in addressing key issues related to sustainability, such as measuring their environmental impacts. Kägi adopted Bühler’s Environmental Quantification Service for its entire factory. Bühler’s Environmental Quantification Service supports organizations in measuring their environmental footprint according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Bühler experts analyze the performance of assets and optimize processes to avoid unnecessary CO2e emissions, improve resource efficiency, and reduce waste. With this, Kägi now understands its CO2e emissions and is able to prioritize actions to reduce its footprint along the whole value chain.

Investing in the future

Based on the outcome of the Performance Assessment Workshop and product tests in the Bühler Wafer Innovation Center, Kägi decided to invest in a fully automatic BM-W 180-H batter mixing plant, a highly efficient SWAKT-80 wafer baking oven, and a fully automatic WIS-EAGLE In-Line wafer sheet inspection system.

We have a full range of new, innovative products planned. We have enough ideas. With this plant and Bühler at our side, we are now ready to scale up new products to high quality and large volumes.

Franziska Babst, Head of Quality & Development, Kägi

Bühler and Kägi have a fruitful and long-lasting relationship. With the journey to the smart factory project, we are bringing together the best of our digital services, our technical solutions as well as Bühler’s technological competence. Today both Kägi and Bühler drive product quality and innovations in a strong partnership.

Thomas Kuenzli, Head of Sales for Consumer Foods Europe, Bühler

About Kägi
Kägi Söhne AG has been producing wafer and biscuit specialities since 1934. The core business of the company is homemade chocolate and the processing of high-quality raw materials, which are grown in Switzerland whenever possible. In Lichtensteig (Canton of St.Gallen), Kägi, with around 140 employees, produces sweet snacks according to a house recipe. At 53 per cent, Switzerland is the most important sales channel. But there are also large Kägi fan communities in other countries. Kägi fret is one of the most popular Swiss sweets and is known by nine out of ten Swiss people. Company founder Otto Kägi invented the bar in 1958.

About Bühler
Bühler is driven by its purpose of creating innovations for a better world, balancing the needs of the economy, humanity, and nature. As a relevant solution partner for the food and mobility industries, Bühler is committed to having solutions ready to multiply by 2025 at the latest that will reduce energy, waste, and water by 50% in its customers’ value chains. Billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies as they cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day. Two billion people each day enjoy foods produced on Bühler equipment, and one billion people travel in vehicles manufactured using parts produced with Bühler technology. Countless people wear eyeglasses, use smartphones, and read newspapers and magazines – all of which depend on Bühler process technologies and solutions. Having this global relevance, Bühler is in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into a sustainable business. Bühler contributes to safely feeding the world and is doing its part to protect the climate, producing solutions that make cars, buildings, and machinery more energy efficient.

Bühler invests up to 5% of turnover into research and development. In 2021, some 12,500 employees generated a turnover of CHF 2.7 billion. As a Swiss family-owned company, Bühler is active in 140 countries around the world and operates a global network of 103 service stations, 30 manufacturing sites, and Application & Training Centers in 24 countries.

Media contacts:

Dalen Jacomino Panto, Media Relations Manager
Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 955 37 57
Mobile: +41 79 900 53 88
E-mail: dalen.jacomino_panto@buhlergroup.com

Katja Hartmann, Media Relations Manager
Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 955 12 35 
Mobile  +41 79 483 68 07  
E-mail: katja.hartmann@buhlergroup.com

Miu Nguyen, Digital Marketing & PR Manager
Kägi Söhne AG, 9620 Lichtensteig, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 987 65 98
E-mail: miu.nguyen@kaegi.com

Trade media contact:

Tracey Ibbotson, PR Executive
Bühler UK Limited, London, England
Phone: +44 (0) 1992 537 421
E-mail: tracey.ibbotson@buhlergroup.com

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