Process technology manufacturer Bühler has developed a new cloud-based service, which it says “drives significant improvements in yield” as well as reducing energy costs and the environmental footprint of thermal processing for the food and feed industries.
Bühler MoisturePro can deliver a return on investment of $300,000, Bühler claimed, translating into energy savings of $20,000 a year.
Built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, it has proven itself to be a reliable and proven service during a first phase of testing and subsequent implementation with customers in the US.
Paul McKeithan, Bühler’s head of digital services, said: “Leveraging the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud technology, we can make our expertise available to our customers at every stage of the drying process and drive real change.
“The food and feed industries face the challenge of consistently achieving the precise level of moisture control for each of their products to meet requirements. MoisturePro uses Microsoft’s Azure IoT cloud platform technologies to build an intelligent drying solution with real-time, continuous moisture management.”
As the product is discharged through a chute, data from moisture sensors is relayed to the dryer control software. Control algorithms, developed with the benefit of Bühler’s process expertise, immediately and continuously adjust production parameters so that the optimum moisture content is achieved and maintained throughout.
Billed as “a significant improvement on the traditional method of manual sampling and adjusting”, MoisturePro reduces moisture deviation, improves dryer yield and reduces dryer energy consumption, Bühler said.
The Swiss-headquartered business said it would make “a tangible difference” to both a client’s bottom line and their environmental footprint.
Food production is the most underestimated factor in climate change, responsible for a third of the world’s energy consumption, Bühler said. Its goal is to build sustainable food value chains, reducing 30% of waste and 30% of energy in the processes of their customers by 2020.
“The use of digital technologies has revolutionised food and feed processing,” McKeithan continued. “These changes have driven huge improvements in quality and efficiency. Now, we are leveraging connectivity to drive the next revolution. With MoisturePro, our expertise is available on an ongoing, real-time basis to our customers so that we can proactively help to create and sustain improvements. It’s a true partnership.”