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Revolutionizing the Dairy Industry with Zira

Dairy processing facilities face similar challenges that impact their operational efficiency and bottom line. One of the most significant challenges is the lack of accurate data and tools to analyze that data. Without these two key components, dairy processors are not able to effectively pinpoint, map out, and execute on energy saving opportunities. Instead, plant managers often focus on more visible and surface level costs such as labor productivity and raw material inputs. Though these factors make up a large portion of the equation, they do not represent the full picture – therefore leaving many operational improvements left on the table.

Zira is partnering with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to merge hardware, its energy analytics software, and machine learning algorithms to help dairy processing facilities become more competitive by improving operations, reducing energy consumption, and lowering costs. 

The CEC has granted Zira $5.8 million to implement its energy optimization solution through a program called “d.AI.ry”, which will fund the power meters, the installation of the power meters, tablets, and Zira software. With these tools, Zira will collect real-time energy data, digitize paper processes, and provide AI-based analysis to help improve plant performance. Over the 18-month initiative, the goal is to optimize energy efficiency by 25%. The two main KPI’s that will be tracked to measure performance and improvements are:

    • Energy Intensity – Processed Milk: Energy consumed per unit of processed milk

    • Energy Intensity – Produced Dairy Product: Energy consumed per unit of dairy product

Energy intensity for processed milk will be used as a standardized metric that will be used to compare against all other dairy facilities participating in the program and energy intensity for product dairy product will be used to measure an individual plant’s improvements.

As of today, over 500 power meters have been installed across all 30 dairies in California, and a few are already gaining valuable insights and taking steps to optimize their production process. The next phase of this program is to collect production data to establish and define the energy intensity metrics.

“In working with Zira, we are now monitoring in real-time the energy usage for 22 different electrical inputs and trending the data over the course of the year to see where and why spikes or outliers occur. This will allow us to alternate equipment such as air compressors or chillers based on demand saving energy.”

Joby Rumiano, Rumiano Cheese

The d.A.I.ry project builds on a previous $5 million CEC-funded program, “Project Engage”, launched with Lightapp (Zira’s previous company) in 2017. The first project focused on compressed air and delivered an average energy saving of 17% at over 100 high-energy-consuming industrial facilities in California. 

More than 50% of project participants expanded the solution beyond compressed air and saw improved machine reliability, increased uptime, and higher overall equipment efficiency (OEE).

With Zira, you can get started in no time and see results fast. Sign up today and begin to see insights into your dairy performance.