Applications of cloud computing in the packaging sector
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Case study: Softweb Solutions improves food safety and monitors produce freshness
US company Softweb Solutions has unveiled a smart food monitoring solution that helps businesses to determine the freshness of produce and avoid food spoilage and waste. The solution evaluates various variables and provides actionable metrics using IoT, AI, and computer vision techniques in an agriculture or food management system. Its product, IoTConnect, is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering that can help rapidly link objects, produce new insights, and improve decision-making capabilities.
Nature of disruption:
The smart food monitoring solution provides wireless temperature monitoring, which allows tracking the fleet's environmental characteristics remotely while maintaining the goods' quality. To prevent food waste, the solution helps detect the product’s state by monitoring its production and shelf life. By tracking and regulating orders, it improves inventory management. It further allows tracking shipments and planning alternative routes to ensure that items arrive on time.
The platform aids in maintaining the trailer's ambient temperature, humidity, and airflow while in transit. Based on an image-processing algorithm, the platform can determine whether the fruit or vegetable is raw, ripe, or rotting which can further be validated by any member of the chain. Moreover, businesses can avoid food spoiling and comply with food safety laws by controlling the temperature in freezers and refrigeration systems.
According to a survey by The Food Trust, up to 50% of vegetables get discarded while still being edible. It could help the almost nine million people who die each year from hunger and hunger-related diseases even if a portion of it can be saved.
This smart food monitoring solution aims to improve the life of products while minimising food wastage. The system uses a combination of next-generation technologies to check freshness quality, ensuring safety from inventory to shelf in an optimum environment. It can monitor the state of manufacturing, shipping, and storage to ensure food safety and regulatory compliance.
Softweb Solutions is an Avnet company, and it has formed a strategic partnership with Cognian in 2021 to help expand the reach and scale of Cognian's IoT connectivity platform for global customers.
Case study: Jabil unveils connected packaging IoT platform
Florida-based product solutions company Jabil has unveiled a connected packaging IoT platform that enables consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to transform the user experience and boost brand loyalty. The platform combines sensors, connectivity, and cloud technologies to eliminate reorder friction for consumer staples. The company also offers a suite of specialised services that enable brands to develop connected packaging.
Nature of disruption:
Jabil’s connected packaging platform includes a durable connected device, the consumable package, and Jabil’s Companion app. The consumable package is a lightweight refill container that is delivered to the end consumer when an auto-replenishment order is triggered.
Connected devices leverage sensors to precisely measure the number of remaining products and communicate directly with the IoT platform. Jabil’s Cyclops connected device has 72mm diameter and 26mm thickness. It features a temperature and humidity sensor and an infrared time-of-flight proximity sensor which enables the device to measure the quantity of the product as well as the remaining amount with a high level of accuracy. Once the product level falls below the reorder threshold, an auto-replenishment request is triggered.
The Companion app connects the devices to consumers and to the IoT back-end that facilitates seamless reordering of household staples. It notifies the consumers when the product is running low. Consumers can approve or delay the replenishment, which ensures that they never run out of product or have an excess quantity of product. The app provides multiple customisation options to the users to facilitate their branding without having to design, develop, and maintain a bespoke mobile application.
Jabil’s connected packaging solution can enable CPG companies to enhance their user experience and seamlessly integrate smart reordering into their devices, helping customers reorder essentials automatically. The connected packaging platform is used across industries including food and beverage, personal care, and home care. The company claims that the new platform offers various benefits including reducing purchase friction, improved consumer experience, and reduced packaging costs.
Case study: Tetra Pak optimizes logistics with Oracle’s Transportation Management
Tetra Pak’s supply chain is vast and complex. In 2021, the company sold 192bn packages to customers in over 160 countries, with packaging production taking place in 39 plants worldwide.
Distributing packaging products on time to thousands of customers dispersed across multiple continents is an immense challenge. Inefficiencies in Tetra Pak’s distribution and logistics network cost the company money. They also produce more CO2 emissions, threatening Tetra Pak’s ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.
Tetra Pak initially relied on multiple transportation management systems to manage its supply chain operations. The problem was that this fragmented solution failed to provide the visibility over Tetra Pak’s distribution network necessary to optimise the company’s logistics operations.
Nature of disruption:
In 2021, Tetra Pak invested in Oracle’s Transportation Management (OTM) to optimise logistics with a single SaaS platform. OTM enables users to plan, execute, and track the movement of goods and materials. As a supply chain management solution, OTM has two main selling points.
Firstly, it can automate various workloads. For example, OTM can automate freight sourcing with built-in algorithms that select freight modes and providers based on user input criteria. It can optimise routes based on a delivery’s carrier, rate, and destination and can automate shipment booking and tendering (offering a load for delivery, typically by submitting information about the shipment, such as weight and handling requirements).
Secondly, OTM provides comprehensive visibility over a user’s logistics operations. The platform updates users about in-transit deliveries, providing real-time location and notifications of delays. Real-time data such as traffic and weather conditions enable users to decide which route a delivery should take. 3D maps of shipping containers show how packages are stacked, which allows users to optimise stacking and thereby reduce the number of vehicles needed to transport and order, reducing costs and emissions.
Adopting OTM has enabled Tetra Pak to standardize and automate most logistics and supply chain processes. By optimizing routes and vehicle use, OTM has reduced the emissions produced by Tetra Pak’s distribution operations and improved its efficiency.
Case study: Orange Business facilitates migration to a hybrid cloud model
Orange Business has provided network and IT services to one of the world’s leading packaging companies since 2011. In 2017, one packaging company commissioned Orange Business to manage the migration of a part of its IT workloads in Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas to a hybrid cloud digital platform. It used Orange’s data centres in Paris, Atlanta, and Singapore as regional hubs.
In 2021, the packaging company in question had difficulty managing its legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which were deteriorating in terms of stability and accessibility. A large acquisition had resulted in multiple clashing ERP systems, complicating things further. The packaging company needed these business-critical applications to be remodelled in a way that addressed these issues while maintaining IT security.
Nature of disruption:
The solution lay in a customised hybrid cloud offering from Orange Business that could be tailored to the packaging company’s specific needs. On the one hand, a private cloud was needed to house the packaging company’s Oracle database workloads. In a recent interview with GlobalData, an Orange Business cloud expert explained that the license model for these online databases meant that they could not be moved to the public cloud without incurring huge financial cost.
On the other hand, Orange Business’ public cloud platform, Flexible Engine, provided a suitable shared environment for the packaging company’s non-ERP workloads. Some of the packaging company’s SAP workloads were migrated to Orange’s SAP-certified FE4SAP solution. As well as standardising workloads with a homogenous platform and managed service wrap, this solution offered benefits from a disaster recovery and backup perspective.
Orange’s cloud expert explained that implementing a single, homogenous model reduced complexity for the packaging company, standardising and automating numerous elements of training employees, managing vendor relationships, and other critical internal processes. Orange Business currently runs the packaging company’s operating system management, back-ups, and infrastructure orchestration. Simultaneously, the packaging company can run its critical ERP systems in a private cloud in a cost-efficient manner.
GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.
GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence uses proprietary data, research, and analysis to provide a forward-looking perspective on the key themes that will shape the future of the world’s largest industries and the organisations within them.