The food sector faces a range of complex challenges, from strict food safety regulations to the need for cost and consumption optimization, to integration with ERP systems and access to Plan 4.0 tax incentives. How can Industrial IoT meet these needs?

In the first #IoTPillars, we took a close look at the challenges faced by the metalworking sector and how using the Machine Monitoring App contributed to accurately calculating costs and energy consumption, leading to increased efficiency and profitability.

In this blog post, we will explore the main obstacles that food sector companies must overcome and how Zerynth’s Machine Control APP is a key solution for successfully addressing them. From remote production management to cost and consumption reduction on every production line, through smooth integration with the ERP system and qualification for Plan 4.0 tax incentives, we will discover how this innovative technology can radically transform the production landscape of the food sector.

Don’t miss the next pillars, where we will focus on optimizing production processes with Production Insights and integrating systems with Zerynth’s Industrial IoT & AI platform in the plastic sector!

Common Challenges of SMEs in the Italian Food Sector

The food sector is one of the fundamental pillars of the global economy, providing essential goods that meet people’s daily needs. However, food companies face unique challenges in ensuring efficiency, safety, and quality of their products. In this article, we will explore the main issues that food companies encounter and how Zerynth’s Platform offers innovative solutions for successfully addressing them.

In addition to food safety, companies in the sector face challenges related to large-scale production, supply chain management, and market competitiveness. Optimizing production processes, reducing costs and consumption, and system integration are all key factors in maintaining a competitive advantage and ensuring long-term sustainability.

Moreover, the food sector is under increasing pressure from consumers and regulatory authorities to adopt more sustainable practices and reduce environmental impact. Companies must therefore seek solutions that enable them to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their production, while also reducing resource use and carbon emissions.

In this complex context, technological innovation plays a fundamental role in supporting food companies in achieving their goals and becoming 4.0 companies. Solutions like Zerynth’s Machine Control APP provide companies in the sector with the necessary tools to effectively tackle these challenges, allowing them to improve operational efficiency, ensure the quality and safety of their products, and remain competitive in an evolving market.

Main Challenges in the Food Sector:

  • Remote Production Control: With increasing production demands and the complexity of supply chains, food companies need to monitor and manage production operations remotely. However, this capability is often limited by the lack of adequate tools and the complexity of existing systems.
  • Cost and Consumption Optimization: Reducing costs and optimizing production and consumption is essential for improving profitability in the food sector. However, many companies struggle to identify and effectively implement savings opportunities without compromising the quality of their products.
  • Integration with the ERP System: Integrating production processes with business management systems (ERP) is crucial for improving efficiency and operational transparency. However, many companies encounter difficulties in synchronizing data and ensuring smooth communication between different systems.
  • Tax Incentives of Plan 4.0: Taking advantage of the tax incentives offered by Plan 4.0 can be a significant advantage for food sector companies, but they often lack the necessary technological solutions to qualify for these benefits.

Go Beyond Monitoring and Remotely Control Your Production

Zerynth’s Machine Control App allows you to manage, configure, and monitor your assets, sending commands/recipes directly to the PLCs of your industrial machines, integrating with your ERP. You can remotely control and adjust the operational settings and parameters of machines or processes from anywhere. This enables you to optimize production, improve performance, reduce downtime, and minimize the need for on-site interventions.

The Machine Control App offers a convenient and efficient way to send commands directly to PLCs without needing physical access to these devices. This helps further reduce downtime and minimize the need for on-site interventions.

Its design is necessary to provide advanced and flexible control of industrial machinery, based on three key features:

  • Advanced Integration: The App is seamlessly integrated with Grafana, allowing users to create custom dashboards to monitor and control their machines.
  • Beyond the User Interface: The App goes beyond simple data visualization. It enables bidirectional data exchange through APIs, allowing users to establish a dynamic connection with their machinery.
  • Bidirectional Communication with APIs: Not only does it offer an easy-to-use interface, but it also facilitates bidirectional communication via APIs. This advanced feature allows users to not only monitor but also actively control the machines from the platform.

What KPIs and parameters should you consider? The parameters you might be able to see and manage will depend on the type of machinery or processes you are monitoring, such as:

  • Speed: For machines that operate at different speeds, you can monitor and adjust the operating speed.
  • Pressure: If your processes involve managing specific pressures, you can control and adjust pressure levels.
  • Production Parameters: These might include metrics like the quantity produced, product quality, cycle time, and other key performance indicators.

It’s important to note that the available parameters may vary depending on the specifics of the application and the devices you are monitoring. Additionally, the application might offer additional features like data logging, alarm in case of anomalies, and report generation.

For a detailed guide on using the application and to know the specific parameters available, I recommend consulting the documentation provided by the company or contacting technical support for personalized assistance!

Compliant with 4.0 Tax Credit

While there is much discussion about industry 5.0, it’s important to note that the incentives provided for the 4.0 Transition Plan have not yet concluded. A considerable amount of funds remains available to support investments in intangible assets linked to the “Transition to 4.0 company” materials (as defined in Annex B of Law No. 232/2016). This includes a tax credit of 20%, with an annual maximum limit of 1 million euros for eligible costs.

Discover how you could benefit from our tax incentives and recover the investments made on your Industry 4.0-ready machinery. By connecting your ERP management system and simultaneously digitizing your machinery park, you can maximize the return on investment and improve the overall efficiency of your industrial operations.

Case Study: Pelosi and Production Efficiency

A real case? Pelosi, an Italian company specializing in the processing and packaging of carrots, has leveraged the power of Zerynth’s Machine Control to digitize its machinery park, thus improving the efficiency of production processes and ensuring full visibility on the quality of carrots from its suppliers. By choosing Zerynth, Pelosi has not only optimized its production workflow but also benefited from the tax advantages offered by the 4.0 tax credit.

Through the implementation of the Zerynth Industrial IoT & AI Platform on 4.0 ready machinery, the company was able to optimize the entire production process and access available tax incentives. Zerynth’s Edge devices allowed for the collection and processing of data directly in the field, sending information to the Industrial IoT platform for visualization of production-related data. This approach enabled Pelosi to obtain clear and detailed information on the state of the machinery in real-time and remotely, allowing for timely identification of any issues and overall efficiency improvement.

Want to learn more about how Pelosi transformed its production process with Zerynth? Download our complete case study or book a demo with our IoT experts today!

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About the Author: Angelica Puddu

Angelica Puddu
Angelica works in the Zerynth Marketing Team. She graduated in Digital Humanities, so she has a critical perspective of how digital technology is increasingly part of everyday life. She likes to manage and organize projects and, in her free time, she likes to attend theater workshops and play sports.

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