Cheesemaker leverages the power of AI to improve cheese quality, yield


The Netherlands-based dairy cooperative Amalthea is known for its goat cheese and yogurt products as well as organic cow’s cheese. It sources its milk from 50 goat farmer members, and has recently branched into infant formula production.

Cheese, however, remains its key offering, and the co-op recently took steps to improve product quality and yield.

“Our customers require consistency in the cheese we produce,”​ said Joris Aarts, chief financial officer at Amalthea. “The big challenge is that milk is the raw material used to produce cheese and, by nature, is very unstable and inconsistent over the seasons.”

For each cheese batch produced, the co-op would set a target yield based on past knowledge of production. When a cheese batch deviated from the target yield or the right target yield wasn’t set, factory operators had to take action and make changes to production to make the process more efficient. Production issues were identified by manually processing data and analyzing it on a weekly basis.

But with more than 200,000 liters of milk processed daily, waiting a week to get the necessary insights and optimizations wasn’t optimal. “In the past, we had to do these milk yield calculations manually, and we were only able to do this once per week, or sometimes once per month, so it was too late,”​ Aarts said. “On top of that, we were not able to calculate the yields per batch.”

Behind the workings of an integrated AI system

To achieve more timely results and get more granular insight into milk quality, in 2020 Amalthea invested in an integrated artificial intelligence system called Coleman AI from US-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions specialist Infor.


Source link