You’ve heard of the IOT, but what is it? How can this affect your basement and the filtering process?

Editor of Expert Opinion Imagine the following scenario: On Friday, your operator filtered out the Merlot 2018. On Monday another operator is on duty and filters the same kind of Merlot, but the yield is much lower. You can see the difference, but you can’t explain why. Can the machine be dry cleaned before the weekend? Did the cleaning go well? Did the operators use the same machine settings? Is there a problem with the machine? It soon becomes clear that this is not the most effective way to guarantee a successful filter season.

To improve this highly responsive state, ask each operator to record their actions manually. This is a process improvement, but the recorded data is subjective and subject to interpretation. Many wineries exist in a modern state in which it is difficult to collect and understand data and the data is subjectively dependent on who collects it. Have you only tried to draw useful conclusions from the data and you probably still can’t determine the main cause of the inefficiency – the operator or the sub-parallel operation of the machine?

In general, collecting data on the operation and performance of the machines is an obstacle for many wineries because

  • There is no guarantee of accurate or consistent data collection by humans.
  • Means (people or equipment) are needed to check this data:
    • Water consumption after treatment
    • Filtration speed of the wine
    • Duration
  • The data is archived after it has been entered.
  • Specialized knowledge is needed to analyze trends and determine optimal parameters.

This is where the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cars play a role. IoT refers to a network of devices and sensors that collect and transmit data to each other. The system’s sensors allow you to collect data such as flow, temperature, uptime or downtime – or to track volumes such as water, wine and chemicals.

By collecting this data, wineries can identify the main problems and their underlying causes through a wine filtration process – not just for a specific machine, but for all machines located all over the world.

Faster identification of problems makes it possible to take corrective action more quickly, contributing to more effective and consistent results. Now it is no longer necessary to ask each operator to manually record the flow rate or time of cleaning – everything is collected and stored by the filter system and is available in the cloud.

In the past, an operator may have started with a flow rate too high to filter the wine. The operator thinks that a high instantaneous flow rate is effective, but is unaware that working too fast can contaminate the membranes more quickly, making it necessary to stop and clean them more often. In addition to the wasted time, you also suffer from unnecessary wine loss because the wine is stored in the system before each cleaning. They filter less and have more downtime, which means less time and revenue is lost.

By using IoT with a wine filtering system in the cloud, you no longer have differences in data collection performance between operators; the system collects the data for you. This provides an overview of the process that can help identify problems, speed up emergency maintenance and better predict planned maintenance needs. What’s more, some more advanced intelligent machines even automatically adjust parameters to increase productivity and overall machine efficiency. At Pall Food & Beverage, customers have optimised their plant’s production by a factor of three and significantly reduced operating costs with a single plant.

Having a database optimized machine also helps winemakers who are paralysed by analysis, because collecting the right data for interpretation can quickly become overwhelming.

Gone are the days of manual data collection and riddles. By connecting to the cloud and smart machines, IoT is changing the entire business landscape. Winegrowers now have access to a huge amount of data that can help them improve their business and increase their profits. Editorial Department
of Ian Rickard, Pall Corporation

Ian Rickard joined Pall in 2012 and is currently Pall’s global market manager for wines and spirits. He began his career in the wine industry in the late 1980s and sold wine during his studies at the University of London. Until the early 2000s, he held various positions in wine production in Australia, the United States and France. Over the years he has acquired an enormous knowledge of viticulture, based on his own experience in the cellar and more than 15 years of direct sales.


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