Schneider teams up with Microsoft to develop a complete traceability system
New traceability application could solve some of the biggest issues that the F&B industry is now facing. An Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty report published in late 2017 estimates that insurance claims for a product recall reach an average of $9.5 million, with the Food & Beverage industry being the second most impacted, just after the car industry.
Food & Beverage product traceability can be complicated to set up, given the number of stakeholders involved across the supply chain (producers, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, transporters…)
With this in mind, Schneider Electric is developing a new “End to End Traceability” tool to monitor products across the entire supply chain, both upstream and downstream of manufacturing plants. To do so, Schneider Electric is combining its knowledge of the Food & Beverage segment with the expertise of Microsoft, its partner, in blockchain technologies, informs a press release of the company.
Using its expertise with 21 with 21 of the Global Top 25 major Food & Beverage companies among its customers, Schneider Electric has worked with a major fresh produce retail group, a distributor and a transporter to develop a prototype for the downstream part of “End to End Traceability.” Benjamin Jude, Schneider Electric declared, “With this prototype, these companies can build an electronic passport for each product to fully automate the contracts between them. For example, leveraging IoT, they can maintain an unbroken cold chain.” In addition to ensuring full product traceability, “End to End Traceability” will also offer time savings by warning the distributor in real time of any delays in delivery or production.
“End to End Traceability” incorporates cutting-edge Schneider Electric technologies, including shock/humidity Telemecanique Sensors and a “click-to-cloud” system for reporting secure information from connected objects and sensors.
Thomas Conté, cloud engineer and blockchain evangelist at Microsoft, noted: “Blockchain is a digital technology that allows all members of an ecosystem to automatically share a common and unique truth on all their interactions. That truth is fully transparent to all of them, and all of them contribute to generating and storing that truth. It generates trust between those members.” Microsoft partnered with Schneider Electric to select the most suitable blockchain technology and to build very quickly the PoC using Azure Blockchain as a service. Thomas Conté continued: “The smart contracts leverage the truth shared by all stakeholders to automatically execute tasks like payments or products recalls, and improve collaboration between all of them”. They will automatically execute the service terms and conditions agreed upon by the different stakeholders (delivery times, temperature/humidity/shock levels, etc.). Each telemetric reading is archived securely in the blockchain and shared between all members to ensure traceability. Lastly, the blockchain protocol used (Ethereum) and the targeted governance (consortium blockchain) ensure to develop a project with very low energy consumption.
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