On a sunny December morning, we, the students of PGDM-IB (2019-21) had the privilege of visiting the Kellogg’s factory at Taloja, Maharashtra, as part of our curriculum. Here’s what we gleaned from our industrial visit.The factory at Taloja, reputed to be numero uno in the Asia-Africa zone, had concluded its Quallywood Safety Week recently (November 24, 2019) and also celebrated turning a quarter of a century old the same month.We were accompanied by our professors, Dr. Vasantha Lakshmi and Dr. Sankalp Srivastava, and were addressed by Mr. Arun (Manufacturing Excellence), Mr. Suresh Babu (Head of Safety) and Mr. Kiran Patel (our guide du jour from Human Resources)As part of our induction process, we were introduced to some of the values the organisation believes in: “Deliver the Fundamentals, Strengthen the organisation, Create the Future.” We were also introduced to the “Take II” concept, which is, take two minutes to pause and look for potential hazards around you or on your work floor.We learnt that the Taloja plant is a green zone, being a manufacturing centre for food and FMCG products. The plant was incorporated in October 1990, and the factory opened for business in 1994 with an investment of 38 million USD.
The plant employs 650 people, the in details mentioned below.
Type of Employee- Number of Employees
Direct - 250
Indirect - 150
Contractual - 250
The products manufactured and/or packaged in this plant are exported to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives, besides making it to the domestic market.The organisation keeps updating and evolving their products according to consumer demand. The Taloja plant has the capacity to manufacture 44,000 tonnes annually, and on an average produces 29,000 tonnes. The various products manufactured here are Corn Flakes (plain as well as flavoured), Chocos, Granola and Muesli. In addition to these, oats imported from Thailand and Dubai, and locally sourced from Sonipat (Haryana) are also packaged here. Mr. Arun explains that one of the key visions of Kellogg’s is to have breakfast products that are ready to eat and require minimal preparation.
THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
⦁ Flaking Route
⦁ Dx Route
The following are activities involved in the manufacturing process.Triple Drying: There are three dryers – A, C and D. Drying is done in three steps, to remove moisture slowly rather than all at once (which could make the end product brittle.)Flaking: This is done in flaking mills. In this, pressure is used to flatten the puffed corn, giving rise to the term ‘corn flakes’.Toasting: The flakes are toasted in two types of ovens – Model 50 and Jet Zone. The Model 50 is a cylindrical oven with holes in it to let hot air blow through and toast the product. The Jet Zone, on the other hand, is a flat pan that hold the corn flakes while hot air is blown from the top on to the product.Coating: This is done for two purposes. One is to fortify the cereal with vitamins and minerals, and the second is to add flavors, such as honey, banana, rose, strawberry and almond.
PACKAGING Kellogg’s is known for its colourful, eye-catching packaging that appeals to kids and adults alike. The packaging of these products is done using packing lines known as BIB (Bag In Box). Their K-Pack machines are labelled M2 to M16. While a majority of these are used to open, fill and seal small pouches, the M5 is used to package big pouches, and the M6 is used for oats.In addition to the above, there’s a machine called Cartner section that prints labels with ingredients, manufacturing date and other details. There’s also an equipment called Case Packer that packs pouches into cases (for example, 16 pouches in a box/carton.) At the very end of the process is a Case Sealer, which seals the cases, and is given batch codes amongst other details.A batch code is a combination of details such as the plant where the product is manufactured, the line, shift and date. For example, a product manufactured today (December 16, 2019) would be labelled as T1A161219, where T stands for the Taloja plant, 1 for the line, A indicating shift, and the last six numbers (indicating) the manufacturing date.
INSIDE THE MANUFACTURING AREA We were given disposable overalls/aprons, hair nets, face masks, safety glasses, ear buds and safety shoes to don before entering the manufacturing and processing areas. The safety procedures followed at the plant are meticulous and well thought out; right from sanitising hands and shoes while moving from one processing area to another to wet-cleaning the machines between the manufacturing of a different product in order to avoid cross-contamination.There are specially marked pathways to get from one section of the plant to another, and labels and physical copies of the schedule and employees working in each shift. Each machine in the plant has a special label that indicates what product is being manufactured or processed in it currently.After each pouch is filled and sealed, it passes to a weighing scale on a conveyor belt to be weighed. If it’s not the exact specified weight, it doesn’t pass the inspection and has to opened, refilled and resealed. Only those pouches/bags that fulfil the specified weight can move to the next stage of processing.
CONCLUSION To conclude, this industrial visit was an eye-opener for us. We got to observe and study up close the various production and safety procedures involved in manufacturing, and infer the industry standards for FMCG products.