By Stuart Corner
Australian dairy products manufacturer, Bega Cheese will deploy Cumulocity, Software AG’s IoT platform, to build an IoT service linking supplier farms, milk transport storage and processing facilities, in conjunction with Swinburne University of Technology.
The system will provide real time data on milk production at farmer suppliers including volumes, temperature, quality composition, and transport conditions.
Software AG says the system will enable Beta Cheese to gain efficiencies in pickup and delivery frequency, reducing costs and improving traceability.
The announcement came as Bega Cheese announced plans to cut 74 jobs from its factories in the Bega Valley and move production to the Strathmerton factory in Victoria, according to an ABC News report.
The report quoted Bega Cheese executive chairman Barry Irvin saying the company was consolidating processed cheese production at the Strathmerton facility in light of customer demand shifting to natural cheese.
On the role of Swinburne, Bega Cheese’s general manager supply chain, Adel Salman, said the company had sought out a partner able to provide it with IoT expertise, resources and industry contacts and help with government backing.
“Swinburne University of Technology with its Internet of Things Lab and Industry 4.0 initiatives as well as its research partnership with Software AG was the perfect collaborator for us,” he said.
“Swinburne University listened to what we needed to achieve and together with Software AG, developed an IoT strategy with a set of solutions that met our needs.
“The university has also been instrumental in helping us to successfully apply for a research grant from the federal government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P).”
In August 2017 Swinburne received a $135 million industrial software grantfrom engineering giant Siemens to digitalise its Factory of the Future, creating what it claimed would be Australia’s first fully immersed Industry 4.0 facility.
In June 2020 it signed a partnership with Software AG under which Software AG is providing Cumulocity for research and education purposes.
Development of the Bega Cheese project is expected to run for 12 to 18 months and will produce:
- a novel low-cost milk quality sensor enabled for IoT;
- a system for continuous real-time monitoring of milk supply quantity and quality, humidity and temperature and milk pickup events across the supply chain;
- a dynamic pickup scheduling and monitoring tool that will report milk supply change events to automatically maintain optimal pickup schedules, and monitor pickup events to monitor schedule and process adherence;
- a predictive machine learning-based forecasting tool for milk quality and quantity that will use live and long-term historical data from sensors across the supply chain;
- an app for farmers that will provide milk forecasting together with milk quality and pickup alerts.
Stuart Corner is editor of IoT Australia
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