Benefits and Best Practices of IoT in the Food and Beverage Industry
Many manufacturing businesses have adopted state-of-the-art technologies for digital transformation and Internet of Things (IoT) is one such technology. IoT is a network of devices that gather and forward data using the internet. The food and beverage industry also adopts IoT and its applications, allowing food suppliers, retailers, and other processors to obtain operational and financial success.
Food and quality monitoring systems, powered by IoT, provide greater visibility over product manufacturing, production, and transportation. IoT can even ensure governmental protocols, maintain operational efficiencies, and provide higher quality products. Let’s discuss the key challenges the food and beverage industry faces and how IoT can be an excellent solution for the industry.
Challenges in the F&B Industry and IoT Solutions
There are many challenges in the food and beverage industry that waste time, money, and products. Some common challenges in the food and beverage industry are:
1. Complex Data Sorting
In food manufacturing, the speed and volume of work are essential to earn profits, and all data should be stored properly. However, manually analyzing and sorting the complex data is a challenging task and can lead to errors and inaccuracy.
Solution: IoT offers various analysis and optimization tools that allow machines to self-regulate and communicate with other machines. The data from IoT is sorted and can be used to create actionable insights.
2. Staff Shortages
Food manufacturing companies are facing a never-before-seen shortage of workers from an aging skilled worker population to a shortage of young talent and increased employer competition.
Solution: IoT can combat the lack of skilled workers by providing powerful tools for job training so that new and existing employees can improve their work. Training tools like augmented reality and virtual reality using data from IoT is a great way to train employees quickly and safely and improve the employee experience.
3. Multi-National Supply Chain
The economy is global, and the market for raw materials and production is enormous. With raw materials coming from every part of the world, it becomes difficult to visualize, plan, and monitor the supply chain effectively.
Solution: IoT offers advanced data processing to help industries plan supply routes and monitor inventory so that managers can make better business decisions.
How IoT Can Help the Food & Beverage Industry
Increase Food Safety
The implementation of IoT in the food and beverage industry reduces the probability of food-related illnesses. A variety of sensors are used to monitor production state along with shipping time. One critical benefit of adopting IoT is reduced food rotting and temperature management plays a crucial role. IoT sensors track temperature in real-time, allowing enterprises to monitor food safety closely. If a storage or shipping container goes above or below a certain temperature threshold the sensors can alert management to take corrective action before any products are effected.
IoT improves logistics performance using GPS systems and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) transmitters, the distribution chain can be monitored effectively throughout the storage and shipping process all the way until it gets to the sales floor. This enables companies to decrease surplus and fulfill market requirements.
RFID tracking provides better visibility into the supply chain, automating the delivery and shipping process. It enables location tracking of products with GPS and collects essential data, which allows shippers to evaluate their performance in different regions.
Create a Transparent Supply Chain
Transparency and traceability of the products throughout the global supply chain help businesses build trust and create customer loyalty. Although domestic and international protocols can increase the complexity of the worldwide supply chain, IoT makes product tracking convenient for consumers and agencies.
Enhance Manufacturing, Production, and Storage
Various sensors integrated with factory systems inspect the manufacturing, production, and storage process to keep up with quality control, employee activity, product tracking, and to analyze output in real-time. Sensors continuously monitor the color of the products, such as flour, etc., to rectify any issues.
One of the biggest concerns of the food and beverage industry is food waste and advanced technology has provided efficient ways to save products. Food waste results in money loss and damage to the environment. IoT helps monitor the stages of food production and the state of food products, provides real-time information, and takes necessary steps to reduce food waste.
Address Maintenance Issues
Maintenance is vital in the manufacturing and food and beverage industries however, factory employees cannot predict maintenance issues and downtime. Remote equipment monitoring makes it easy to predict issues that eventually save time and money.