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The Internet and Fruit

The internet and fruit? Strange title, we know. What does the internet have to do with fruit? No, we’re not talking about doing your weekly fruit and veg shopping online. It’s much more than that. The internet and technology, in general, are revolutionising the agricultural industries, from planting and monitoring to packing and distribution.

To understand the relationship, we first need to explore the concept of the fourth industrial revolution.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)

The concept of the fourth industrial revolution is based on the fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

The speed at which these cyber-physical systems are being implemented and created is so fast and fluid that it’s hard to foresee exactly what will come, although advances in areas that directly affect our businesses, such as supply chain management, automated transportation, and ease of communication, are already being seen and implemented across the globe.

To read up a little on the concept, IBM has an excellent article, discussing the impact of 4IR.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

A key driver in this revolution is the Internet of Things (IoT). Essentially this term describes the network of physical objects [things] that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies that facilitate the connection and exchange of data with other devices and systems over the internet.

Low-cost computing, the introduction of the cloud and mobile phones are technologies we use every day that fall under this banner. Industrial IoT takes this even further, with some common uses being:

  • Smart digital supply chains
  • Connected assets and preventative and predictive maintenance
  • Connected logistics
  • Collection and analysing of data to allow for better decision making

GP Graders and AgTech

The possibilities that the 4IR and IoT open for fruit growers are exciting, and in this fast past environment, regular innovation is required. Here are some ways GP Graders are utilising 4IR in our production process and in the products we deliver to you.

1. Technology

More than just a control screen, our new Human Machine Interface (HMI) is intuitively designed and very simple to use. Providing valuable, insightful data on a clear and concise dashboard that puts decision information making front and center.

2. Automation

gpVision™ and our fruit grading machinery significantly reduces the human hours required to sort fruit accurately. Automation occurs at multiple stages through the process, from robotics that deliver or ‘tip’ fruit in to the feed systems right through to automatic box fillers.

3. Internet of Things (IoT)

When gpVision™ is connected to the internet, the system can be supported and monitored remotely. This improves response times, reduces downtime, supports growers to make adjustments more easily on the fly, and makes for overall smoother packhouse operations.

4. CNC and 3D Printing

We’re not just contributing to the 4IR movement, we’re utilising and benefiting from it. Many of the components in our machines are manufactured using large industrial CNC routers and 3D Printers. These state-of-the-art machines improve efficiency, accuracy and speed, allowing us to control and manage a segment in our parts supply chain.

5. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Our team are consistently working on the gpVision™ software to make it even more accurate and intelligent. We’ve already begun the implementation of one specific branch of AI. Machine Learning, with the use of data and algorithms, imitates the way that humans learn, learning gradually and improving accuracy over time. In defect detection, for example, this means more problem fruit being identified correctly and just as importantly, fewer false positives.

Let’s Start the Techno Fruit Conversation

The number of new acronyms, ideas, and concepts that the fourth industrial revolution brings can be overwhelming, but the reality is, to shape the AgTech revolution, we need to be involved in it.

Whether you’re ready to see efficiencies in your operation or just want to learn more, we’ll continue to share our findings, learnings, and knowledge to support the advancement of the industry.

Want to talk tech? Get in touch today.

Author: gpgraders
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