Big data, analytics, the Internet of Things… These are terms we’re all hearing a lot these days, and they signal big changes on the horizon, especially for those of us involved in the ethanol industry. And with all the talk about how the Internet of Things will power the next industrial revolution, or how big data will change manufacturing, some of us in the industry may feel that we’re not ready for these changes.
It isn’t news that annual harvests are crucial time periods for ethanol plants. From corn quality and starch content to enzyme dosage to process changes, there are a variety of considerations plant managers must make pre-harvest. Moreover, the amount of time plants spend on preparation varies anywhere from none at all to four weeks.