The new system links Bega’s farmer supplies and milk transport, storage and processing facilities.
Internet of Things (IoT) solutions will provide real-time data on milk production at farmer suppliers including volumes, temperature, quality composition and transport conditions for improved efficiencies in pick-up and delivery frequency, and traceability and reduced costs.
The solution was developed by Swinburne University of Technology’s IoT Lab, utilising the institute’s Industry 4.0 initiatives as well as its research partnership with Software AG.
The scope of the project includes:
- a novel low-cost milk quality sensor enabled for IoT
- an IoT ‘live’ supply chain monitoring system for continuous real-time monitoring of milk supply quantity and quality, farm conditions (such as humidity and temperature) affecting milk production and milk pick-up events across the supply chain
- a dynamic pick-up scheduling and monitoring tool that utilises sensor data reporting milk supply change events to automatically maintain optimal pick-up schedules and pick-up events to monitor schedule and process adherence
- a predictive machine learning-based highly accurate forecasting tool for milk quality and quantity that exploits live and long-term historical data from sensors across the supply chain, and
- a farmer app that provides milk forecasting together with milk quality and pick-up alerts.
Bega Cheese recognised that IoT could be an excellent solution. “What we didn’t have was experience in setting up IoT projects”, says Adel Salman, Bega supply chain GM. “So we started looking around for a partner that could provide us with IoT expertise, resources, industry contacts and help with government backing.
“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).”
Swinburne will develop and build unique new sensors specifically for Bega Cheese.
The project is expected to run for a period of 12 to 18 months and will also aim to increase the supply chain sustainability by reducing milk wastage and the fuel consumption of transport partners.