Digital investment looks set to lower energy costs at Warburtons

Posted on 7 Feb 2023 by Joe Bush

To improve production at six of its manufacturing sites across the UK and mitigate the rising cost of energy and raw materials, Warburtons has announced a multi-year extension to its technological partnership with Schneider Electric.

Founded in 1876, Warburtons employs nearly 5,500 people across the UK, producing and distributing over two million baked goods daily to 18,500 stores across the nation. Against the ongoing energy crisis, Warburtons is focused on optimising its operations to ease pressure and avoid passing costs onto its consumers.

Founded in 1876, Warburtons employs nearly 5,500 people across the UK, producing and distributing over two million baked goods daily to 18,500 stores across the nation

A fully baked approach

As the leading bakery brand in the UK, Warburtons’ vast business operation is supported by a network of factories, suppliers and distributors, so it is constantly looking for ways to reduce its environmental footprint and costs.

Using analytics technology developed by Schneider Electric and information technology company AVEVA, Warburtons can securely visualise data across all operations in a single information stream. The highly advanced AVEVA System Platform, supplied by AVEVA Select UK & Ireland, is designed to break down silos and provide a unified, real-time view of the respective facilities.

This makes for better system design and maintenance, agile decision-making and more efficient, flexible and profitable manufacturing. For example, through the live production information and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) data calculated by the system, Warburtons is targeting a five percent increase in yield in its bread-slicing operations.

Early progress

System implementation is being conducted by NeoDyne, a certified Schneider Electric Alliance Integration Partner, to design and integrate Schneider Electric’s products and solutions. The 24-month roll-out of the system started in late 2022 and is expected to be completed in 2024. Implementation at Warburtons’ Stockton-on-Tees facility has already been completed, with engineers reporting positive feedback from the site.

Schneider Electric will be responsible for capturing, recording and reporting on real-time process data, allowing Warburtons to optimise operations, improve quality and reduce costs across its business.

Mark Yeeles, VP of Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric, said: “Warburtons is one of the nation’s best-loved brands with a strong track record of innovation. I am delighted they trust us to continue with them on their optimisation and efficiency journey across their vast operational ecosystem.”

David Rimmer, Central Engineering Manager at Warburtons, added: “Warburtons’ longevity is owing to our constant commitment to innovation and our standards. Our work with partners such as Schneider Electric is a critical enabler of that longevity, by using products that allow our employees to turn data into insight products we will deliver improvement. By expanding the remit of our partnership with Schneider Electric, we’re confident that we will continue to scale our business and feed the nation sustainably, as we have been doing since 1876.”