Stakeholders in the animal feed industry often struggle with the timing and quantity evaluation when restocking their feed silos. These struggles stem mostly from outdated supply chain management. This use case thus aims to decrease costs and improve labour efficiency for feed suppliers and livestock farmers by developing an integral feed stock management system to optimise the entire supply chain.
This use case started deploying their Insylo devices in empty bins. Insylo is a product allowing the remote monitoring of inventory levels in any kind of tanks. Hence, they moved from bins on to real farms with animal feed silos. Eventually they acquired two silos of their own, to make validating and testing improvements of the device much easier.
Insylo has a depth-sensing-camera powered by a solar panel, so it can function independently. The camera looks inside farm silos and collects data about the empty space, the temperature and humidity within the silo. For this, state-of-the-art optical imaging and information communication is used. The use case has lately finetuned the manufacturing of the sensors, and the high-volume performance of the cloud as well as app. Not unusual for technological innovation, this has not happened without overcoming several hurdles. There was no off-the-shelf solution to monitor bulk solids in farm silos to rely upon. Therefore, the hardware had to be developed by the team. The development of such a product requires complex operations and planning, and a high level of detail and expertise. After overcoming these challenges, there is now a version that works reliably in extreme field conditions, such as extreme sun, snow, rain and dust.
Exact knowledge of inventory levels in silos is critical for supply chain optimisation. When done properly, this should have financial impact in terms of a reduction in logistics and production costs by up to 30%. In terms of logistics, a reduced number of trips by feed trucks consequently results into environmental and social impact in terms of pollution, less traffic, noise and other inconvenience.
All new ventures and projects worth doing are challenging. One of the key insights that this use case has to offer is: find the right venture, the right project or the right problem worth solving and working for. One of the signs that you are on the right track is that the people you speak to care about the problem in their day to day work. They give you time and direction to arrive at solutions, even after having tried many alternative methods to solve the same problem. These are your champions, the real advocates for the solution you build – and it is critical to ensure their feedback is considered.