Wednesday, 14 August 2019 10:21

Swinburne Uni leads $2 million dairy industry supply chain project Featured

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Swinburne University is leading a $2 million supply chain project to develop new technology aimed at enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s $13.7 billion dairy industry.

Funding of the ‘Live Inbound Milk Supply Chain Monitoring and Logistics for Productivity and Competitiveness’ project (Milk Supply Chain Project) will be boosted by a $600,000 contribution under round 7 of the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P).

Swinburne’s two-and-a-half-year project will develop an Internet of Things (IOT)-based system that links dairy farms, milk carriers and a milk processor, and allows live monitoring of milk supply chains, with the data collected enabling highly accurate milk supply forecasting.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with Bega Cheese, Telstra and three Australian milk suppliers and director of Swinburne’s Internet of Things Lab and project researcher, Professor Dimitrios Georgakopoulos, says the project will improve operational efficiencies and create opportunities to generate revenue.

“We will be using cutting-edge technology, including over 700 sensors, to measure specific aspects of the supply chain. We will also use Telstra’s newly-deployed Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network, which is Australia’s largest IoT network and one of the largest in the world,” Professor Georgakopoulos says.

“The data collected by the IoT sensors will find trends to make production schedules more efficient and enable highly accurate milk supply forecasting. These collectively enhance the chain’s productivity and competitiveness.”

The Milk Supply Chain Project - part of Swinburne’s Industry 4.0 Initiative - is the fourth Swinburne project to receive funding under the CRC-P grant scheme since it was introduced in 2016, with separate rounds allocating funding to:

  • develop a new and unique biodegradable and renewable bio-based oil
  • introduce an Australian graphene characterisation and certification capability, and
  • investigate high-performance energy storage alternatives to lithium-ion batteries.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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