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Preventing milk from going sour

Bosch supports farmers with new sensor system

  • Sensor measures milk temperature
  • Farmers receive data right on their smartphones, saving time
  • Converting older milk tanks is easy
Sensor measures milk temperature

Renningen, Germany – Studies indicate that milk is one of the most-consumed foods. In Germany alone, per capita consumption of fresh milk products stands at 90 kilograms a year. The new Bosch Deepfield Connect milk monitoring system provides quality-assurance support for milk producers and dairies. The road from the cow to consumers is a long one: milk is stored in tanks for up to three days before it makes its way to the refrigerator aisle or is processed further. This involves considerable risks. Germs and sour milk can negatively impact farmers’ yields. “The milk tank features multiple openings that are sealed with rubber caps. We are equipping these rubber caps with an infrared sensor and gathering measured data,” says Thijs Verploegen, the product manager in charge of the system. The data is sent to the Bosch IoT Cloud, where it is processed and transmitted directly to the milk producer’s smartphone.

Retrofitting older tanks is easy

The sensor measures milk temperature. Among other things, this makes it possible to determine whether the milk is properly stored. A defective agitator means that milk will no longer be evenly cooled. “It is crucial that the agitator, cleaning, and cooling work properly and that the milk does not get any warmer than 4 degrees Celsius for several hours at a time,” Verploegen explains. “If it did, the number of germs would increase, and the milk would be unfit for consumption.” An app alarms farmers when the cooling breaks down, allowing them to act in good time before the milk becomes sour. The data can be shared with dairies and tanker drivers, helping them see at a glance whether the quality of the milk is acceptable. The milk monitoring system also offers an additional advantage: it can be installed in any milk tank – regardless of the model, manufacturer, or age of the tank. This makes it possible to retrofit the latest technology to older milk tanks at low cost.

Solutions for Agriculture 4.0

The new sensor solution is a good fit for the Deepfield Connect product family. It provides connected solutions for Agriculture 4.0. The basic principle can be used for a wide range of agricultural produce. It is based on sensors that measure microclimatic data such as temperature and the humidity of the air and soil. Using a transmitter, the readings are sent via radio to the Bosch IoT Cloud. From there, the information is routed to the Deepfield Connect app on growers’ smartphones, allowing them to keep an eye on their crops at all times, without having to be in the field. For example, this lets growers know that frost is likely even before temperatures fall below freezing and gives them a chance to cover plants or take other appropriate measures. The record of temperature and humidity readings lets them know whether everything is alright, whether there is a risk of fungal infection, or if irrigation needs to be adjusted, saving growers time and increasing their yields. This year, it also became possible to use the system for additional fruit and vegetable varieties as well as wine-growing, in addition to asparagus and strawberries.

The connected sensor system for milk monitoring will be presented to the public for the first time at Agritechnica, the world’s largest trade fair for agricultural equipment, from November 12 to 18, 2017, in Hannover, Germany. Market launch is scheduled for early 2018.

More information about the Bosch Deepfield start-up is available here.

More information about Bosch solutions for agriculture is available here.

Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH was founded in 2013 and is a fully owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH. The company was set up to design, develop and market innovative connected devices and tailor-made solutions for the Internet of Things. Our competency in electronics, sensor technology and software enable new business models for global markets. Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions is headquartered in Reutlingen, Germany. In 2015 Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions opened offices in Chicago, USA and Shanghai, China, in 2016 a sales office in Singapore was opened.

For more information, go to www.bosch-connectivity.com

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 390,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2016). The company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros in 2016. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 120 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 59,000 associates in research and development.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.