Dutch Cocoa: Producing High-Grade Cocoa Products Worldwide

Dutch Cocoa, a company that produces high-grade cocoa products for the global chocolate, dairy, and cosmetic industries, operates its cocoa plant in Amsterdam. The plant processes cocoa beans sourced from various regions worldwide, including Africa, South America, Middle America, Southeast Asia, and Brazil, to produce cocoa mass, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter. These products are exported to countries across the globe. Dutch Cocoa is a subsidiary of Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation Ltd, which has offices in Switzerland, Mexico, Singapore, and North America. Ecom owns and operates six cocoa production and transformation facilities globally, along with three coffee factories and numerous trade offices. Dutch Cocoa Amsterdam has a workforce of over 85 employees.

Transforming Cocoa Beans into Premium Products

Lennert Bonnema, the Senior Process Engineer and principal at Dutch Cocoa, has been associated with the company for nineteen years. He leads the automation efforts at the Amsterdam cocoa factory and collaborates with an improvement team to drive process and product development across all of Ecom’s factories. Since 2016, Bonnema has also been a member of an international team responsible for implementing the SAP ERP-package in all of Ecom Group’s production facilities.

A Long-Standing Partnership

The Dutch Cocoa plant in Amsterdam was established in 2004, and during its construction, various automation systems were tested. Siemens PCS7 emerged as the top choice for automation, and CoNet was selected to implement the system. Bonnema emphasizes the longstanding relationship between Dutch Cocoa and CoNet, with CoNet’s engineers periodically visiting the facility for system updates and troubleshooting. CoNet has played a significant role in major projects, including expansions in 2008 and 2013, making them intimately familiar with the facility.

The SQL Data Writer: Unleashing Possibilities

The need for gaining deeper insights into their processes prompted Dutch Cocoa to seek a solution. They aimed to increase capacity and eliminate time-consuming written reports. CoNet explored different standard packages but found that while they allowed for exporting PLC data, linking the data to reports proved to be a challenge. Undeterred, CoNet’s software engineer, Jeroen Weemhoff, combined the researched systems with the client’s requirements to create a custom tool, the SQL Data Writer. When demonstrated at the facility, the tailor-made solution surpassed expectations, meeting all of Dutch Cocoa’s needs.

Achieving Goals and Streamlining Operations

The SQL Data Writer offers several benefits to Dutch Cocoa. It simplifies the process of populating the SQL database with process data, enabling the use of standard Microsoft tools to analyze and manipulate the data. Previously, they relied on CoNet for retrieving specific information, but now they can access it themselves. Additionally, the tool allows them to select, combine, create graphs, and visualize data, making the processes transparent and easily understandable for everyone.

Heading: Empowering Insight and Efficiency

The company had two primary goals: replacing written daily reports and production stock reports. Both goals were successfully achieved. The digital reports have proven to be more reliable than their manual counterparts, and it’s only a matter of time before the complete transition to digital reporting. With the automated verification of stock every hour, as opposed to every eight hours previously, Dutch Cocoa has experienced significant efficiency gains.

Implementing the solution

Nine months in, Dutch Cocoa continues exploring the solution’s possibilities. A dashboard visualizes daily performance, offering real-time insights. It tracks production output, traces cocoa beans, and exceeds expectations. The user-friendly Microsoft environment facilitates data interpretation. Dutch Cocoa trains more employees to maximize system capabilities. The system presents opportunities for efficiency gains and sustainability. CoNet’s Data Writer ensures efficiency and sustainability. Contact CoNet’s sales team at sales@conet.nl to unlock transformative solutions and unleash your company’s potential.