Connectivity as a partner in logistics20 August 2018
A study by USP in partnership with the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock indicates a 5.5% increase in the GDP for agribusiness in 2018. To maintain the enormous growth rate of agricultural production and productivity in the country in recent decades, advanced fleet monitoring and optimisation technologies are essential. Connectivity and monitoring improve logistics, enabling the continuous operation of machines, preventing waste, and oversizing of resources. Fuel economy is also among the major advantages of fleet monitoring, optimisation of product allocation, predictability of actions, reduction of unnecessary displacements, and insights for obtaining and adopting good practices.
Efficient movement of raw material from the field to processing is one of the most critical phases of production, and a stage that is filled with logistical risks that can compromise volume, quality, and production economics. Harvesting, loading, and transport account for an average of 30% to 60% of raw material costs and are often higher due to inefficiencies in the process. We must emphasise that in remote environments, such as farms and forests, a single variable can impact productivity in unforeseen and adverse ways, which reinforces the importance of more efficient monitoring, as well as the need for remote intelligence in the field (for decisions and registration of actions), such as devices embedded in machines and personal mobile devices.
It is necessary to seek solutions that integrate the processes and, as such, technology can become an important ally. A benchmark in the development of technological solutions for the agricultural sector, Hexagon's Agriculture division has been working in this direction. The company has developed HxGN AgrOn Logistics, an end-to-end solution for viewing, analysing, and acting on each element of the harvesting operation, regardless of the current conditions. The solution is a combination of hardware, such as Onboard Controllers and sensors, and software that integrates the management processes in the field, providing real-time information and making decisions easier. The system monitoring each logistical stage provides essential information for the management. The technology considers operational data, including projections related to fuel consumption and preventive maintenance, and includes georeferenced maps, target graphs, and field operations status reports for harvesting, transshipment, transportation, and support activities such as maintenance and refueling of vehicles. This assists in the adoption of measures for greater control and efficiency of the process as a whole. For example, if equipment fails, an alert is sent to the operator or manager to verify the problem. Monitoring allows the verification of fleet performance, enables operations to be adapted, and resources distributed to ensure greater efficiency.
Ultimately, whether long-distance (up to the control centers) or short-distance (machine-to-machine, for example), connectivity is a fundamental tool for fast, efficient and optimised decision-making in the field of logistics operations.
Bernardo de Castro