Industry 4.0 Testlab: Integrity of Food

Everything you need to know

Machines are talking to each other. Smart devices are fixing themselves. 3D printers are creating spare parts in a snap.

It's called Industry 4.0 and it's transforming the world as we know it. This digital revolution makes what you do on the ground simpler, safer and synced like never before.

If this all sounds a little confusing, don't worry. We’ve created an online space to help.

It’s called Testlab: Integrity of Food.

Industry 4.0 introduction.

"Our Testlab is all about our researchers working with Tasmanian farmers, food producers and related businesses to discover and share what can be achieved."

- Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rufus Black

"Our role is to provide the expertise, to host the equipment and to engage in very a deep and meaningful way with our industry partners."

- Associate Professor Stephen Cahoon, Academic Lead, Testlab

Virtual Testlab

Visit Testlab: Integrity of Food and take a tour of our virtual showroom. This immersive online space allows you to see, hear and experience new technologies through videos and case studies.

Virtual Testlab

Industry 4.0 (or ‘the fourth industrial revolution’) is the automation of industry through ‘smart’ technologies. These technologies are springing up in response to the pressures of climate change, resource shortages, food waste and growing populations.

This evolution is happening fast, making agriculture more precise, efficient, sustainable and connected. Embracing these exciting new technologies, and growing alongside Industry 4.0, will future-proof your business.

And Testlab is here to help.

Our supporters

Testlab: Integrity of Food is designed to help small-to-medium enterprises in Tasmania become confident with agritech – which is the use of technology in agriculture. We are one of six universities in Australia participating in the program, backed by government funding and built with a view to the future.

Think of Testlab as a virtual showroom where you can test drive Industry 4.0 technology. This includes robotic systems that make your work faster and safer, field sensors that give real-time feedback about soil moisture and weather conditions, and food sharing and crowd-farming to alleviate waste and increase local resilience.

You’ll see examples of Industry 4.0 in action, attend workshops, and take short courses to deepen your understanding of this new landscape. Testlab will also connect you to a community of collaboratively minded small-to-medium enterprises.

The technologies you’ll experience represent improvements across the entire value chain. They address tricky problems like high cost of labour, wastage and distance to market, and have the potential to boost your bottom line and Tasmania’s economic competitiveness.

In short, they amplify what you and Tassie do best.

Whether you’re in agriculture or aquaculture, manufacturing or agritourism, there are huge opportunities to improve your profitability, sustainability and even biosecurity via Industry 4.0. It’s just a matter of tapping into them.

Many businesses have heard of Industry 4.0 but do not fully understand it.

Testlab is an entry point for small-to-medium enterprises who are interested in understanding and engaging with researchers. We can devise solutions that take advantage of new technologies and processes to address the issues that confront businesses on a daily basis.

The Testlab showcases Industry 4.0 technologies that are being adopted by other small-to-medium enterprises, either on farms, during processing, in transit along their supply chains, or in evaluating the quality of produce and beverages.

Creating awareness is key to learning how other similar businesses have adopted Industry 4.0 solutions. Because of the portability of Industry 4.0 equipment, it can be demonstrated on location at your business.

Connect with a university researcher to register your interest or become involved in testing Industry 4.0 technologies and processes by contacting testlab@utas.edu.au

Our Testlab on the Integrity of Food creates innovative solutions to food safety and quality, food authenticity, food provenance biosecurity, increasing productivity whilst reducing waste, and supply chain and logistics management.

We’ll be looking at how new data and technology can add value to Tasmanian small-to-medium enterprises. This can be used as a framework for an integrated solution that will automate data collection and operations.

Testbeds have been developed around key industry issues that have the ability to significantly impact small-to-medium enterprises in agrifood. These include:

Biosecurity and Food Safety

A small mobile biosecurity kit is capable of identifying disease on a crop and providing real-time analysis. The diagnosis comes through IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity from the kit to the cloud and back to a laptop or mobile phone.

Optimising of Food Quality

The process to determine food and beverage quality is becoming more digitalised. For example, electronic tongue tasters are available to provide an accurate assessment for standardising food quality, ensuring consistency of experience (flavour and quality) for manufacturers and consumers.

Real-time Supply Chain Sensing

Through the use of sensors on farms, important data can be gathered, integrated and analysed. This can help to make better decisions related to environmental impacts on growing, energy and water usage, reducing waste, and eliminating breaks along the perishable food cold chain.

This Internet of Things focused testbed will improve productivity, reduce waste, and build sustainable business practices by integrating data to inform decision making. Further efficiencies can be gained through the automating of data collection from sensors and automating business operations.

For more information, take a tour of our Virtual Testlab.

Visit our Events Calendar to search for upcoming Industry 4.0 events.

Industry 4.0 Education

The University of Tasmania has developed courses and workshops to support and engage with industry, schools and the community.

Contact

Contact Testlab to discuss your situation or register your interest to become involved in testing Industry 4.0 technologies and processes.

Contact us