Hitachi Vantara (Hitachi) > Case Studies > Driving Operational Efficiency in Agriculture with IoT: A Case Study on Hitachi Process Intelligence and Google Cloud

Driving Operational Efficiency in Agriculture with IoT: A Case Study on Hitachi Process Intelligence and Google Cloud

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Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Big Data Analytics
  • Analytics & Modeling - Machine Learning
Applicable Industries
  • Agriculture
  • Food & Beverage
Applicable Functions
  • Product Research & Development
  • Quality Assurance
Use Cases
  • Agriculture Disease & Pest Management
  • Livestock Monitoring
  • Cloud Planning, Design & Implementation Services
  • Testing & Certification
About The Customer
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is among the world’s largest and most successful producers of livestock and a global leader in the export of beef, sheep, lamb, and goat meat. To support the industry’s profitability, sustainability, and global competitiveness, MLA delivers research, development, and marketing services to Australia’s cattle, sheep, and goat producers. MLA’s key stakeholders are their 50,000 livestock producer members. To drive leading-edge innovation, MLA engages in strategic partnerships aimed at increasing on-farm productivity and developing industry leadership skills through the use of digital technologies that will drive productivity, quality, and transparency.
The Challenge
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), a global leader in the production and export of livestock, was faced with the challenge of improving product quality, productivity, and global market share. They aimed to drive the adoption of best practices across the industry and improve data collection for enhanced decision making. The business challenge was integrating data across the value chain to drive decision making. This was necessary not only from a supply and demand perspective but also a quality perspective so that farmers could continuously improve and provide the right product at the right time to the right markets. Given that MLA supports 50,000 farms on over 5.2 million acres, they needed collaboration from solution and cloud partners with a deep understanding of the challenges within the meat and livestock industry and the expertise to develop a new internet of things (IoT) digital strategy for collecting data and making data-driven decisions across the value chain.
The Solution
To enable its IoT journey, MLA turned to Hitachi and Google Cloud. Hitachi delivered Hitachi Process Intelligence (HPI) for Smart Agriculture, which allowed MLA’s stakeholders to visually represent individual farm operations and provide insight to decision-making and establish best practices across the supply chain. The solution combines advanced process and data analytics to support business decisions and accelerate business performance. HPI matches livestock operations against best practice frameworks, which combine industry-standard practices with farm-specific solutions to address unique needs. This provides decision support through projections and predictions that are developed using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. The data collection plan included radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in cattle across a broad range of locations. Hitachi also created a connected network providing linkage from sensors on the ground and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the HPI platform. From field to sky, Hitachi and Google Cloud help Australia’s livestock industry to deploy sensors and capture advanced imaging to provide detailed biomass estimates, cattle head count and high-resolution surveys.
Operational Impact
  • Implementing smarter processes across the red meat supply chain with HPI for Smart Agriculture and Google Cloud has added value for Australia’s livestock industry. The solution has helped to improve the quality of meat and has generated added revenue, enabled entire-life traceability for individual animals, and created a central data repository and on-site management system for each livestock owner. The combination of HPI for Smart Agriculture and Google Cloud has enabled the creation of innovative IoT strategies for data transmission and communication and cultivated a more agile decision-making environment. The future is even more exciting. MLA stakeholders can look forward to new initiatives, such as leveraging G Suite for smaller farms, Google Hangouts to connect producer groups and Google Assistant to focus farmers and ranchers on priority needs.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Large-scale increase in value for MLA
  • Studies show that the top 25% of beef farmers are achieving double the profit of the average beef farmer, with the key difference being the adoption of best practice
  • HPI for Smart Agriculture can play a significant part in facilitating greater adoption of best practice in farm operations and helping drive increased profit

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