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Hitachi Process Intelligence (HPI) is a solution that combines advanced process and data analytics to support IoT driven decisions and accelerate business performance enabling digital transformation across industries.
Owen Keates, Associate Vice President, Supply Chain and Digital Transformation, Hitachi Consulting Australia, explains how Hitachi Process Intelligence was designed to enable digital transformation, how Hitachi facilitates this process, and the advantages of the solution.
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) was the winner of the first annual Hitachi Transformation Award. The award recognises a leading company that is transforming their businesses in new and innovative ways, with the support of Hitachi group solutions. See how Meat and Livestock are using cameras, sensors, data analytics, IoT and Hitachi Process Intelligence to transform their industry in Australia.
Many companies in the agriculture sector struggle to capture value through the adoption of new technology and fail to undergo a digital transformation due to the complexity and lack of prior experience in undertaking the journey. They also find it difficult to optimise their processes and decide which processes to digitalize.
HPI provides the answer to this by evaluating processes via industry best practice/benchmarks and implementing digital capabilities to optimise all farm operations. In addition, HPI delivers a digital transformation roadmap that assures organisations stay competitive, profitable and innovative.
HPI is an easy production automation and management system, which supports a dynamic array of agriculture market segments such as: meat & livestock, grains, citrus, cotton, apples, vineyards, nuts, avocado, sugar, dairy, and wool.
In crop farming, HPI supports and integrates soil nutrition and fertilisation data for both in field and green house operations. Planting, farming, production and cost information are captured for analysis, decision-making and report retrieving are centralised in a single display. This means HPI is a unified agriculture information system, which provides full crop traceability.
In livestock management, HPI provides a complete production recording and decision support system to manage a livestock operations. Operations benefit from a detailed recording of individual animal history to provide full traceability. HPI monitors grazing land management practices for a more sustainable grazing operation. HPI also calculates carrying capacity, plans stocking schedules, identifies grazing rotations, factors in paddock recovery periods and quantifies pasture productivity.
HPI provides real-time data collection and monitoring solutions using drones, sensors, satellites, connected tractors, cameras and other devices. It helps farming and livestock operations to manage, see, analyse and quickly act on time-sensitive data coming off the farm, field and paddock.
HPI’s built-in automated scheduler determines the optimum production timetable and adjusts operation schedules throughout the whole day in response to changing circumstances. The cornerstone of the HPI platform provides powerful tools to automate production scheduling, increase production efficiency and drive production improvements throughout farming and livestock management processes.
HPI offers a real-time alert and escalation system that enables universal visibility to issues, which impact production and mobilises a rapid response based on the operations standard operating procedures. This alert management and notification system instantly kicks in to notify those responsible to handle the issue so as to minimise downtime.
HPI provides an environment for farmers, suppliers and buyers to share market information. It provides ways to connect with reliable agricultural commodity price forecasters and agricultural market news syndicators.
HPI also provides a platform for sharing experiences with like-minded farmers and cattle stations. HPI thus acts as the farmers own agricultural technology expert.
HPI uses industry grade benchmarks to establish best practice for agriculture and livestock operations.
HPI provides tools to analyse farming and livestock production operational data, processes, mix data sources from different on field sensor logs and then provide appropriate and timely recommendations.
HPI also provides tools to forecast market outlook and probabilistic prices of crops and livestock.
HPI supports a comprehensive array of sensors with the ability to precisely and repeatedly scan the field for changes in different parameters, e.g. temperature, air humidity, soil moisture, barometer, EC, pH, light intensity, rainfall intensity, wind speed, etc.
HPI also controls various devices on the farm like, drip & cooling irrigation, fans, lighting, side vents, shade screens, etc.
These sensors constantly gather data about plant health, foliage density, light and weather. In addition, comprehensive IoT “smart farming” devices that monitor issues in the field, like irrigation status or soil tension add another dimension to the available data. These “smart farming” and “precision agriculture” data sets let farmers make decisions about what needs adjustments in field before it’s too late. This provides the capability of providing control mechanisms in irrigation systems. In this case sensors can determine humidity/moisture levels and optimise them to best practice.
HPI combines physical devices (low power consumption computers, sensors and smart phones) with network services (via the cloud), allowing farmers to make informed decisions to get the most from their crops and livestock. Starting with a multitude of sensors (measuring anything from soil and air quality, humidity and temperature to livestock numbers), and satellite or drone imagery, farmers can create a live ‘map’ of their property with minute-by-minute real-time data uploads.
