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Food and Beverages | Friday, September 20, 2019
With massive stocks of food being wasted, manufacturers in the food industry have landed on an alarming situation, which calls for innovations to take care of the damage done.
FREMONT, CA: In the food industry, digital technologies have emerged with new innovative tools that help in improving traceability and shaping the food supply chains to overcome the predicted challenges. The rising population followed by consumer awareness is concerned about the sustainability of food, so the companies and manufacturers are employing various digital solutions to keep intact the quality of the product. They invest in technological advancements and concentrate on food processing, safety, and packaging to make a place in the cutthroat competition in the marketplace.
There are several inadequacies of the food chain that the industry is dealing with, currently. They can be categorized keeping in mind the unpredictability and wastage, which are caused due to uncertainty in supply and losses from the farming fields, respectively. The lack of well-trained human resources can lead to significant consequences like losing critical information to trace, resolve, and protect food incidents. Last but not least, the pressure of cost can be a head-ache for every manufacturer in the food supply when the expectations by end-users regularly deal with lowering the pricing of the finished products.
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Anybody with unique identifiers (UIDs) is interconnected with IoT irrespective of being a digital machine, object, or person. It carries the ability to transmit data over a network without any human interference. IoT helps in capturing the live data securely from a distance and processes the information by monitoring it round-the-clock. Therefore, manufacturers can control the parameters by continually comparing the data, and in case of any variations that are experienced, the technology intervenes timely and prevents the potential loss. IoT allows utilizing the data for better functions like decision-making and proper planning, which makes it easier to multiply the returns of the invested resources, with minimum loss. The technology additionally facilitates the drone system in the farm by adding sensors and solutions that ultimately help the farmers to examine the soil and climatic conditions for the next crop rotation. Finally, when it comes to retail, IoT can capture the information of the fast-moving products and vice-versa that can manage waste and increase profits.
Everyone is familiar with the term robots, but the not so heard about “cobots” are systems that carry out direct physical interaction between a human and a manipulator operated by a processor. Cobots and automation have been successfully cutting down bodily strain and accidents while freeing the workers to perform quality tasks. It carries out the work, which is recurring and performed under harsh environments by the workers to safeguard them. With the help of automation, companies can implement the working of robots in numerous unique applications. Every task performed by the robots gives higher speed and efficient functioning without any distractions.
As mentioned previously, drones are incredible assets that are being used in various applications throughout the food supply chain. It has been efficiently helping the farmers in the fields to monitor crops and herds from any distant place and also lends a hand in collecting soil for its inspection. Drones are being utilized in areas like regulatory inspection, which provides valuable data related to a vast track of agriculture to make sure laws are fairly implemented. The priceless facilities of drone technology have taken itself beyond the farming fields, where countries are combining it with RFID tags to maintain an aerial inventory of big warehouses. Additionally, they are capable of being used as inspection devices in processing plants to reach places that cannot be accessed by humans physically.
Blockchain technology is widely accepted as it does not accommodate alterations once the data is uploaded, hence serving as an extremely trusted source of information. The technology allows the manufacturers to confirm product derivations and apply track-and-trace of them through the supply chain. It brings competence, visibility, and accountability amongst the involved actors in the chain. It produces better and reliable information that can help in triggering business decisions and achieve a higher level when it comes to manufacturing, efficiency, and sustainability. Since the data is prepared and stored in real-time, it helps in narrowing down the time for recovery and the expenses enormously.
Big Data Analytics:
The discussion on the development of technology in the food chain brings it to the use of predictive analysis, which is a variety of artificial intelligence (AI) system. It is an extremely comprehensive tool that can predict challenges within the food supply chain, and can also foresee customer behavior.
With the help of IoT and blockchain, big data analytics can do wonders, such as reducing the food wastage in the supply chain. The technology significantly decreases the level of wastage by providing precise predictions to farmers and helping them to carry out production as per the consumer patterns at the store. These predictions also play a role at a macro level, where it allows different countries to plan their strategies related to supplying food to their population. It serves as a vital asset when it comes to managing the wastes or shortages with a minimal cost. Both predictive analysis and big data analysis play significant parts in the non-traditional application in the food supply chain.
It is a fact that the food supply chain is at a crucial crossroad affected by the rising demand. It is in a position to come up with new technologies and collaborations between manufacturers and technological solutions. With the introduction of the internet, industries have started to witness that working mutually with technology partners; several challenges can be resolved in the custom food supply chain.