IFRAMIX improves the welfare of farm animals with HARDWARIO
CHESTER NB COOPER SF
IFRAMIX, a Czech company and a member of CCPA, aleading French group, is the market leader in animal feed.Their success is based on a long-term research. They areconstantly developing new natural products that reduce theamount of medicines used and maintain excellent medicalcondition of the animals. Prevention of animal stressprovoked by for example inappropriate temperature andhumidity in farms is one of their current topics. Because ofthis, farmers sustain great economic loss, especially in thesummer period. IFRAMIX has asked us for a set of mobilesensors to detect this problem.
The brief: we want farmers to be able to measure the conditions in which their animals live
In IFRAMIX, they have a good understanding of livestock thanks to their long-term experience. They see animals as top athletes. As well as athletes, also animals need excellent conditions to deliver excellent performance. And it is not just about nutrition but also about the conditions in which they live.
Animals, for example dairy cows, are very sensitive to ambient temperature and air humidity, especially at high production levels. These two factors produce thermal stress, referred to as THI (Temperature Humidity Index). Thermal stress significantly reduces performance and can cause death. So, the dairy cows produce less milk and its quality deteriorates. The animals do not grow enough, and this is reflected in the farmers’ lower profits.
Therefore, for efficient farming settings, farmers must know in detail the weather forecast and climatic conditions within the farm. Often, they are aware of them, but take only a few factors into account or measure them irregularly and do not reverse engineer the data. Such data is inaccurate and misleading. For example, ambient temperature itself is not predictive and air humidity still has to be taken into account when measuring.
IFRAMIX has been dealing with the issue of animal thermal stress for a long time, developing innovative solutions for all animal categories, such as feed supplements based on plant natural extracts, within the AXION project. They are also familiar with technological supporting means. Their Thermotool application for smartphones can predict the level of thermal stress for a few days in advance so that farmers can prepare recommended farming measures in time. For example, special ionic and herbal products can be added to the food, adjust the ration or the respective premises can be ventilated more.
Farmers and IFRAMIX will get the necessary information about the breed by constantly measuring temperature and humidity. That's why they asked us to invent and create a device to secure the data.
Following these requirements, we used two different platforms, CHESTER NB and COOPER SF. Each of them uses another network for smart devices to communicate. CHESTER uses the Vodafone NB-IoT data network and COOPER is connected to the Sigfox network. In addition, both platforms meet the requirements for functionality and quality of the device.
So, we used these technologies for reliable measurements:
temperature, humidity and CO₂ sensors from CHESTER and COOPER devices;
communication within Sigfox and NB-IoT networks;
own API to enable connection to the client’s internal system.
IFRAMIX provides sensors to farmers as part of its business policy. These sensors collect data directly at the farm and store them in the corporate platform of the CCPA parent group. Farmers can easily view the data through a web interface and smartphone application. The data give an instant overview of temperature, humidity, CO₂ and thermal stress (THI) levels, including expected THI development.
Our solution: easy-to-move sensors that collect the necessary data
Several challenges related to the new device occurred:
The device must be wireless and use a long battery life to allow farmers to move it as needed.
Communication must be universal, regardless of the data connection provider, and must also be ensured in areas not covered by the standard GSM network.
The device must be integrated into CCPA's internal system, regardless of its type and communication route.
Based on the data obtained, IFRAMIX helps to optimize farming conditions. A team of experts experienced in animal nutrition and health works in the company proposing improvements based on the farmers’ potential. In addition to the individual farmers, the entire CCPA company works with the data as well, draws general conclusions from them and works on further innovations in the optimization of livestock farming.
The result: we introduced IoT to livestock farming
IFRAMIX is not only a feed supplier but also an expert and innovator. It continually improves livestock farming conditions, thereby increasing farmers' production and profit. Thanks to the joint project with IFRAMIX, we have upgraded the technology in agriculture to the next level and together we have proved that the IoT can also be used in this traditional sector. Also in agriculture, data and their analysis play an important role.
We recommend the sensors to all farmers who aim to achieve good economic results and ensure comfortable conditions for their animals, which are two inseparable aspects. In addition, the project has the potential to expand internationally thanks to the CCPA parent group pursuing business activities in several countries.
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