HPI's Big data and analytics insights provide information regarding anything from predictive weather patterns to pesticide updates, as well as wholesale market prices and market decision support systems, to help farmers plan ahead. Armed with new tech tools (Android or iOS mobile devices), they can make the best decisions on when to fertilise and irrigate, to the ideal harvesting and transportation periods. These meaningful insights are then fed into predictive models for years to come.
HPI's key benefits include:
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the world will need to produce 70% more food in 2050 than it did in 2006 in order to feed Earth's growing population. To meet this demand, farmers and agricultural companies are turning to the Internet of Things for digital insights and greater production capabilities.
Farmers employing HPI will see an improvement in efficiency in their day-to-day work. For example, sensors placed in fields allow farmers to obtain detailed maps of both the topography and resources in the area, as well as variables such as acidity and temperature of the soil. They can also access climate forecasts to predict weather patterns in the coming days and weeks.
Farmers can use their smartphones to remotely monitor their equipment, crops, and livestock. They can also obtain stats on their livestock feeding schedule and produce. HPI can be leveraged even further to run statistical predictions for crop yields and livestock productivity. Additionally, drones have become an invaluable tool in this area of monitoring farms to provide a survey of land and crop nutritional information to help best determine on-farm best practice. The process of using satellite imagery and other technology (such as sensors) to observe and record data will ultimately achieve the goal of improving production output while minimising cost and preserving resources.
HPI's extensive capabilities help advance farm adoption of precision agriculture technologies, this will bring productivity and profitability to farmers.
HPI controls and monitors production systems by recognising land variation and managing all types of fields. Land management practices are determined according to a range of economic and environmental goals set by the farmer and aligned with best practice. To do this, HPI tools are used to collect large amounts of data on crop or animal performance and attributes of individual production areas (for example, fields, paddocks and blocks) by analysis of high spatial resolution images.
Hitachi is adapting and applying sensor systems that can be applied at a low cost to accurately monitor the state of plants, animals and soils. The data generated from such systems assists farmers to precisely manage their inputs in order to maximise production in the most cost effective and sustainable way.
HPI can also be used as a tool to help match land usage to farm capability. This helps address sustainability issues by optimising profitability in the productive parts of the farm while conserving biodiversity and the natural resource base in less productive parts.
The question of who benefits from food traceability is related to the question of who is responsible for food safety. Is it the farmer? The processor? The packager? The transportation company? The retailer? The consumer? All of the above?
The ability to trace food along its journey through the supply chain enables all entities, from farmer to seller, to meet safety requirements, to ensure product quality, and to respond quickly in case of a product recall. Most agriculture operations face challenges of generating value along the entire supply chain. With HPI invaluable insights the farmer can see information regarding where the product was harvested and apply best practice to optimise efficiency and profit.
HPI provides tools for fast and scalable data at a large volume (Big Data). Often times on-farm data generated is from hundreds of thousands of IoT sensors and devices from farming equipment, drones, sensors and even satellites. Big Data Analytics enables this data to have meaning to help precision agriculture meet policy objectives like food security and sustainability. Meaningful data insights provide farmers just the right kind of information to make the best decisions.
In short, leveraging big data and analytics through HPI provides new insights and recommendations to aid in better decision-making and enable farmers to easily visualize data and take action on the insights gained.
You can access HPI data on the global agricultural supply chain frameworks such as APQC & SCOR at your fingertips – consolidated in a single searchable platform of historical and forecast data on global agriculture markets. It offers multi-field flexible search functionality, in a user-friendly interface, enabling you to access the data quickly so that you have what is required for decision-making whenever needed.
HPI is a single platform that enables farmers to share and source information. Access to reliable market information helps farmers become better managers by assisting them in production planning to meet market demand and negotiate prices on a more ‘even footing’ with wholesalers and retailers. Wholesalers and retailers also derive benefits from improved market information with regard to procurement, marketing and distribution. Improved information allows traders to move agricultural inputs and produce from surplus to deficit areas and make financial decisions about maintaining stock. More efficient and transparent agricultural markets information dissemination will benefit all value chain stakeholders (growers, traders, investors, policymakers, processors and consumers) and can favorably improve the agribusiness management across the value chain.
|Corporate / Office Name||Hitachi Australia Pty Ltd|
|Address||Suite 801, Level 8, 123, Epping Road, North Ryde NSW 2113 Australia|
|Tel||+61 2 9888 4100 or 1800 HITACHI|
|Fax||+61 2 9888 4188|