Hitachi Process Intelligence for Smart Agriculture and Google Cloud
To enable its IoT journey, MLA turned to Hitachi and Google Cloud. With more than 105 years in operational technology and more than 55 years in the IT sector, Hitachi understands what is needed to create IoT digital transformation for a global organization. After working to understand MLA’s business objectives, Hitachi delivered Hitachi Process Intelligence (HPI) for Smart Agriculture, which allowed MLA’s stakeholders to visually represent individual farm operations and provide insight to decision-making and establish best practices across the supply chain.
Together with Google Cloud, Hitachi provides new levels of operational efficiency to vast and remote properties and farms with creative solutions to address connectivity, and collaboration to help meet the demands of changing climates, markets and populations. Using simple, easy to consume services from Google Cloud, MLA’s stakeholders can begin aggregating and analyzing data including integration with Google Maps and high-speed data ingestion using Google Cloud Compute and Storage capabilities.
The solution combines advanced process and data analytics to support business decisions and accelerate business performance. Beyond data visualization, HPI matches livestock operations against best practice frameworks, which combine industry-standard practices with farm-specific solutions to address unique needs. This provides decision support through projections and predictions that are developed using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.
To effectively design and deliver HPI for Smart Agriculture to MLA’s stakeholders, data regarding farm operations and individual cattle had to be collected and validated. Hitachi went on site to allocate optimal points for data collection. They provided a data repository to collect individual animal history and provide a record of the animal’s life, including weight, locations and health. Hitachi also implemented a repository of on-site weather data tracking, as well as a knowledge repository of best practices hosted on Google Cloud, which are represented through a farm control center.
The data collection plan included radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in cattle across a broad range of locations. Collaboration between MLA and Hitachi allowed livestock owners to provide cattle insights, which became the foundation for big data analytics to form best practice models. Hitachi also created a connected network providing linkage from sensors on the ground and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the HPI platform. From field to sky, Hitachi and Google Cloud help Australia’s livestock industry to deploy sensors and capture advanced imaging to provide detailed biomass estimates, cattle head count and high-resolution surveys.
The future is even more exciting. MLA stakeholders can look forward to new initiatives, such as leveraging G Suite for smaller farms, Google Hangouts to connect producer groups and Google Assistant to focus farmers and ranchers on priority needs. Additional initiatives include adding intelligence to the data using Google AI, making collaboration easier with other farmers via G Suite and Google Assistant, and a more robust integration with Google Maps.