Video: Every Kernel Counts

Bayer‘s Corn Seed Production in Brazil and Argentina with predictive asset management.

Corn seeds are a cornerstone of the food industry. Bayer seeks to raise the output of their plants in South America. Predictive asset management improves their performance. Photo: Porsche Consulting

It is harvest time. When the corn is ripe, millions of tons of yellow ears are collected from the fields. There is little room for delay. Rainclouds may be on the horizon and the harvest must begin. From the field, the crop is delivered to the processing plant. This is where the production cycle begins, which transforms corn into valuable agricultural products. First, the husk is removed and the product is dried. The next step is the shelling process, where the kernels are separated from the cobs. And finally, the kernels are classified according to size, treated, and packaged.

Corn is a cornerstone of the food industry—especially in South America, where it is used to make nearly all the cereal products that are made out of wheat or rye elsewhere. Brazil is one of the biggest corn-growing countries and one of the most important and competitive corn markets in the world. This is where Bayer has located part of its corn production business. Producing corn from ears is a complex and innovative process carried out by skilled workers within a short time frame. Once the harvest is in, the ears have to be processed quickly to avoid seed being lost. Missing this window because of problems in the production cycle or suboptimal storage of food crops results in loss of valuable product and financial losses. Downtime caused by technical problems is a serious issue. “We seek maximum availability of our assets at harvest time,” says Rogério Martins, South America Reliability and Maintenance Manager at Bayer in Brazil. “Reducing the amount of maintenance time is essential in reducing cost. Downtime during harvest is a real problem and must not happen at all.”

Read the complete article: „Every Kernel Counts“