World Grain - November 2020 - 71

individual process steps. The Smart Mill is becoming more automated and autonomous - comparable
with self-driving cars.
WG: How far along are you and your team in developing the Smart Mill?
Dübendorfer: We've already achieved a great
deal in the years that we've been working on the
Smart Mill, but we're aware that we still have a
long way to go. We're currently in the phase of being amazed by all the possibilities. At the same time,
we're preparing a solid structure to build on with our
Bühler Insights platform. We're the only supplier in
our area to be ISO 27001-certified.

The amount of office
work will be drastically
reduced because reports
and similar tasks can
become "automated."
Urs Dübendorfer, grain milling
technologist, Bühler
WG: Many highly automated mills already exist. There's already a wealth of experience in that
area. How is this different?
Dübendorfer: It's true that many mills around the
world already have automated solutions. However,
they are all only partial solutions, the majority of
which are standalone. The individual processes have
not yet been linked together and work in isolation,
and there's little regulation. The more we look into
the issue of centralized autonomy, the more we see
how complex the task is. We have already developed
various digital solutions. But what's still missing is
the consolidation of all the processes into a "think
and command center."
WG: What are the main challenges?
Dübendorfer: Large amounts of data, and integrating or linking internal and external data, among
other things.
WG: Are modern IT systems able to handle large
amounts of data?
Dübendorfer: Sure, but if you monitor every
process with sensors, it generates almost unimaginable quantities of data. The lists are endless. They
far exceed the analysis capabilities of humans. That
means it's got to be done by computer. However,
www.World-Grain.com / World Grain / November 2020	

WG_Nov20.indb 71

that requires special algorithms,
which have to be developed
if we don't know them yet.
These algorithms work
better the more varied
the data are that they
receive. And that
takes us to Bühler
Insights. It collects
the data from different systems anonymously and analyzes
it in clusters.
WG: What do you
mean by integrating
external data?
Dübendorfer: An autonomously operating mill should not
only react to detected errors or deviations,
it should also be able to be proactive. That means its Dübendorfer
"brain" should be able to anticipate the mill's operating condition based on external data such as the
weather or the quality of the raw material and activate appropriate measures such as service and maintenance work. We know so much about the various
processes involved in the production of flour - from
harvesting right through to bagging. If we succeed in
linking all these processes together, that will be a big
step toward fulfilling the wishes of millers and a big
step toward creating the Smart Mill.
WG: What are the most common things that
millers require to do their job effectively?
Dübendorfer: When I talk to leading millers, they
all want three things: consistent quality, lower
costs and complete traceability. That requires
smart systems - they support the most consistent
product quality possible; they help to use energy
and other resources sparingly; they enable the
recording of every process; and, in doing so, they
also enable complete traceability.
WG: How will the Smart Mill help fulfill
these wishes?
Dübendorfer: Because a Smart Mill always
works "intelligently" and supports the miller wherever recurring processes are involved. However,
even the smartest mill cannot replace entrepreneurial thinking or feeling for the market that any successful miller needs.
We want to hear from you - Send comments and inquiries
to worldgrain@sosland.com. For reprints of WG articles,
e-mail reprints@sosland.com.

71

11/2/2020 4:16:15 PM


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World Grain - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - November 2020

World Grain - November 2020 - 1
World Grain - November 2020 - 1
World Grain - November 2020 - 2
World Grain - November 2020 - 3
World Grain - November 2020 - 4
World Grain - November 2020 - 5
World Grain - November 2020 - 6
World Grain - November 2020 - 7
World Grain - November 2020 - 8
World Grain - November 2020 - 9
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World Grain - November 2020 - 11
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http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_11_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_10_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_09_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_08_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_07_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_06_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_05_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_04_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_03_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2020_02_01
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http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2019_12_01
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2015_04_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2015_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2015_02_01
http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2015_01_01
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