The Bretzel becomes first ‘Smart’ Bakery in Europe, using IoT technology to become truly ‘Green’ Irish food producer embraces new Operational Intelligence technology
The Bretzel Bakery, one of Dublin’s oldest artisan bakeries, has invested in Internet of Things (IoT) technology to help it cut its utility bills and comply with Ireland’s tough food sustainability programme targets set out in Bord Bia’s Origin Green.
Irish food producers are internationally renowned for quality, but need to balance cost reduction with sustainability. ‘Origin Green’, the national sustainability programme, enables producers to showcase their commitment to sustainable production. Most firms are unaware of where specific inefficiencies lie in their operation as they struggle with manual or late data collection. Combining live data with cloud-based analytics and reporting dashboards enable real-time performance improvement. This allows smaller, margin-constrained producers to fully exploit their operational data and become ‘smart’.
The Bretzel is embracing the ‘Operational Intelligence’ portal from Irish firm, Cognition, ensuring optimisation of their energy consumption. Automated live data is captured in an online Origin Green sustainability report, accessible across the bakery.
Cognition deployed dozens of IoT data-capture sensors in The Bretzel’s Dublin site, feeding real-time production information into Cognition’s analytics platform. The platform alerts when production falls out of tolerance with pre-determined standards. Alerts target performance anomalies where savings can be made in energy or production quality. Powered by Cognition, the bakery captures over 30,000 data points every week to help it understand those historically hard to track but expensive issues, such as:
- ensuring gas and electricity ovens are being used at times of optimum tariff and national grid efficiency
- over-cooling of freezers and efficiency of refrigeration such as catching doors left open
- quality of the dough production by intelligently managing both temperature and humidity
- consistency of The Bretzel’s quality standards for temperature, shift patterns and machine use
- water temperature tracking to negate the need for additional chilling of water pre-production
The outcome of using intelligent alarming to manage activities is a reduction in operational costs, reduced costs of non-compliance and much more efficient production processes, making the Bretzel one of the leanest artisan bread bakers in Europe.
William Despard, Managing Director at The Bretzel says “We won’t compromise on the baking process to help us grow our business, instead we use operational intelligence to monitor and analyse performance in real time. This helps us get smarter in how we operate and as we learn, we bake better bread. As an added benefit we’re delighted it’s helping our sustainability credentials as well.”
Thomas McGrath, CEO of Cognition says “Food producers are so focused on getting the product out the door they can struggle to find the inefficiencies in production. Fortunately, operational intelligence finds easy wins in energy and water optimisation before targeting the types of production quality improvements that The Bretzel have embraced. With our operational intelligence platform, we’re unashamed to help The Bretzel make more dough.”
About The Bretzel Bakery: Fundamental to The Bretzel’s success is its adherence to the production of good food, with an ethos founded on its hundred-year-old traditions. Baking fresh bread daily for approximately 200 trade customers in the greater Dublin area, it holds a unique position in that it produces artisan hand-made bread on a large scale.
About Cognition: Cognition helps manufacturers reduce their energy & production costs and increase compliance using their analytics platform Cognition World. Clients use a simple portal which creates a holistic picture of the entire operation via automatically captured performance data. Based in Dublin and founded by a team of ex-management consultants, Cognition’s clients include food producers and manufacturers in Ireland and the UK.