The Philippines-UK collaborative Partnership-System for Environmental and Efficient Drying (PULP-SEED) is a British Council Newton Fund Institutional Link between Coventry University (CU), UK and the University of San Carlos (USC), Philippines. As part of this project, CU’s Cogent Labs, in collaboration with the USC, have developed the Philippines’ first wirelessly instrumented factory. Subsequently, this will improve efficiency and minimise waste in mango fruit by-production.
The institutional link focuses on three areas; technological advances in factory monitoring, developmental activities at USC for staff research skills training and scoping industry-academia links at USC in Cebu City. The aim of this project area: “technological advances in factory monitoring systems” is to model and then optimise, a solar drying facility, which processes mango by-products (kernel, peel, and seed) into useful products, using novel technology developed at USC.
A full end-to-end Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) environmental monitoring system has been developed and deployed, targeted at monitoring temperature, relative humidity, air flow and radiant temperatures of data from the drying environments (solar dryer and tunnel dryer).
So what’s the significance of this?
This WSN deployment is the first step to producing a fully automated system that will make use of machine learning techniques to control the greenhouse environment, improving the capacity of mango by-products that the factory can process. With the rise of green technology, this project is timely since the factory converts 100% of material which otherwise would be waste to useful products.
With the increase the viability of mango waste processing such that it can be scaled up to process all or most of the available mango waste currently being produced (current processing only takes waste from 1 of 36 plants in the region), this will lead to job creation and increasing social wealth in disadvantaged communities in the local region.
Also, the University of San Carlos will build a stronger research and skill base in wireless sensing technology. Coventry University will also provide USC with an annual summer school on wireless sensing and the Internet of Things, aimed at masters, PhD students, and staff members.
The hope too is that this project will inspire other Filipino industries to make greater use of their academic institutions as a source of technological advancement.