IntelliFood and Seacon Europe
The Seacon Europe Ltd. is engaged in software development, in consulting and in related education. Using multiple technologies, the company produces unique developments and standard/commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software for more business branches.
The applicant’s main profile is the software development. The experiments have many years of experience in software development technologies, and they have experience in multi-stakeholder project work as well. The applicant is a technical and technological partner in the project.
IntelliFood and business partner
The HuBakers Ltd. is engaged in trading food raw materials and mixes. The raw materials are purchased from foreign partners, and HuBakers makes the complex mixes. These will be delivered to the customers by the enterprise or by more subcontractors, and HuBakers do not produce finished products.
As a business partner the company uses some IT solutions, but it does not have controlling/monitoring solution, which is the subject of the application. However, for a long time it is struggling with such problems, which can be solved with the controlling/monitoring solution. The business partner is innovator and food industry expert in the project.
The problem - Customer’s pains
Certain materials (commodities) and their mixes delivered or produced by business partner are fastidious about temperature, light and humidity. The storage of these materials needs specific parameters, otherwise waste product will be generated, which must be removed or destruct. In case of mixtures containing sensitive material is the storage really important as well, because the waste material has impact on the product, however the monitoring of the mixture making is essential.
HuBakers has suppliers in Nederland, Germany, Poland, France and customers in Romania, Slovakia. Because it is planned to extend the intelligent control and monitoring solution for the partners, this direction is obvious.
IntelliFood as intelligent software solution is able to detect and keep record on the internal and external parameters together having impact on the quality and food safety of the perishable products.
The business partner is producing and saleing perishable bakery complex mixes and additives, that are stored at chilled temperature from 4 to12°C. This huge temperature difference is coming from the different product types; particularly it is important the new health related developments that are very temperature sensitive and perishable.
IntelliFood is very practical because ensures the continuous process control in the whole supply chain (from supply via logistic to final customer), particularly in the most critical areas that are hardly control in the common life or impossible with/by commonly used paper based techniques. Because of the dynamic features it is not just simply keeps records, but monitors whether the observed condition within or without the predetermined tolerance levels and gives alarms to users online to the users. The key benefit is that this information is available in longer term, so the transparency and traceability is guaranteed and give opportunity to user /dedicated person to make correction action in time to save cost and waste. Moreover helps to overcome unpredictable difficulties without or smaller losses and handle the control and monitoring during weekend, holiday, not working hours as well.
This solution is unique, because basis on real measurements and complex analysis of the measured data. The applicability is very broad from raw supply to customer’s relationship, covering the whole chain. The further benefits are the flexibility of the software, easy to adopt, customer friendly, so able to take into consideration/adopt/integrate the special customers’ business, quality and food safety needs easily and quickly.
Our result is an internationally innovative system, which cannot be purchased in the market, and not only the whole system but also the subsystems contain a number of novel features.
• Joint control and monitoring of the various stages of the food supply chain using objective measurement data collection.
• Preparation of summary reports and analyzes about the various stages of the food supply chain.
• Intelligent information module provides an opportunity for professionals to optimize food production and storage (later the transport), in addition to serve the cost-cutting efforts
IntelliFood won’t be limited to a specific type of business actor in the supply chain. Because of its scalable features it is about a realizations and application of best practice methodology: think globally, act locally and let’s build on certain basic. Building a solution on objective measures of independent equipments it is possible to provide the extensive offer of information (think about the environmental parameters, production characteristic, loss factors). Also the next customer types can be targeted
• the suppliers of commodities, raw materials, endproducts,
• the transport/service providers,
• the farmers,
• the producers, manufacturers,
• the bigger customers covered more phases of the supply chain.
The list of the milestones contains the bigger work packages of the project.
• First phase: Survey and planning - Requirements analysis, decisions about the methods
• Second phase: Purchase of equipment - Purchase of the required wireless network sensor kit
• Third phase: Development of the basic solution
• Fourth phase: Development of the extended solution - Integration with the FIWARE technology
• Fifth phase: Validation and adoption
• Sixth phase: Project management
Applied FIware technology
It is applied two Generic Enablers:
• The Complex Event Processing (CEP) - IBM Proactive Technology Online and
• The Publish/Subscribe Context Broker - Orion Context Broker
The application collecting the sensors’ data is connected to an Orion Context Broker. The sensor continuously bombards the broker and the data get in the persistent store based on MongoDB.
The Complex Event Processing GE is in connection with Orion GE and it will help us to explore the warnings, failures, errors, extreme measurement values, the adequacy of the data associated with the time created in our system.
Publish/Subscribe Context Broker - Orion Context Broker
Orion Context Broker is a part of the Configuration Manager GE, which is a NGSI9/NGSI10 server implementation. By means of its using information can be stored, and the stored information can be made available, thus embedded in the FIWARE technology it is possible to catalogue related data, to update their content with data modification commands, and perform queries on the data.
We can subscribe to events that take place during the pre-stored data changes, for example if a sensor measured value is changed or a certain period has elapsed (timer). In this case, we receive a notification.
The NGSI10 server is responsible for the data storing, which happens in a schema-free (nonsql) MongoDB database.
Complex Event Processing (CEP) Generic Enabler (IBM Proactive Technology Online)
The CEP GE event analyzes data in real time, discovers the data changes and can provide immediate answers to them. However, it can respond situations as well. The situation is a condition, which is based on a series of events, which come into existence in a variable time interval. The situations may involve complex events (sequences), support the use of operators in the events (eg. aggregation). In our solution the monitoring and controlling based on the data behavior may have an important role. In our case, for example, being connected to the subscription of the NGIS10 broker, and using its data as input, we can implement event management based on complex conditions.
The prepared solution is a system based on wireless sensor network, which is made up of temperature and humidity measurement units (approximately 12-15 sensor points) which are able to communicate with each other. The wiring is not required, the easy to deploy mobile sensors measure the values of the parameters scheduled and communicate the results to a central data store.
The processing application operating in the same place evaluates the measurements and sends alerts for the responsible people according to the rules are set. The regular measurements allow the precise storage of the storage and mixing parameters along the given particular materials and mixes, and in this way the quality management becomes verifiable beside the identification of the product.
Beside the simple statements based on binding of basic substance / mixture and measured temperature / humidity values, complex information can be prepared as well, which takes account of other factors such as seasonality, storage time, suppliers, etc.
IntelliFood and the future
There are further quality, quantity and business potentials in the intelligent software solution developed in the project. In the future the scalability can be done, extended taking into account business and technology aspects, such as:
• storage/production capacity
• raw material/product portfolio
• suppliers/customers groups
• applicability in other perishable food sector, such as fish, fruit and vegetable
• applicability in interdisciplinary areas together with the food sector such as wending machine, logistic
• extended goal of the measurements (using more and/or new sensors)
• changing the setup of the measurement (frequency)
• data management
Handling the information derived from the different members of the supply chain in intelligent or complex way, and dynamic nature of the developed solution contributes to wider service package, because the other actors along chain also need information, real business solution as well. It makes the SMEs’ businesses more transparent, more effective from the cost and quality, food safety perspectives and more predictable for the software amortising perspectives.