Innovations bring benefits to the sugar-energy sector from end to end

30 June 2020

Keeping up to date on trends and advances in the sector, it is a means of remaining active in the market's competitiveness - without forgetting, yet, the goals of increasing the efficiency of operations, production, profits, and reducing costs. One way to achieve all these objectives, in an integrated manner, is to invest in the optimisation of processes, through technological solutions.

Involved in the planning processes of 46% of global sugarcane production, Hexagon's Agriculture division works on the development of products that connect the field, equipment, and people, with solutions from the HxGN AgrOn platform, such as Planning & Optimisation, Monitoring, Machine Control, and Analysis & Management. The main differential is the integration of all processes - planning, cultivation, harvesting, and logistics, resulting in more efficient use of resources and inputs, avoiding waste, and improving profitability.

It is possible to include monitoring, telemetry, raw material tracking, and dynamic overflow allocation resources in a single display embedded in the machinery. With this, you have access to intelligent information and constant monitoring of operations, from end to end in a more practical way for the operator, bringing more agility to the field and greater control for the manager, even remotely. This set of factors related to Precision Agriculture brings favorable results to producers, in a more intelligent and economical way.

When using technological solutions, the main benefits are:

  1. Increased efficiency - Using technological resources such as AgrOn Planting Planning increases the efficiency and assertiveness of the harvest. This is because, according to the reading of soil information, the system itself makes indications of varieties, places, and times for planting and expansion of the cultivation area and recommends the ideal strategies for each cycle.
  2. More precise operations - During the processes of soil preparation, planting and cultural treatments such as fertilisation and spraying, the integration of resources such as AgrOn Auto Steering and AgrOn Control Room helps to control and monitor machines and inputs. With the tractor's projected route, this function prevents the machinery from passing more than once in the same area, avoiding overlaps, and helping to minimise soil compaction.
  3. Cost reduction - The use of technology helps, from the first processes, to reduce costs with inputs and even fuel. Tools such as AgrOn Haul-out Dynamic Allocation, which coordinates and synchronises the movement of transshipment and harvesting tractors through a system of calls and assistance, can be useful. The system basically takes into account three configurable criteria to select which transfer will be directed to a harvester: the distance between the equipment (the closest will have priority in the call); need for maneuver (transfers already aligned with the harvester are prioritised); and the queue time (allocating first equipment that has been waiting for the longest call).
  4. More in less time - Another advantage of technological innovations is the better use of time. Also in the case of AgrOn Haul-out Dynamic Allocation, the time of operation of a harvester can increase up to 50% on the day. Which, in terms of average in the national market, would be equivalent to a harvester being able to go from a cutting capacity of 720 to 1080 tons daily, reaching the level of 45 ton/hour run.
  5. Less human intervention - Using hardware and software installed in harvesters, transhipments, and truck trailers, AgrOn Raw Material Traceability collects data from each stage of the process, recording the trajectory of the raw material to its final destination. In addition to increasing the accuracy of production data, by reading this information, it is possible to know the productivity of the area. In this way, the manager can make the analysis of his cultivation processes and plan, more effectively, the replanting of the cane field. The tracking also guarantees a reduction in human intervention, an improvement in the quality of operations, and greater agility in transport logistics.

These are important factors for managing the business efficiently and increasing productivity rates. In addition, it is a market strategy that encompasses large and small producers and manufacturers, giving the possibility of market competitiveness of any size.

Bernardo de Castro
Hexagon’s Agriculture Division

Bernardo de CastroBernardo de Castro is president of Hexagon Agriculture and has more than 10 years of experience with technology companies. Bernardo has an automation engineering background and is a co-founder and former CEO of Arvus Tecnologia, a Brazil-based leader in precision agriculture software and hardware acquired by Hexagon in 2014.