The advancement in technology has produced a sea change in the generation of data for the agricultural sector. Thus, by digitizing and recording the factors involved in the processes, the traceability of the procedures is generated, which allows the data to support the quality of the final product.
Sergio Justianovich – industrial designer and researcher at the Pampean region IPAF – reflected on the digitization project of the ensachetadora-pasteurizadora INTA-UBA 4.0 and considered it a “transcendental” step towards achieving the traceability of milk in sachets.
“We have partnered with Siemens to work on a management system associated with a mobile application that collects data on the production process – from the arrival of the raw material to the marketing of the milk in sachets – from each user of the technology. This allows for the traceability of each liter produced,” he explained.
Likewise, the specialist also highlighted the articulation with INTI Lácteos y Electrónica for the development of the management system and the application.
For his part, Alejandro Köckritz – President of the Siemens Foundation – underlined: “We are very proud to be able to transform our global experience into a public-private partnership project of these characteristics. With our contribution, we collaborate in the digitization of the dairy production sector, thanks to the development of Industry 4.0 technology, which will allow greater efficiency in the processes of the value chain of a basic product such as pasteurized milk.
Justianovich went further and talked about the advantages of having a traceable bag on the market with a QR code in which all the data of the production process can be seen. “This is a differentiating factor for large cities – like Rosario or CABA – in which there are a greater number of producing families and dairy basins. And where, in addition, there are a greater number of consumers grouped with e-commerce networks who seek to consume products, contrary to hegemony”.
The development of Industry 4.0 technology will enable greater efficiency in the processes of the value chain of a commodity such as pasteurized milk.
It is that once implemented, the system will also allow the compilation of information for companies that provide equipment and supplies, which allows the preventive maintenance of pasteurizer parts. And, as if that were not enough, it collects information for the project itself: indicators such as the number of liters of milk received, processed, delivered or the system’s water or energy consumption that will allow make improvements in the future. .
In the same vein, INTA’s industrial designer did not hesitate to consider the advantages of implementing this technology. “The digital systematization of process records will generate a database of each production unit to deal with possible discrepancies,” he explained, while acknowledging that it even makes it possible to track products by batch and associate them with each milk supplier.
Justianovich went further and assured that “digital recording of data, integrated into a single work operation, would facilitate the auditing bodies of competent health agencies in each locality. In this sense, during the development, we worked with the family agricultural zone of Senasa to analyze the viability of the implementation”.
In addition – he explained – it makes it possible to count in a systemic and simple way with process data. “It’s very interesting to realize that the family farming sector can meet safety and quality specifications, which contributes to its formalization.”
“The project aims to generate data for the entire ecosystem of players that support technology in the territory, which is summarized in the concept of ‘INTA UBA social franchise,'” explained Justianovich. These data respond to the particular interests of each actor: production units, companies supplying equipment, supplies, services, health control agencies, consumers and INTA UBA (technology franchise establishments).
It is essential to have a traced sachet available in the market of large cities where consumers abound who seek to consume products, contrary to hegemony.
In 2020, INTA’s Institute for Research and Technological Development for Family Farming (IPAF) in the Pampean Region and UBA presented the development of a sachet and pasteurizer that packs liquid milk , pasteurizes it and cools it directly in a sachet with the order guaranteeing the optimal safety conditions for its marketing.
In mid-2021, the SME FP Engineering SRL in Buenos Aires began mass production of the system, with funding from the national Ministry of Social Development. In this alliance, the role of the family SME of Misiones Plastimi SRL, supplier of bags allowing the particular heat treatment that the technology performs, is essential.
Currently, there are 23 INTA-UBA bagger-pasteurizers in the territory. Many of them, in full activity, whose marketing of milk is based on the bond of trust between producing families and consumers.
For her part, Raquel Ariza – specialist in digital transformation, researcher at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning at UBA and director of the CES-winning project – explained: “We are looking to go further and backing quality with data, so far unchallenged by those who buy it”. Furthermore, he added: “Digitalization works as an instrument of validation that strengthens ties and brings together those who produce and buy milk.”
Additionally, according to Ariza, digitization can be a cost-effective way to generate baseline information to assess the performance of the INTA-UBA social franchise. “The generation of data combined with the use of technology would help strengthen the franchise’s territorial expansion strategy,” he said.
The digital systematization of process records will generate a database of each production unit that will allow products to be tracked by batch and associated with each milk supplier.
An award-winning project moving forward
The “connected pasteurization” project applied to the call promoted by the Economic and Social Council in the axis: Training in 4.0 technologies. Update training spaces and technology services. Provide training to workers on advanced knowledge and technologies to be applied in local production environments and/or promotion of green jobs.
Justianovich celebrated the prize and explained that “this prize will allow progress in the project, in particular, in the financing of the training of agents oriented towards family farming to offer a support structure for the development of technology on the territory”.
In addition, they will be trained in digital skills to manage the digitized equipment that will provide data through the IoT (Internet of Things), as well as the development of skills to manage the business and other platforms that use cloud data.
“Today we are working on the new design of the machine, an optimized version, which in addition to improving the usability aspects, studied last year in the treatment rooms where the technology has been implemented, will have the possibility of connecting, pasteurizer 4.0”, the INTA technician explained.
And he indicated that he is in full production of the prototype to validate it in the laboratory and in the field in the coming months, as part of the call “Science and technology against hunger” – organized by the Ministry of Science , Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Social Development together and the National Social Policy Coordinating Council.