Digital revolution in the milling industry

10 September 20193 min reading

Namık Kemal PARLAK Editor Milling, one of the oldest industries, has undergone a great deal of transformation and progress since the days of grinding stones. However, when people are asked, often old-fashioned windmills or watermills spring to mind.

I even remember that some of the professionals I talked to about the future of milling said that the industry has reached its limits in terms of development, saying, “We will not be going into space, right!” I wish everyone could have seen the Bühler Networking Days in Uzwil, Switzerland, between 26-27 August in order to get rid of this primitive image of the sector once and for all. Those who listened to the issues discussed at the event, those who saw the innovative solutions displayed in Bühler’s Solution Space, were sure to imagine themselves to be in Silicon Valley.

What we witnessed in Uzwil was literally a digital transformation. Seeing the opportunities that digitalization offers for sustainable food safety and food security, Bühler is leading the digital transformation in the milling industry by making significant investments in this field. Bühler is harnessing the power of digitalization to improve food security and safety and help their customers reduce waste, increase efficiency, and maximize yield.

During the Networking Days, Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group, announced that they decided to increase their sustainability goals. Bühler’s next-generation process solutions are aimed to reduce energy use, water, and waste by 50 percent.What an ambitious target!

However, I am convinced that these targets are achievable when I witnessed the commitment, passion and energy of the Bühler team and their ability to bring manufacturers, scientists, industry partners and start-ups together from all over the world. Another perspective that impressed me in Uzwil is Bühler’s holistic approach to transform the industry. What I mean by that? You can build smart machines using digital technology, but this alone is not enough. You need trained millers to operate a mill at its most effective. And you need digital services that add value to your operation.

Bühler has a total of 29 application centers for joint development ventures with customers and start-ups, over 7,800 vocational training courses, around 600 apprentices at 25 locations and dozens of cooperation programs with universities. And Bühler collaborates with Microsoft to find unique solutions to improve safety, efficiency and traceability across entire food production value chains.

These are really promising steps for the future. As a father of two who is concerned about food safety and food security, I left Uzwil in good hope for the future.

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