Technology has changed our everyday lives for the better. With the advent of technology, it has penetrated every business sector, and dairy is no exception. The global dairy products market share, valued at USD 481.08 billion in 2019, is expected to reach USD 586.11 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 2.5%. Technology is playing a vital role in this year-on-year increase in the global dairy market.
Something as simple as small food and liquid-filling machines filling up standing milk pouch saves hours of manpower. It is also helping to increase daily production by freeing up workers to complete other works. Similarly, technology is revolutionizing the dairy industry in several ways. In this post, we will have a look at some ways in which technology is transforming the dairy sector.
1. Mass increase in the production lines
We have always seen that milking is a time-consuming manual process. However, this was true until a few years back when robotics and automation came into existence. The use of robotic machines to automate the milking process has increased dairy production several folds. On top of that, it is also helping with several other associated concerns. For instance, robotics allows laborers to cover other manual works and milk several cows simultaneously. Similarly, robotics also help ensure a hygienic milking process and reduce labor work, thereby reducing the overall cost.
By embedding the robotic machines with sensors, you can auto-enable detecting the cow and which of its teats is ready for milking. Simultaneously, you can also leverage the devices to inspect the milk quality and clean the cows’ teats after the milking process.
2. Keeping the milk fresh
Milk is highly perishable, and this makes delivering quality milk at a long distance a challenging task. Despite several efforts to increase milk’s shelf life without any preservatives, tons of milk go stale and become a waste. However, technology has made this possible. With the help of new technology, scientists have developed an alternative way of pasteurization that can extend milk’s shelf life from 13 to 40 days.
Besides preventing the milk from getting stale and being wasted, this technology also helps deliver quality milk worldwide. With the help of this pasteurization technology and supercooling, you can transport your milk and milk products from one corner of the world to another.
3. Automated livestock management
If you think that data is only helpful in the factories where you are packaging and preparing the final dairy products, you are wrong. When put to good use, data has its meaning and value at all places. This can also be seen on the farm while managing your livestock. Managing cows and other dairy animals can be a tedious task. Tracking individual cows manually is not possible, especially if the numbers are high. That’s where technology comes into the picture to ease the burden on dairy farmers.
A combination of some hardware and software applications can provide the farmers with real-time data to track the cows and improve the efficiency of livestock management. Smartwatches would be a simple, relatable example here. These smartwatches help us track our health vitals. Similar technology can help dairy farmers track and monitor the vitals, comfort, location, behavior, and productivity of cows.
Some prominent technologies helping with livestock management are:
- RFID tags: RFID tags can help detect the location of individual cows.
- Fitbit: With a Fitbit, you can track the vitals and other health-related data of cows.
- Facial recognition technology: Based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), this technology enables you to identify each cow. It also helps in identifying which cow is inactive or behaving abnormally.
- Internet of Things (IoT): IoT can gather real-time data about cows and transfer it to another system (thing) for analyzing and generating actionable insights.
4. Supply chain optimization
The dairy supply chain consists of multiple players and factors that impact the delivery of quality milk. For instance, temperature, weather, packaging, and storage contribute to the complex supply chain. Similarly, there are packers, delivery guys, and receivers who are all a part of the supply chain. In such a situation, tracking where something went wrong can be challenging.
IoT and blockchain technologies can help ease the burden on the dairy supply chain. IoT can use sensors to track the factors such as temperature, weather, and storage to prevent any problems. Blockchain, on the other hand, can help eliminate any fraud. It is an immutable distributed ledger technology. You can use it to track which player of the supply chain currently has the consignment.
The dairy sector is a large industry, and technology has indeed reshaped it to a great extent. It is evident that with advancements in technology, daily operations in the dairy industry will become more streamlined and standardized.