IPP&T Magazine Online

New platform promises significant productivity improvements for food industry

April 6, 2021   Don Horne

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) has announced a $3 million collaborative project, featuring over $1.4 million in co-funding, to develop and scale a novel production monitoring and optimization platform.

Along with partners Saputo and Accuenergy, Panevo is building on successes from a 2020 Pilot Project which was launched to address the food processing sector’s lagging adoption of industry 4.0 technologies. The consortium will apply a novel solution for determining the performance of production assets across food processing and related supply chains.

The new project will create a scalable, commercially ready real-time monitoring and advanced analytics platform which will lead to significant commercial opportunities for the consortium partners.

“Supporting innovative technologies like ioTORQ from development to deployment is essential in building up the capabilities of Canadian manufacturers,” said Jay Myers, CEO, NGen. “This project will leverage NGen’s network to support the development of leaner, modernized, and more flexible manufacturing operations in Canada, while reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.”


During the project, Panevo’s ioTORQ software, which is hosted in Canada on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, will be demonstrated with support from a network of Supercluster members. By leveraging connections within the food processing sector and related supply chains, the consortium aims to develop Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and related metrics in true real time, along with advanced machine learning analytics, and ultimately enable a step-change in productivity.

The solution primarily utilizes Accuenergy’s IoT gateways to readily integrate with established manufacturing operations and their production assets irrespective of type or age, facilitating a smoother transition and simpler adoption of industry 4.0 technologies.

As experts in industrial energy management and resource conservation, Panevo also estimates that even modest productivity improvements in the food processing sector could unlock significant potential to reduce industrial GHG emissions. As data sets grow, the consortium partners anticipate that new growth opportunities will arise in many sectors beyond food processing.

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