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For many, Clif Bar is a go-to energy bar for the trail or during the workday, but for 295 employee/owners in Twin Falls, Idaho, Clif Bar is much more than a brand on a shelf. Clif Bar was started by Gary Erikson with the goal to make a better tasting bar for sustaining energy. It was formally launched in 1992. Clif developed a business model guided by Five Aspirations: “Sustaining our Business, Brands, People, Community and the Planet.” The company headquarters is located in Emeryville, CA, and currently has manufacturing plants in Indianapolis, IN and Twin Falls, ID.

In 2014, Clif Bar made the decision to go into self-manufacturing to increase its capacity. Until that point, it had never been in control of its own manufacturing operations. Despite its inexperience, however, the energy bar manufacturer successfully went from manufacturing zero to about 75% of its own bars within a one-year span. That statistic is made all the more impressive by the fact that Clif Bar established both a greenfield and a brownfield facility within months of each other.

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During our initial startup, MES was really critical in helping us to pinpoint our problems, because at first, our problems were on the front-end of the line, which is in the process areas…and then our issues, the ones that were taking away available time, moved to the back end of the line. So we had a different set of problems around packaging. And all of that was highlighted by the information we got out of MES. It was able to point us in the right direction.”

Key Features and Benefits

Clif Bar continues to reap ongoing benefits from its partnership with AVEVA. While the MES Quality solution enables Clif Bar to see and meet specifications, both in real-time and historically, the MES Operations integration with Clif Bar’s ERP provides a link for vital material track and traceability.

  • Ultimately, the solution has empowered Clif Bar to set up a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Production reports are utilized in daily meetings.
  • Performance and operations data is used to drive capital improvements.
  • Energy Monitoring data is available to better understand plant energy usage and to drive downward usage trends.
  • From the Availability OEE data, plant managers can see where time is actually being spent.
  • From an engineering time savings, data gathered from the Indianapolis facility enabled Clif Bar engineers to quickly model plant processes to facilitate new projects.
  • Using 2 years of Historian data is equipping plant engineers with the ability to conduct predictive analytics.

By building a culture around using true data and information, Clif Bar wasn’t just able to launch concurrent manufacturing sites, they’re empowered to more accurately plan capacity, prevent expensive recalls, make decisions based on real data and intelligence, and most importantly–support its 5 Aspirations in a way that was previously unthinkable.