The Italian food industry, renowned for its rich tradition and quality, faces increasingly pressing challenges in the context of a constantly evolving world. How do IoT & AI solutions prove to be allies in the food sector as well?

In this article, we will explore the challenges and advantages of food production, the best strategies for enhancing machinery efficiency, and how the Zerynth platform enables the optimization of production processes and waste reduction.

Challenges in the Food Industry

The food industry is in constant evolution. The growing demand from consumers for high-quality products, the need to reduce waste, and challenges related to health regulations place significant pressures on food companies. Additionally, global competition requires increased efficiency and productivity. Italian food companies must proactively address these challenges to remain competitive.

Among the most urgent issues are waste, energy consumption, and the need to preserve and improve product quality. In this dynamic context, the adoption of innovative solutions becomes crucial for the industry’s future.

According to data from the Barilla Foundation, in Italy, the food industry loses about 4% of total food production due to waste. These losses include products damaged during production and transportation, as well as unused scraps.

Moreover, the food industry is responsible for 30% of global industrial energy consumption. This data emphasizes the importance of reducing energy used in production processes to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Why Use IoT Solutions for Optimizing Food Production Processes

The use of IoT solutions for optimizing food production processes brings a series of advantages that positively impact efficiency, product quality, and the overall competitiveness of companies in the sector.

Machinery optimization is fundamental for the food industry. By reducing production times, increasing precision, and minimizing waste, companies can improve their competitiveness.

Additionally, real-time process monitoring offers greater visibility and control, allowing quick responses to emerging challenges and opportunities. This leads to more sustainable production and lower costs, through:

  • Quality Standards: In Italy, the food industry is known for adhering to rigorous quality standards. The production of high-quality products is crucial for global market competitiveness.
  • Quality Monitoring: Real-time monitoring of product quality is essential to ensure compliance with standards. The use of IoT systems, such as those provided by Zerynth, allows companies to continuously collect data on product quality and respond promptly to any deviations.
  • Continuous Improvement: Through the analysis of collected data, food companies can identify areas for improvement in product quality and make changes to production processes that better align with consumer needs.

Extracted Data and KPIs to Monitor

IoT solutions allow the extraction of data from machinery through simple signals, displaying them on dashboards for strategic optimization analysis.

Primary KPIs to consider when implementing optimization actions in food production include various aspects, from operational efficiency to product quality, ensuring a comprehensive view of process performance, such as:

  • Production Speed: Monitoring the speed of each machine to optimize overall production.
  • Accuracy and Quality: Evaluating the accuracy of the products produced to ensure their quality.
  • Energy Efficiency: Measuring energy consumption to identify improvement opportunities in terms of sustainability.
  • Cycle Time and Change: Analyzing the cycle times of each machine and the time required to change settings or products.
  • Proactive Maintenance: Monitoring the frequency and effectiveness of preventive maintenance activities to reduce downtime.
  • Final Product Quality: Assessing compliance with production specifications to ensure the quality of the final product.

Zerynth Solution and Industry 4.0

Zerynth is at the forefront of the digital transformation of the Italian food industry. The Zerynth IoT & AI platform offers a plug-and-play approach to connect any industrial machinery. This allows companies to acquire real-time data and use it to optimize processes. The ability to analyze data with artificial intelligence enables predicting failures, optimizing maintenance, and improving product quality.

One remarkable case study in food production is Erlacher, an Italian industrial pastry company, which successfully employed Zerynth’s plug-and-play IoT & AI platform to optimize production, interconnect its machinery, and obtain Industry 4.0 tax credits.

As a result, Erlacher gained greater visibility into its production processes and improved operational efficiency and data management. The company strategically positioned itself in the competitive field of Industry 4.0. Read the full story!

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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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