Food & Beverage 4.0
The food and beverage industry is more competitive than ever. A global market and consumers’ ever-changing tastes leave no room for error, so plants need to be able to act quickly and adjust to maintain profit margins. Facilities that embrace the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, will remain competitive while those that don’t will be left behind.
In order to fully embrace Industry 4.0, facilities have a number of needs that must be met. They’ll need more types of reliable and accurate data, a system to analyze the data, and finally, a way to act on that analysis. At first glance, each of these needs may appear to be big obstacles to overcome, but upon further inspection, these are simply opportunities for continuous improvement.
Acquiring all of this data is a big endeavor, but it’s made easier with new and advanced sensor technologies. Smart pressure sensors, point level switches, and radar level sensors already help plants automate processes, improve efficiency, and save energy. Bringing all the sensor process data together using the IIoT will help drive smarter and faster complex business decisions, which will only help to make further improvements to efficiency and energy conservation.
What is Food & Beverage 4.0?
The face of the Food industry is changing. With the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, cloud computing, cognitive computing and virtual reality helping bridge the gap between the cyber and physical realms, there is greater innovation and automation in the Food & Beverage industry.
Industry 4.0 is the new trend that’s pervading industries across the world. Greater automation is creating smarter factories with even smarter operations. Cyber systems are being introduced to control physical processes. Control and traceability are largely possible due to virtual blueprints of operations available on centralized networks.
In the Food industry, Industry 4.0 is changing the way raw materials are procured, food is manufactured, packets are packaged and items are sold. Essentially, the entire journey from farm to table is being analyzed, controlled and is continuously evolving through virtual systems.
Cyber-physical systems communicate with the machinery and software put into place by manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. This allows greater collaboration across divisions and even organizations. Additionally, these systems offer organizations multiple benefits such as:
- Automated tracking of materials and packaged products through utilization of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and ERP systems
- Quality maintenance of products through horizontal integration of processes across divisions and organizations
- Waste management and carbon footprint reduction through resource management software
- Increased production rate and reduced downtime due to interoperability of systems
- Greater transparency in data sharing through collaborative platforms