The technology comes at a time when travel restrictions and efforts to promote social distancing have limited traditional feed mill site visits.
The remote capabilities, said Trouw Nutrition, allow dosing engineers to monitor, troubleshoot and adjust product dosing on Selko dosing equipment during feed production 24/7 via the ‘cloud’.
Whereas a visit to the feed mill was traditionally required to ensure optimal dosing and application, it said the remote system allows dosing engineers to note deviations on volumes used during production and take proactive steps to mitigate the issue.
The capabilities are available to any feed mill with an internet connection and are offered at no additional cost to customers, added the developer.
Feed processors, dosing engineers and support teams can connect remotely and view real-time data on inclusion rates. Once exported, the data can generate reports on performance of equipment and comparison of volumes utilized compared to forecasts, reported the company.
The data generated, it said, can also alert Trouw Nutrition customer support team members to potential issues requiring resolution, such as a problem with equipment or process efficiency.
Industry 4.0 and IoT applications are making great headway in the feed sector, and Nutreco’s livestock feed business has been embracing such innovation, commented Jeffrey Huijsmans, global dosing manager, Selko Feed Additives.
To deliver optimum service to customers, he said companies need full access: “Timely information allows us to proactively avoid problems and respond to any abnormal findings that show up in the data.”
The pandemic, he said, generated key learnings for the company about the requirements of feed production plants, globally. “Remote access to dosage data is a significant advance in efficiently supporting customers’ feed production businesses, especially at this time of reduced travel.”
Feed mill managers or engineers can determine whether the machines are running as they should and can compare trends across feed mills using these ‘cloud-based’ services, remarked Prince Nanda, global program manager, Trouw Nutrition.
The commercialization of this offering follows several successful pilot tests completed with Trouw Nutrition’s feed processing businesses and independent feed mills.
“We have run pilots in multiple feed mills in many regions around the world. The overall feedback is very positive and we are trying to improve the capabilities continuously. What has been appreciated the most is the ability to troubleshoot remotely and avoiding downtime, a critical parameter for feed millers these days. Downtime can prove very costly for feed mills,” Nanda told FeedNavigator.
Feed mills, in general, are becoming increasingly larger, and there is a need to secure business continuity, he added. “Remote dosing data and logging capabilities ensures they can produce feed in a uniform way. By generating a lot of data, feed millers can have very precise control.”
Trouw Nutrition is looking to further develop remote access services for feed mills, with inventory control and preventative maintenance potential target application areas, added Huijsmans.