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Commercialising an Innovative and Autonomous Analytical Solution Combining On-Line Measurements with Intelligent Cloud Functionalities for Adding Value to Dairy Products.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - InSightPro (Commercialising an Innovative and Autonomous Analytical Solution Combining On-Line Measurements with Intelligent Cloud Functionalities for Adding Value to Dairy Products.)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2019-05-31

The EU dairy industry is very dominant in the world market. Worldwide, New Zealand and the EU are the largest net exporters. New Zealand is the world’s top dairy exporter, accounting for around 40% of the international trade, the EU with over 26% and the USA with 16% (Ref: The competitive position of the European food and drink industry, Final Report 2016. ECSIP Consortium European Commission)
The EU- 28 exports amount €10bn to other countries, while New Zealand exports amount to €7.6bn. Although the export value is increasing the world, market share of the EU is – according to EU Milk Market Observatory – decreasing, since the world market is growing faster than the EU can meet. The competitiveness of the dairy industry in EU forces the players to take strategic actions for quality control and product optimization to enhance their competitivity.
Q-Interline develops high-tech analytical solutions for process and product quality optimization, based on NIR spectroscopy and correct sampling for customers in the food, feed, dairy, agricultural, bio fuels, pharmaceutical and chemical industry.
More than 250 clients and over 550 Q-Interline installations runs worldwide since 1996 and makes Q-Interline a recognized player in the analyser market.
The InSight Pro on-line analyser concept provides a novel Fourier Transform Near-Infrared (FT-NIR) solution with a set of cloud functionalities aimed to enter new international markets within the food industry, and in particular the dairy sector.
Some important problems in the food industry are how to utilize raw material and production capacity in the most optimal way in respect to; product quality, raw material usage, reduce waste of raw material, reduction of scraped end-product, reduction of energy consumption. It is without doubt, that the global population increases constantly, and so does the demand for food products of constant quality level. Hence, high utilization of raw material and less scrap production is needed, along with optimal usages of production capacity and energy. Only when the production is under control, sustainable usage of global resources is possible.
The best way to address these problems is to control the quality of the raw material, operational processes and to monitor the final product. In order to gain control, the food manufacturer must have important intelligence in real time. He must have process control strategies and be able to react in due time to changes occurring in the production process.
The initial objective was to present a reliable high precision on-line analyser to be installed easily without cutting into existing pipe systems in the dairy production, but only install a weld-in adapter or a standard pipe connection. Moreover, to create a reliable analyser with no annual maintenance, no annual NIR Lamp change, no Laser lamp change, same calibration models as the laboratory analyser and with the best signal to noise ratio.
The secondary- but more important target with the InSight Pro project was to upscale, pilot and commercialize the first complete on-line solution with integrated cloud services which would significantly improve the quality- and process control of dairy products, maximizing their added value and making all hardware and application maintenance autonomous.
The conclusions from the project has been that we have been able to create a unique analyser concept to optimize food production. The InSight Pro concept enables food producers to reduce waste of raw material as well as scrap of expensive finished food products. The InSight Pro concept furthermore delivers important intelligence of the production stability and enables the food producers to optimize energy consumption in the production in particular when it comes to milk and whey powder driers. Finally, the InSight Pro concept allows customers to produce food and dairy products to a constant high quality level with a minimum of maintenance and automated remote surveillance.
The InSight Pro project has had a positive impact on employment of resources in Q-Interline and at our partners and suppliers. The number of FTEs in Q-Interline has increased by 31% during the project
Beginning of the project period, we developed a unique on-line analyser concept further with a superior FT-NIR technology including an organizational support concept to ease the implementation at unexperienced customers. We have additionally developed a cloud based surveillance tool working through an App for mobile phone and tablets to ensure optimal quality control. By means of establishing quality control charts and operational tasks to be followed by the operators, this tool enables quality managers to obtain a high level of quality control utilizing operators not used to work in the quality department.
Based on the learnings from the pilot studies along with the product development undertaken during the initial period of the project, we have overlooked and developed production strategy and logistic plans along with in-depth competition studies.
Additional, we have assessed sales and distribution issues and investigated stakeholders and different market segments of interest, developed training material for our sales staff and our distributor network along with supporting videos, brochure in several languages, exhibition material, advertisements in relevant magazines, press release, e-shots, LinkedIn posts and direct mailing etc.
Different revenue forecast models has been established and respectively scale-up implementation plan with different market approach models has been generated.
A final PCDER for the project has been developed.
Finally, we have been working on developing a separate business innovation plan. The business innovation plan combined with revenue stream analysis and the scale-up implementation plan represents the backbone of our strategy.
The outcome of the project has been to develop and commercialize a disruptive on-line analytical solution for use in the dairy industry enabling producers to improve their production margins and quality.
Further, to develop cloud services that pertain to the specific needs of the dairy producers. The sales and distribution methods are to be identified and key stakeholders mapped and targeted in order to secure commercial success.
Socio-Economic Impact:
Consumers are more conscious about food quality. InSight Pro will contribute to control dairy production lines keeping them profitable by monitoring critical parameters of each dairy product.
Reduction of food losses and waste. Around 88 million tons of food is wasted annually in the EU, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros. InSight Pro will help to produce in a more competitive way, detecting food spoilage or contamination instantaneously in real time.
Resource efficient food production. Using resources in an efficient and competitive way is a relevant objective of the EC15. InSight Pro will facilitate more intelligent use of raw materials