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Rocky DEM helps PepsiCo cut costs with virtual product testing

PepsiCo uses Rocky DEM to solve several materials handling challenges and streamline their innovation workstream

PepsiCo, Inc., one of largest multinational food, snack, and beverage corporations in the world, uses Rocky DEM simulation technology to analyze and improve upon products and processes.

At PepsiCo, when new processes are developed, much of the product produced cannot be sold and must be scrapped. By having the capability to do a large number of the developmental experiments virtually, the amount of waste produced can be minimized. To run physical trials in our pilot or production facilities can be quite expensive, due to labor and material costs, especially when large numbers of runs are needed to complete a DOE. Having the ability to do many of these experiments virtually can save both money and time. Depending on the situation, we have realized up to a 50% cost reduction when leveraging Rocky DEM simulations.”

Chris Koh, Ph.D.

Director and Global R&D Fellow at PepsiCo

Standard DEM particle shapes did not accurately capture the behavior of unique materials, like PepsiCo’s snack chips, on the production line. Alternative solutions, such as glued spheres, presented an infeasible node count for even test-batch-sized simulation.

By developing an accurate polyhedral contact detection model for curved shape concave particles that can be solved using Graphics Processing Solver (GPUs). Rocky DEM enabled PepsiCo to create unique shapes that not only accurately represented the real-life material but also made it feasible to use it in large scale process simulations.

Rocky DEM simulations enabled PepsiCo to improve the accuracy of their factory equipment setup for both their new and modified product lines. The simulations enabled them to reduce the number of adjustments required and helped them identify any potential custom modifications ahead of time. Between avoiding costly modifications, and reducing product waste and time during production testing periods, Rocky DEM has helped PepsiCo realize up to a 50% cost reduction thus far.

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