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Trending: Fetzer, BillerudKorsnäs, Intel Tap into IoT to Optimize Operations

Image Credit: Fetzer Vineyards

Despite the hype around Internet of Things (IoT), it’s helping more and more brands streamline operations and meet ambitious sustainability goals.

First, Fetzer Vineyards, a leader in regenerative winegrowing, is slated to meet its 2020 water efficiency goals two years ahead of time thanks to a new water metering technology by APANA, Inc. that will allow the vineyard to intensify its water conservation efforts.

The smart water meters, currently being installed throughout the winery’s Hopland, California campus, will allow Fetzer Vineyards to quickly pinpoint leaks and water waste incidents in real time. Powered by big data insights analyzing the winery’s unique water use profile, the technology will enable them to avoid unnecessary waste episodes and make good on its 2020 goals.

“Integrating APANA’s data analytics and cloud computing technologies with our winery operations allows us to leverage crucial environmental data to achieve our sustainability goals,” said Cindy DeVries, Chief Operating Officer of Fetzer Vineyards. “It also allows us to update and improve our corporate water stewardship efforts at a time when conserving water is more important than ever.”

Fetzer Vineyard’s new smart water meters are part of APANA’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution, a groundbreaking set of tools allowing businesses to manage water as carefully as they monitor other assets, such as inventory. The solution’s propriety hardware and software work by building up a perpetually developing database of clients’ water use patterns, or water signature, allowing them to quickly spot variances and implement savings activities. Because energy use is closely tied to water use, Fetzer Vineyards expects the water meters could contribute to reductions of more than 10,000 kilowatt hours of energy in addition to savings of up to four million gallons of water annually.

The World Economic Forum identified water as the top global risk for the first time in 2015, and more than two-thirds of the world’s businesses report exposure to water risk, often at the expense of growth. With a global shortfall of 40 percent expected for water supply versus demand by the year 2030, business as usual in an era of changing climate and growing populations requires ever-more-innovate approaches to resource conservation and optimization. Cutting-edge solutions like APNA’s that leverage cloud computing and data-driven technologies are poised to help businesses address both the economic and ecological realities of tomorrow, allowing water-intensive businesses such as wineries to remain competitive while continuing to minimize environmental impacts.

“Fetzer Vineyards is thrilled to pioneer use of this technology in the wine industry,” said Josh Prigge, director of Regenerative Development for Fetzer Vineyards, who was instrumental in establishing the winery’s goal to become Net Positive by 2030. “We know that implementing digital solutions can significantly reduce impacts in areas like water use, and we see technologies like APANA’s working hand-in-hand with comprehensive, efficiency-focused efforts to improve our overall water footprint.”

In 2016, Fetzer announced it will be the first wine company in the US to install BioFiltro’s BIDA® System, a wastewater treatment solution that functions as a passive aerobic bioreactor, using red worms and microbes to treat the winery’s wastewater 85% more efficiently than traditional aeration technologies.


Meanwhile, BillerudKorsnäs, a Swedish company specializing in primary fiber-based packaging materials and solutions, has invested in UK technology company Hanhaa. The company’s solution allows users to track not only the location, but also the condition of their deliveries in real time and on a large scale no matter the country or carrier.

Hanhaa’s system, Parcelive, tracks deliveries along the entire logistics chain. Transmitter devices are placed in parcels and use GPS and GSM to track their position. Sensors measure and report in real time the conditions of the goods, their location and what they have been exposed to in terms of temperature, drops and knocks. The system works regardless of country, scale or carrier. The devices are managed using a return system. The recipient pushes a button to prompt the display of a return address and then posts the device back.

“BillerudKorsnäs’ wide-ranging skills and network within sustainable and efficient packaging solutions make them a perfect partner as we take our technology out into the logistics and packaging industry on a large scale,” said Azhar Hussain, CEO of Hanhaa.

The solution is especially suited for logistics optimization, continuous cold chain management, high-value goods and time-critical shipments, e.g. Allowing maintenance engineers to avoid expensive production losses by tracking consignments and precisely planning trips to customers.

BillerudKorsnäs Venture AB was formed last spring to develop new business for the Group by linking up with interesting innovation companies in their early stages. The aim is to work closely with companies and actively contribute to developing new solutions in the packaging value chain. Hanhaa is BillerudKorsnäs Venture’s third investment. The previous two were: Denmark-based EcoXpac, which together with BillerudKorsnäs is developing a paper-based bottle with designed to contain the pressure of carbonated drinks; and Norway-based Kezzler, a global leader in technology for assigning unique digital identities for individual packaging.

“Combining our own core-related skills with the skills of these start-up companies will allow us to create fruitful collaborations and together identify entirely new solutions. We will also draw on our experience and knowledge of bringing products to market on industrial scale. Together with Hanhaa, we’re continuing to build tomorrow’s Internet of Packaging. Expanding our offering of digital solutions will allow us to continue challenging conventional packaging for a sustainable future,” said BillerudKorsnäs Venture managing director Anders Persson.

Finally, Intel and Honeywell have teamed up to develop new IoT solutions for the retail industry with the goal of enhancing logistics, improving inventory visibility and driving supply chain efficiencies. By working together, Honeywell and Intel seek to address a range of challenges that retail and supply chain firms face as consumers are turning to online shopping. Retailers need greater visibility into their in-store inventory to ensure items ordered online are available for in-store pickup and to enhance customer service.

“Technology can help transform retail, making stores more responsive to customer needs by connecting physical and digital retail environments,” said Joe Jensen, Vice President and general manager, Retail Solutions Division at Intel. “By working with Honeywell, Intel plans to enable retailers to benefit from IoT solutions by having the visibility of real-time accuracy of on-shelf inventory.”

The collaboration will focus on solutions that utilize the companies’ technology offerings, including sensors, handheld computers, processors, bar code scanners, RFID tags and readers and cloud-based software. These solutions can help businesses track, monitor and assess the condition of goods moving through the supply chain as well as brick-and-mortar stores.


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