Dynamic simulation driven design and management of production facilities in agricultural/food industry

B. Bianchi, F. Catalano, R. Oliveto, S. Ricciardi
An industrial plant in the agro-food sector can be considered a complex system as it is composed of numerous types of machines and it is characterized by a strong variation (seasonality) in the agricultural production. Whenever the dynamic behavior of the plants during operation is considered, system and design complexities increase. Reliable operation of food processing farms is primarily dependent on perfect balance between variable supply and product storage at each given time. To date, the classical modus operandi of food processing management systems is carried out under stationary and average conditions. Moreover, most of the systems installed for agricultural and food industries are sized using average production data. This often results in a mismatch between the actual operation and the expected operation. Consequently, the system is not optimized for the needs of a specific company. Also, the system is not flexible to the evolution that the production process could possibly have in the future. Promising techniques useful to solve the above-described problems could possibly be borrowed from demand side management (DSM) in smart grid systems. Such techniques allow customers to make dynamically informed decisions regarding their energy demand and help the energy providers in reducing the peak load demand and reshape the load profile. DSM is successfully used to improve the energy management system and we conjecture that DSM could be suitably adapted to food processing management. In this paper we describe how DSM could be exploited in the intelligent management of production facilities serving agricultural and food industry. The main objective is, indeed, to present how methods for modelling and implementing the dynamic simulation used for the optimization of the energy management in smart grid systems can be applied to a fruit and vegetables processing plant through a suitable adaptation.
Bianchi, B., Catalano, F., Oliveto, R. and Ricciardi, S. (2021). Dynamic simulation driven design and management of production facilities in agricultural/food industry. Acta Hortic. 1311, 241-248
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1311.30
demand side management, food supply chain, precision postharvest handling, applied information technology

Acta Horticulturae