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Automation and AI generate savings at a sugarcane factory in Mato Grosso

Technology in the field has been improving every day to bring more agility and precision to crops. In Nova Olímpia (MT), a fleet of machines and trucks communicate and make decisions to optimize the harvest of the sugarcane crop. Cameras with artificial intelligence monitor thousands of hectares of plantations against fires.

Sustainability and technology are the themes of episode 40 of MT Sustentável this week.

The truck loaded with sugarcane leaves the field for the plant. During the journey, on a small screen, the driver receives information such as alerts about the most dangerous points on the road, what speed he should travel and, upon arriving at the location, where he should park to unload.

Harvesters, tractors and trucks were equipped with telemetry modules and antennas. This way, the entire fleet is connected and in constant communication.

The agricultural manager at Uisa – one of the largest biorefineries in the country, João Bosco, explains that previously there was a great dependence on qualified labor to perform the tasks that technology performs.

“I had to tell the machine what I was doing, tell the system if I was harvesting, if I was overflowing. And today with the implementation of technology, telemetry, everything, the machine can do this with much greater perfection. And we can make decisions much faster and more assertively”, says João.

With this automation, the system makes the decision and advises the operator which path to follow. An example of these commands occurs when the transshipment trailer is full. The platform issues an alert to the nearest tractor to make the replacement.

Real-time tracking

Everything that happens in the field is seen in real time in the room at the Agricultural Operations Center (COA). The entire fleet is on the screens and if any operator, for example, exceeds the speed of the machine during harvesting, an alert is immediately issued. Likewise for tractors and trucks. However, to reach this level of real-time communication, it was necessary to invest in connectivity.

“For the system to work perfectly, we need internet. Today we have 11 towers that expand the signal throughout our area. The 4G signal became essential for this connectivity to exist, otherwise, the information generated in the field would need to go to a cloud, then to the server and then we could consume the content”, reports Rodrigo Lobo, agricultural planning and control supervisor.

AI also makes up this technological field

In this large technology system there is also a virtual assistant, still in the testing phase, which uses artificial intelligence. With just the smartphone, the producer asks the question and she is able to answer from anywhere.

Automation and Innovation Technology (TAI) is responsible for this technology, an evolution of the well-known IT. In it, data is transformed into information, which helps to make the company’s processes more efficient.

Relationship with sustainability

This entire system contributes to the reduction of assets. Rodrigo comments that in 2021 they managed to remove ten tractors from the overflow operation and that they currently work with a smaller fleet. In this way, CO2 emissions decrease as well as the reduction in the use of diesel oil.



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