Case Study ² NSW sugar industry uses Agtrix technology to save time, money and resources

The New South Wales Sugar Milling Co-operative (NSWSMC) has set benchmarks in harvest and supply chain management, using technology developed by Agtrix over the past 9 years.

Harvesting up to 2.4 million tonnes of cane each year, the cooperative embraces technology to drive its business operations.

Former NSWSMC employee Grahame Dines developed an automated traffic scheduling system in the late 1990s which was trialed at Harwood Mill in 1998, with outstanding results. The mill recorded a 39 percent reduction in mill stops associated with traffic scheduling, at a time when average trip time had increased by five percent and the average crushing rate was up by 10 percent

Grahame is now employed by Agtrix and has been a key player in upgrading the technology to provide total supply chain solutions for the agricultural sector.

In 2003, the NSWSMC engaged Agtrix to provide harvest management and harvester tracking systems. In just three years, the organisation cut its cane supply operation costs by 32 percent.

More recently, Agtrix has been working with the sugar cooperative to improve real-time communication between mills and the harvesting sector, using on-board computers fitted to tractors, as well as a web-based ETA Calculator.

This technology enables truck and harvester activity to be monitored on a daily basis.

Snapshot of Agtrix technology solutions employed by NSW sugar industry Before the season

Product

Benefit Cane supply officers can: Map all the sugar that could be supplied to a mill Identify expected yield Predict the length of a processing season Develop a harvest plan to optimise transport efficiency.

FarmMap (Geographic Information System) (Being replaced by AgDat)
During the season

Product SweetNet (telemetry application)

Benefit

Automatically informs a mill when bins are ready for collection. Harvesters are provided with real-time data about cane that has just been delivered including bin weight and stock SHIRT (Harvester Information problems. This enables harvesters to: Adjust their level of fill to achieve their target weights, and in Real Time)

Product

Benefit avoid hefty fines for overloaded bins Amend harvesting practices to improve product quality and minimise the amount of dirt or extraneous matter. Location and sensor data is derived from harvesters to determine daily harvest progress.Field efficiencies are calculated for the harvester.Harvester group managers can use progress data to manage resources. Determines which bins are picked up and delivered to the mill for processing.Aims to achieve just-in-time product delivery to optimise transport fleet efficiency.Determines a destination for each truck as it leaves the mill.

Harvester Tracking

Informs the mill of any future break in supply, enabling the FREDD mill to adjust its processing rate. (automated traffic scheduling) Provides the FREDD traffic scheduling system with real-time data about the location of transport fleet and anticipates time of cane delivery at a mill.Monitors truck progress with GPS ETA Calculator tracking.Notifies harvesters when bins are due to arrive. Receives daily cut areas reports from the harvester tracking and uses them to keep track of harvest progressMonitors delivery consignment accuracy from where was cut the previous dayProvides data on current harvest status for each paddock to business and grower web site. CHOMP (Being replaced by AgDat)
After the season

Used by harvester contractors to analyse field and crew efficiencies

Product ProdBase (Being replaced by AgDat)

Benefit Analyse productivity for the different climatic zones and soil types to provide varietal advice.

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