Company: Bühler Aeroglide


Technology Snapshot: Bühler Aeroglide has introduced a new customer-partnership approach that uses big data flows to reach unprecedented levels of processing efficiency. The company’s new Digital Service Group is turning IIoT connectivity into true business value, giving operators and managers the ability to make decisions with confidence.

“Bühler’s Digital Services Group brings another dimension to our partnerships with customers,” said Paul McKeithan, head of digital services. “We’re going one step further, after engineering a pilot process, scaling it for mass production, and manufacturing and commissioning a technology solution. Access to data analytics from full time, real-time process monitoring means we can help customers make better decisions. We can help them act on information quickly and effectively, in ways that impact every aspect of business.”  Bühler now offers a dedicated team, with products and services that are helping customers move toward new avenues of growth. Comprised of hardware, software, cloud-based storage and ongoing process expertise--based on algorithms from decades of thermal processing experience--customers can achieve and sustain the most efficient drying operations ever.

“In today’s competitive marketplace, with economic and environmental conditions constantly changing, sustainable processing is aimed at meeting present needs without compromising future viability,” said McKeithan. “It’s not just our corporate responsibility, sustainability directly relates to efficiency, minimizing waste, finding cost-savings and new profitability. Our Digital Services Group gives customers the integrated operational connectivity they need to ensure business success.”

Digital services and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) are rapidly transforming processing operations with intuitive and intelligent analytical capabilities. In an increasingly connected digital world, seamless monitoring of end-to-end processing ensures consistency in product, efficient energy use and safe food production. With data analytics that track and measure operational success, customers can make real time business decisions that impact the bottom line. Required changes can be immediate, saving valuable time needed for manual testing, while increasing a dryer’s yield. Even the smallest percentage gain can increase profitability.

A real-time management that achieves a net increase of just 1 percent in finished moisture can result in a return-on-investment increase of $300,000. This translates into an energy savings valued at $20,000 per year. Bühler Aeroglide’s total IIoT solution consists of intuitive analytics that enable the highest processing efficiencies, with products that answer real-time customer needs. For reliable moisture control, continuously monitoring and controlling moisture content of a product exiting the dryer means adjustments can be made immediately when needed. For food safety, process monitoring with sensor-based technology gives users access to real-time log reduction data based on parameter sensors that send information to a program modelled to a particular process. Should a process change occur, the user is alerted so that the process can be stopped or diverted. For segments of the food and feed industries that rely on drying or roasting equipment for a kill step, this is a valuable solution for food safety validation.