Automation and industrial robotics
Data analytics and traceability for chain safety and optimisation
IK4-TEKNIKER´s offer for the agrofood sector comprises the following areas:
- Development of ad hoc sensor devices covering the entire value chain; ranging from validating the measuring principle to proof of concept trials and end products. These sensors can provide on-site and real time monitoring for different food quality parameters (pH, alcoholic strength, percentage of fat, degree of fruit ripeness, colourimetry, turbidity, etc.). They can also detect allergens, pathogens, pesticides and contaminating compounds, among other things. Likewise, devices are being developed to monitor animal behaviour and how their wellbeing is affected when in transit as well as impacts associated with environmental conditions at farms (measuring pH, temperature, humidity and brightness, CO2, ammonia or methane).
- The development of multifunctional surfaces resulting from applying different technologies such as surface texturising (NIL, laser or photolithography technology) and coatings (PVD, Sol Gel technology) or a combination of the two to deliver new properties (anti-bacterial, anti-rust, anti-ice, anti-adherence, temperature resistance or repellence among others) to improve food quality and safety and facilitate handling.
AUTOMATION AND INDUSTRIAL ROBOTICS
- The development of technology for process automation by means of artificial vision, guided robotics and bin picking solutions. These solutions are deployed for automated quality control, in-process product selection, automated detection of foreign matter and for the execution of customised multi-reference orders at the end of a line with collaborative robots.
DATA ANALYTICS AND TRACEABILITY FOR CHAIN SAFETY AND OPTIMISATION
- The development of IoT (Internet of Things) data analytics and management platforms to upgrade efficiency in different stages of the food chain; to optimise production systems and deliver information on food quality, traceability and safety throughout the entire process. These platforms provide monitoring and follow-up capabilities covering key parameters as well as the creation of different predictive and adaptable analytical models based on data gathered through process sensors.
- The development of technology to analyse process life cycles to achieve reductions in terms of water and power consumption and emissions in the agrofood business, to minimise environmental impacts and address the incorporation of renewables. This also makes it possible to revalue surpluses and by-products generated in the food business by means of chemical and biochemical treatments whose aim is to obtain new products and technologies to make better use of residual heat produced by processes, reduce impacts caused by cleaning waters and remove pollutants from waste waters, among other things.
Competitive advantages in the agrofood sector resulting from IK4-TEKNIKER´s technological capabilities.
- Improved product quality originating from real-time process monitoring used to anticipate events by modifying process parameters according to product characteristics at a given point in time.
- Production optimisation based on improving manufacturing controls (methods and timing), to predict when raw materials will arrive to provide demand estimates.
- Enhanced process automation and optimisation of intra-logistics based on improving interoperability between units to implement a digital and connected industry whose ultimate goal is to reduce costs by automating data collection and shortening response times.
- Increasing sustainability: optimisation of raw materials, reduction of waste and less water and energy consumption.
- Improving food safety by guaranteeing product identification and traceability.