Meet Collo: Revolutionizing Liquid Analysis Landscape of the Dairy Industry

Dairy Industry
October 27, 2023
Written by
Vika Marszalek
Design & Communication Manager

In today’s tech-driven world, it’s easy to overlook the colossal challenge traditional industries still face, especially one as deeply rooted and widespread as the dairy sector. However, scratch the surface, and one uncovers intricate challenges in the realm of liquid monitoring – efficiency of the production process and waste creation. This is where Collo strides in, revolutionizing the liquid analysis landscape, helping industries optimize production processes, reduce waste and ensure production quality. Not only in the dairy sector but for industries far and wide.

Dairy Industry Revealed

Despite misconceptions of a shrinking dairy sector, it is indeed expanding and facing a surge. Population growth demands more and more food and more efficient food production. The factories themselves are nowadays incredibly complex: “The pipe network can count 200km of pipe, with about 10,000 valves. Therefore in such a long and complex network of pipes, it’s hard to identify in real time where and what happens.”Matti Järveläinen, Collo’s co-founder & CEO, gives an insight.

In recent years consumer preferences also have really changed. Today customers want a variety of products – anything in between lactose-free milk, skyr, or cheddar cheese is on the menu. The need for factories to produce smaller and smaller batches of different products, and frequent cleaning processes, have only added to the complexity of dairy production and increased milk waste.

A lot of waste happens during the cleaning of the pipes – so-called “push-outs”. When the milk or another product in the pipes is being cleaned out with water, and when the production needs to start again, water needs to be pushed out with milk.

“Having so many products in place to produce, in order to change production from one to another product, the factories need to conduct more push-outs, which nowadays reach hundreds a day” - adds Teemu Yli-Hallila, Collo’s co-founder. And this is where the biggest wastage is happening.

Dairy plant with Collo alarms.

The Gravity of Liquid Wastage

The numbers speak for themselves. The dairy industry, responsible for a staggering 918 million tons of milk production in 2021, has been grappling with substantial wastage issues. Historical data and practices indicate that even a fraction of mismanagement can lead to massive losses. For instance, a mere 8% inefficiency in milk management could result in around 73.4 million tons of wasted milk annually. This not only signifies economic losses but also has enormous environmental implications.

For some perspective, according to Arla’s environmental report, the carbon footprint associated with dairy processes stood at 1.42 kg of CO2 emissions per kg of raw milk intake. With the mentioned inefficiencies, this translates to a potential 104 million tons/year increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Add to this the implications for potable water usage, and the challenge becomes even more impactful. Arla’s metrics show a use of 1.01 kg of water per kg of raw milk. An 8% inefficiency would mean a staggering 139 million tons/year of water wastage.

“With Collo’s solution, we want to give clients better tools to optimize liquid in real-time and make these processes more environmentally friendly.”

Collo’s “Fingerprint”

In the face of these daunting figures, Collo’s co-founders – Matti Järveläinen, Teemu Yli-Hallila – and their team developed a solution to innovate liquid monitoring.

The core of Collo’s solution is the “Antenna”, a resilient, intelligent, and remarkably efficient sensor that has the ability to withstand dirt and recognize any change in liquids. Complemented by the “Analyser”, introduced by Collo in 2020, a software platform that automates data analysis by sending radio frequencies into liquids, creates a revolutionary tool for dairy industries and beyond.

The cornerstone of Collo’s breakthrough approach is its ability to create a “fingerprint” for a liquid. This fingerprint, derived from an RF sensor that extracts eight specific features from any liquid, presents a detailed profile that is unique and perceptible. The real marvel is in the technology’s capacity to detect anykind of change in this fingerprint. This allows for a highly nuanced understanding of the liquid’s current state and also of its potential transitions, whether caused by external contaminants, temperature variations, or other influencing factors.

“With Collo’s solution, we want to give clients better tools to optimize liquid in real-time and make these processes more environmentally friendly.”
shares Matti Järveläinen.

By introducing this advanced, resilient sensor mechanism that can not only detect but also provide detailed insights into the quality, consistency, and myriad other essential parameters in any liquid in real time, industries can have access to critical data that can significantly cut down wastages.

The Ripple Effect of Optimizing Liquid Management

By enhancing production efficiency, the dairy industry can witness significant financial windfalls. Amidst the Industrial Revolution 4.0, and the world grappling with climate change, there’s a pressing need to make industrial processes more sustainable. Collo is at the forefront of this transformation, offering solutions that not only reduce costs but also bolster eco-friendly initiatives.

Not only is the dairy sector expanding, but it is also facing a surge in regulatory requirements. With better liquid management in place, the industry can ensure higher quality control and safety, making it easier for companies to adhere to stringent regulations.

“At our core is to help save raw materials, make processes more efficient, and limit the waste that comes from the production.” shared the co-founders.

By minimizing waste and fostering a circular economy ethos, Collo adeptly tackles the dual challenges of economic efficiency and environmental preservation, leading the liquid industry toward a future of profitability and sustainability.

The Road Ahead

While the dairy industry is a primary market for Collo, they have their sights set on broad horizons. The same problem of product waste and liquid management can be found in other sections of the food and beverage industry, the chemicals industry, and beyond. Thus the technology’s vast scope and application make it suitable for a wide array of industries.

“The dairy industry is just the tip of the iceberg” says Teemu Yli-Hallila, CTO. “Our tools can revolutionize countless other industries.”

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Collo is an industrial liquid process performance solution developed by ColloidTek Oy (Collo). The company was founded in 2017 after extensive scientific research in electromagnetic field (EMF) measurement technology at Tampere University. Collo’s cloud-based process performance solution helps industrial customers understand and enhance their liquid processes. Among the customers are well-known industrial companies like Danone, Fonterra, Valio, Ecolab and ABB.
Scale Capital
Scale Capital is an early-stage venture fund investing in digitization and disruptive technologies within B2B. It is primarily focusing on investing in companies in the Nordic region that has the potential and ambition to win in the US market. Scale is headquartered in Copenhagen with a presence in the Nordic countries and Silicon Valley.