Bühler Develops Digital Solutions With Microsoft For A Sustainable Food Industry

Monday, April 30th, 2018 | 1234 Views

Bühler and Microsoft have announced their partnership to develop digital solutions for a sustainable food value chain on 18 April 2018.

As part of a new partnership with Microsoft, Bühler is set to unveil digital technologies that include minimising toxic contamination, reducing food waste, and increasing end-product quality across the whole food value chain.

The new digital solutions and services will be presented at the Microsoft booth at Hannover Messe in Germany.

“Today’s food value chains are facing tremendous challenges. Digital solutions will allow us to improve food safety and integrity, and reduce food losses and waste. They enable us to be more efficient in production,” says Ian Roberts, chief technology officer at the Bühler Group.

He adds, “In fact, with intelligent implementation of our digital capabilities, we will make a major step towards meeting our goals of lowering waste and energy consumption in the food value chain by 30 percent.”

“For the agriculture industry to meet the global quality demands of the future, sustainability in all aspects of agricultural production is key,” says Caglayan Arkan, general manager for manufacturing and resources at Microsoft.

He also comments: “Microsoft’s mission is to help leaders like Bühler take advantage of its data using our Azure cloud and Azure Internet of Things technologies to accurately forecast trends in agriculture, improve food safety, and provide better services for customers.”

The Bühler-Microsoft collaboration comes at a time when the global food industry faces increasing environmental and economic pressure. By 2050, the planet’s population is predicted to grow to nine billion. Providing sufficient nutritious food in a sustainable way is a major challenge we have only begun to address.

More than 30 percent of global energy goes into food production. However, around 30 percent of all food is lost or wasted, while 800 million people are starving. From today’s perspective, we continue to challenge the limits of our agricultural systems, which will need to supply an additional 265 million tons of plant protein by 2050.

Bühler’s declared aim, through smart partnerships, is to create businesses that contribute to solving these challenges. “With the digitisation of the food industry, we have a new capability we can bring to bear,” says Mr Roberts.

The showcases to be presented at the Hannover industry tradeshow cover whole value chain from farm to fork in five main areas. They are namely: Gamaya—improving efficiency and sustainability of industrial farms; Breakthrough sorting solution—saving lives and increasing yields; PreMa—intelligent storage and handling; TotalSense—providing quick and objective quality control for rice; Safefood.ai—improving food safety through data-driven early warnings.

“Collaborations like this one will be essential to feeding our world and fuelling a better future for our natural resources and food production. With artificial intelligence and the cloud, we have the technology to address some of the biggest challenges facing the industry,” comments Mr Arkan.

Mr Robert concludes: “The digital revolution is a huge opportunity for the food manufacturing industry. It has the potential to bring beneficial changes along the entire value chain, improving safety, transparency and efficiency, and reducing energy consumption and waste. This partnership will equip us with tools to address some of the key challenges the industry and the world face.”