Tekniker and AZTI join forces to produce Industry 4.0 applications for the food industry

Date 26-01-2021 Tekniker

Both technology centres, AZTI and Tekniker, centres have signed a collaboration agreement designed to offer technological solutions for the entire food value chain.

A suitable knowledge of the sector combined with new technological tools such as robotics, Big Data, cybersecurity or advanced sensorics, among others, allow companies to obtain information quickly. This will help them to anticipate unexpected events and improve management actions exponentially for their businesses.

The food sector and its companies are fully aware of the need to incorporate these technologies to advance towards smarter business management and production. For an efficient digital transformation to be carried out, it is essential to have in-depth knowledge on the sector and implement an integral approach for companies and their value chains to make gradual changes as a function of their specific characteristics.

It is in this context that the AZTI and Tekniker technology centres, members of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), have set up a joint collaboration based on the FOODTECH 4.0 alliance to deliver technological solutions covering the entire value chain of the food business. The ultimate goal of this alliance will be focused on combining the knowledge and experience of AZTI’s sea and food value chain and Tekniker’s expertise with regard to Industry 4.0 technological solutions.

Both technology centres have been working for years to progressively implement 4.0 transformations adapted not only to the specific individual needs of all companies but also, to their goals, their realities and their value chains. This alliance will allow AZTI and Tekniker to join forces geared towards digitising the food sector.

More specifically, AZTI, a research centre that specialise in the maritime-fishing and food value chain, will contribute its knowledge and expertise to deliver solutions (4.0 and non-digital) aimed at developing new production processes that are more competitive, sustainable and safer for food processing. The organisation will also contribute its experience linked to the development of new food products based on processing food that is sustainable, safe, integral and healthy.

The Tekniker technology centre, on the other hand, will provide its expertise to develop innovative applications related to digital and industrial manufacturing, namely, 4.0 technologies such as sensorics, artificial vision, automation, robotics or artificial intelligence, among others, that have already been implemented in other sectors such as aeronautics, automotive, machine tools or renewables.

Joint efforts carried under this alliance are focused on improving product quality by monitoring production processes; at optimising production by enhancing manufacturing controls, predicting the arrival of raw materials and estimating demand; at furthering process automation and optimising intralogistics; at increasing sustainability levels in the food sector and guaranteeing food safety.

4.0 solutions for the food value chain

In order to address a wide range of challenges, the FOODTECH 4.0 alliance has submitted a joint offer listing unique technological solutions for the entire food value chain, ranging from where resources originate (like the sea, for instance) to food distribution.

Among other things, FOODTECH 4.0 offers food companies 4.0 customised diagnostics to assist them in their attempts to carry out a gradual digital transformation that is fully adapted to their needs, goals and value chains. Thanks to this collaboration it will also be possible to develop of smart solutions to ensure the quality, safety and traceability of food products, upgrade food chain efficiency and increase consumer confidence.

More specifically, the implementation of advanced sensoric systems will allow for 100% production inspections. They will also serve to standardise product quality reduce quality control duration, guarantee labelling, ensure compliance with regulated parameters, improve traceability, implement preventive actions designed to anticipate contingencies and optimise the efficiency and safety of production processes.

The offer submitted by AZTI and Tekniker also contains actions focused on planning and designing automated solutions and robotic systems to reduce lead times, standardise processes and guarantee homogeneity in terms of product quality and characteristics as well as food safety by reducing manipulations.

FOODTECH 4.0, moreover, has also considered developing and implementing data processing and integration (Big Data) platforms and tools and based on open source technologies or configuring services and tools using commercial platforms.

The alliance forged by AZTI and Tekniker also features traceability and quality control in advanced systems to meet transparency requirements that consumers find are becoming increasingly important. These systems, based on IoT technologies, Big Data or Artificial Intelligence will enable operators in the food value chain to improve production and management actions.

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