Individualization is a common trend in many fields of production across the industries. Also in the food sector, significant changes can be observed. For many products, individual offerings towards the customer are meanwhile either mandatory or at least help to increase the sales and revenue. Somehow, individual product design and production contradicts scaling effects, which are especially important for food production. On the other hand, as digitalization is implemented in a fairly limited way in the food sector, currently great chances can be observed to build a unique selling proposition and consequently gain market share by implementing appropriate measures to enable a digital food factory. This is where the proposed idea comes into the game. The starting point is the idea to produce individually developed beer and ship it to the individual customer. The beer can be designed on a web page based on typical parameters, like beer type, bitterness, colour, or alcohol concentration. In an expert mode, individual beer creations may be thoughtful, allowing the creation of completely individual recipes (for sure, not guaranteeing the customer a perfect drinking experience). In any way, the data from the web page is directly fed to the brewing equipment in the brewing facility. There, using newly to develop specialized machines, the individually ordered beer will be produced automatically. The first challenge for sure is, to automate the beer production on small batches, e.g., 20-30 litres per brewing cycle. To solve this problem, a first initiative for funding is currently in preparation. The scheduling of a single brewing event will be organized by the smart factory on its own, potentially considering premium orders for quicker delivery. The smart production cite itself will be completely automated with autonomous logistic infrastructure, secure full connectivity, and production data aware production cycles. Along with the production, additional services to the customer will be derived from the anyway highly automated production site. The customer will be part of the production process by gamification, meaning the customer will receive automated feedback on its current process status of his product. This may include: order received, brewing process started, 1st settle time for sugar rest in process, beer in maturation status. As well, this may include: information about continuous evolution of sugar vs. alcohol concentration, temperature profile, live pictures from brewing process. The data provided to the customer will be accessible via a secured area on a web page or via a special app. Additionally, the order history together with personally to be added tasting notes of the customer tops the whole story of. The actual extend of usage may be activated on a payment model. Summarized, the proposed approach may revolutionize the current view on brewing by allowing individualized brewing concepts including gamification, as a complete new setup of a brewery does not need to follow hardened process structures of established companies. First initiatives to implement an appropriate machinery are already under investigation. The idea combines a traditional industrial branch with modern technologies and modern business models. Especially this fact puts this research in a charming light. In future extensions, the running production site may be used for interdisciplinary educational purposes as well.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2020|
|Event||11th International Conference on Biosystems Engineering 2020 - Tartu, Estonia|
Duration: 6 May 2020 → 8 May 2020
|Conference||11th International Conference on Biosystems Engineering 2020|
|Period||06.05.2020 → 08.05.2020|