Bega Cheese to streamline supply chain with new software

By Rodney Woods

Bega Cheese has selected software company Software AG to provide its Cumulocity Internet of Things solution, which will link the company's farmer suppliers, milk transport and storage, and processing facilities.

The deal will see Software AG providing Bega Cheese with IoT solutions to provide real-time data on milk production including volumes, temperature, quality composition and transport conditions, to gain efficiencies in pick-up and delivery frequency to reduce costs and improve traceability.

Bega Cheese supply chain general manager Adel Salman said the company knew IoT could be an excellent solution, especially with the use of real-time data for both inbound and outbound activities in the company's supply chain.

“What we didn't have was experience in setting up IoT projects,” he said.

“So we started looking around for a partner that could provide us with IoT expertise, resources, industry contacts and help with government backing.

“Swinburne University of Technology with its Internet of Things Lab and Industry 4.0 initiatives as well as its research partnership with Software AG was the perfect collaborator for us.

“Swinburne University listened to what we needed to achieve and together with Software AG, developed an IoT strategy with a set of solutions that met our needs.”

The scope of the project will include:

● A novel low-cost milk quality sensor, enabled for IoT.

● An IoT ‘live’ supply chain monitoring system for continuous real-time monitoring of milk supply quantity and quality, farm conditions (humidity and temperature) affecting milk production and milk pick-up events across the supply chain

● A dynamic pick-up scheduling and monitoring tool that utilises sensor data reporting milk supply change events to automatically maintain optimal pick-up schedules and pick-up events to monitor schedule and process adherence.

● A predictive machine learning-based highly accurate forecasting tool for milk quality and quantity that exploits live and long-term historical data from sensors across the supply chain.

● A Farmer App that provides milk forecasting, together with milk quality and pick-up alerts.

Swinburne University will also develop and build unique new IoT sensors specifically for Bega Cheese.

“We're excited to see the benefits that IoT can bring to our company,” Mr Salman said.

“By working with Swinburne University and Software AG, we hope to be able to increase our growth across higher-value premium products thus enhancing the competitiveness for both Bega and our suppliers.

“We also aim to increase the company's supply chain sustainability by reducing milk wastage and fuel consumption of our milk transport partners.”

The project is expected to run for 12 to 18 months.