Real Case Challenge: Olive Trade

Olivetrade is a market leader in Lebanon, specialized in the production and sales of olive-derived products. Olivetrade builds on centuries of traditional Mediterranean knowhow in the olive culture coupled with the highest standards of cultural and harvesting practices, state of the art production and storage facilities (ISO 22000: 2005,  eco label), and a socially responsible commitment to fair trade, to consistently deliver a high quality produce that conforms with international norms. Named after the Phoenician word for oil, their exclusive signature brand, Zejd® , is showcased at their flagship store, “House of Zejd”, in Beirut and selectively available at high end specialized stores in Lebanon as well as in France, Germany, Switzerland, Nigeria, Kuwait, India, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Case Challenge

Optimization of production process: 

We are looking to optimize our continuous olive oil production line that can process up to 2 tons of olives per hour. Our current average yield is 1.1 tons per hour. This difference in productivity is caused by the different batch sizes that we receive from the farmers (100 kg to 700 kg).

Our production line consists of the following steps:

  • Washing and crushing the olives continuously.
  • 4 Individually separated malaxers with maximum capacity of 700 kg each to knead the paste. Each batch of olives goes into one malaxer and stays there for 45 minutes at 28 degrees Celsius, whatever the quantity.
  • Then it is sent to the next step of separating the oil from the water and the husk in a continuous line.
100 kg 200 kg 300 kg 400 kg 500 kg 600 kg 700 kg
washing + crushing                 2 min                 4 min 6 min 9 min   11 min 13 min 15 min
Malaxing (@28 degrees) 45 min 45 min 45 min 45 min 45 min 45 min 45 min
Separation                 4 min                 7 min 11 min 14 min 18 min 21 min 25 min

Not being able to control the size of the batches we receive, we need to optimize the order of the batches going in the production line to have the best possible yield per hour. Once the production of oil is finished, the end product is stored in stainless steel tanks waiting for its packing. We currently pack 100 different SKU’s all originating from the olive fruit. We need to automate our current system of traceability (based on ISO:22000) that we fill on excel sheets to be done with a production management system.