Honkajoki is a food by-product processing and recycling company focused on the rendering of meat industry side streams. The collected by-products are processed and upcycled to be used as components in pet foods, fish and animal feeds, fertilizers and as renewable raw material for bio-fuels and other chemicals in state-of-the art installations.
Up to half of every animal produced for food is not suitable for human consumption. Honkajoki is committed to ensure that all the by-products generated in meat production are transformed into renewable industrial products, ensuring high levels of circularity and a lower environmental footprint.
The first use case focuses on the optimization of logistics operations to maximize the added value of the incoming materials, classified into three categories, category 1 for high-risk materials, category 2 for medium-risk materials, and category 3 for low-risk materials that can be reused for any type of by-product (categories established by the EU-regulation EC 1069/2009). Ensuring that they are fresh as possible will enable processing with lower energy consumption and improve final product quality, which leads to lower carbon footprint. In this sense, delays in the logistics will downgrade the material quality which complicates processing, leads into higher resource usage, and yields lower value products.
Some of the challenges that have been identified in the current operations are related to the optimization of container fill levels, route planning (e.g., taking into account weather forecast information), or receiving order optimization. The collection of real-time logistics data will allow to monitor the status of containers (at origin, in transit, and at processing facility) and to develop AI-based models for logistic operations optimization leveraging these data, making sure that collected materials reach Honkajoki as fresh as possible. Another important challenge is to leverage the large data streams stored in the Honkajoki Data cloud system, using AI models to optimize production parameters, which will yield the best possible outcome in terms of resource use (energy, water) and end-product quality. This way the raw material will be used to its best potential according to the European Waste hierarchy, using the minimum amount of material and energy resources.
Dr. Mika Tuomola, Director of research, and Matti Lehtinen, Managing director of GMM Finland are leading the participation of Honkajoki in CLARUS, coordinating the contributions of the logistics and production departments. The team will work very closely with Tampere University, the main technical partner involved in these project use cases.