Moba: Bringing customers to the forefront of technology
Imagine that you are an egg producer.
One of your egg equipment has a technical issue, and due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, your equipment supplier cannot be with you on-site. You take out a pair of "smart glasses", and now your supplier can see exactly what you see and is even able to point at details, and write comments directly in your view. Without much difficulty, your problem was successfully diagnosed and resolved.
This scenario describes how Moba Smart Glasses can help egg producers effectively troubleshoot technical issues without being limited by the physical absence of Moba experts on-site.
"In these times, I see that remote support is getting more important than ever," Edwin Bolwerk, CEO of Moba, tells Livestock & Feed Business.
"Remote support is not new for us; we already provide it for many years, for instance, with the Moba remote web app and iMoba (Management Information System). But now, our customer care team had to speed up the roll-out of our advanced services on remote support, with the Moba Smart Glasses being an example."
According to Christoffer Ernst, Moba's managing director of Asia Pacific, China and Japan, the company is seeing a growing interest in automation due to staffing problems resulting from COVID-19.
"Egg producers want to minimise reliance on human labour as part of risk management. And with automation comes the growing interest for digitalisation to obtain full track and trace information in automated egg grading/packing operations," he says.
The track and trace module in the management information system, iMoba, would be rolled out soon.
One of Moba's developments recently rolled out is the Shell Inspector. Ernst explains that this detection system not only identifies cracks but also determines a quality rating for the shell strength of each egg. This allows the egg producer to monitor supplies on quality; continue to run flocks for a longer period of time; and create premium quality products from average production runs, i.e. separating strong-shelled eggs from weak-shelled eggs. In this way, egg producers can make products for different markets.
Bolwerk says that, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, an overall positive effect in egg production is seen (Read more in this eFeedLink article). Sales in shell eggs are rising as consumers are using more eggs. In the processing of egg products, a slight decline is also witnessed. Additionally, Moba's customers are "positive about the future," Bolwerk highlights.
A further step in equipment automation is in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), where AI will allow for advanced technologies for even more hygienic and contactless detection systems, according to Ernst. This comes at a time when industry emphasis on food safety is increasing.
"Moba launched a hygienic programme last year. The very important first step was the Multi Outlet concept, a way to separate dirty eggs from the production line at the earliest possible stage. The next step occurs further downstream where eggs are inspected for cracks," Ernst explains.
This year, Moba announced a futuristic development programme to incorporate AI into a vision system for detecting cracks.
"The rapidly changing technology in this field enables functions that were unthinkable a few years ago," Bolwerk says.
"This type of contactless system is the logical next step in Moba's hygienic programme. AI has been applied for many years in Moba's unsurpassed Egg Inspector that is used for leaking and dirt detection. This technology has become so mature, that even searching for cracks, which are barely visible to the human eye, is within reach. Technology that was already proven by Moba researchers some years ago is now suitable for designing commercial applications."
In egg processing, Moba is also making major steps in food safety innovation.
This year, the company collaborated with Innovo, a key player in pasteurisation plants, and introduced the plug-and-play Ovolution pasteurising system.
"When we innovate, we always have our customers in mind - what do they need, how can we help to optimise their business - and we also look further in what would be their future needs," Bolwerk says.
He concludes: "We have big plans and innovations that will improve the businesses of our customers. It's still too early to reveal more about our plans and our goals but it will definitely benefit our industry."
- Ngai Meng CHAN
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