We know that the next ten years will be extremely different from the previous ten. The growing demand for clean energy, the acceleration of the digital revolution, the new habits of connected consumers, the technology of electric and hybrid cars, and the outlook of distributed power generation are the megatrends we follow in order to always be ahead!
We integrate startups, establish partnerships, and prepare our team for the future, aiming to follow and lead the continuous developments in the agribusiness and fuel sectors.
As a result of our efforts, in October 2018 we ranked among the ten most innovative companies in Brazil, according to Forbes magazine. The publication highlighted the performance of Pulse and the diversification of our business, especially the cornerstone of the biogas plant located in Guariba (SP).
We celebrated Pulse's first anniversary, an important factor in our innovation structure, which has enabled the renovation of ideas and practices that enrich Brazilian agribusiness and other fronts, such as logistics, industry and retail. It is a space where executives of the sector, representatives of big companies and opinion formers can meet and network. In one year of operation, we have already contributed directly with the development of 23 startups, of which 15 already have pilot projects being tested in our operations and five have entered into agreements with us.
In partnership with Vivo, Ericsson and EsalqTec, we selected, in the crop year, six startups to participate in Agro IoT Lab, a program to develop apps for the fields with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). Under the initiative, Vivo will take its 4G mobile network to the fields; Ericsson will provide business support through software platforms for IoT; EsalqTec will assist in the academic facilitation of technologies. And we will provide the environment, expertise and agricultural infrastructure.
The startups selected will have access to the shared space at Pulse, as well as to mentoring, workshops, networking and training applied to agribusiness, in addition to the opportunity to participate in Wayra's ecosystem, Vivo's open innovation hub.
Startups participating in Agro IoT Lab
Ativa | IoT and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions for telemetry and remote management.
Seive | Self-propelled fire protection.
IoTag | Cloud telemetry system, which controls a data mining device embedded in agricultural machinery.
Trace Pack | IoT solutions for agribusiness with complete inventory management and greater logistics security and efficiency to clients.
Agriconnected | Real time management and monitoring of agricultural machinery through artificial intelligence and devices installed in the machines.
@Tech | Intelligent solutions that help assertive decision making for agriculture.
The crop year at Pulse was marked by several events, such as the Raízen Hackaton, in which young people were selected to solve actual problems of the markets where we operate; and the Tech Kids Workshop, held in partnership with Happy Code, a technology school for children. The initiative had the participation of 50 children and young people, from 6 to 16 years, among children of employees and from Piracicaba (SP). Everyone had a morning full of activities, with workshops to develop apps and 2D games.
For more information, visit the Pulse website: www.pulsehub.com.br.
Making the most of the byproducts of our production process is a key strategy for gains in efficiency and productivity. This is what we do, for example, with the organic matter of the filter cake and vinasse, which are converted into biogas and, later, into electric energy. This energy generated through biogas can be produced all year round, which provides energy stability for users.
In August 2018, we inaugurated, in partnership with Geo Energética and Sebigás, the cornerstone of the biogas plant, in the Bonfim Unit, in Guariba (SP).
The operations, scheduled to start at the end of 2020, will increase the unit's electricity generation by up to 40%. The target is, within three years, to reach the capacity of 21 MW.
We improved the way our industrial units prepare during the off season, when we are not crushing sugarcane. Under the Alavancar Project, 19 work packages were implemented to cover all critical stages, aimed at guaranteeing a safer start to the harvest, without premature failure and with greater stability of the operations.
Main results of the Alavancar Project
16.3% reduction in premature failure
2.4% increase in uptime in the first 30 days of the harvest
In 2018/2019, we made progress in the construction of our first solar power plant, with 1.3 MWp capacity directly connected to the distribution grid in the Piracicaba region (SP). The plant marks our entry into the Distributed Generation (DG) market, looking to offer clean energy to all customers in all levels of consumption.
DG consists of the installation of power generation systems in the premises of consumers or directly connected to the distribution grid. In line with the need to diversify the energy matrix, technological advancement and the search to mitigate environmental impacts, this market has been established in the world as one of the most efficient alternatives to supply the increased consumption of electricity.
We increasingly innovate in our work fronts towards greater productivity and efficiency in all areas. In this sense, since 2015, we have been conducting the Pentágono initiative, seeking to standardize monitoring and scheduling of agricultural operations, 24 hours a day, through the Agroindustrial Integration Center (CIA - Central de Integração Agroindustrial); in addition to monitoring the critical parameters of the industrial process through Pentágono Industrial.
In 2018/2019, we expanded the scope of the initiative: in addition to the stages of planting, cutting, loading and transporting sugarcane, we began to include it in soil preparation and automotive maintenance. We also started a pilot project for activities related to vinasse, focused on environmental conservation, and, in order to cope with the growth of our energy cogeneration potential, we started to monitor biomass transportation. In addition to gains in efficiency and productivity, the controls seek to ensure reliability of information—since they accurately record the actual conditions in the field and industry.
In order to increase productivity and safety of our 35 partner carriers and reduce logistics costs, we have been developing Project ONE since July 2017, which consists of managing, in real time, the entire route of the fleet of tanker trucks via a monitoring center. We also gained efficiency through better planning of stocks and sizing of the fleet.
After pilot projects in Ourinhos (SP) and Londrina (PR), we extended the project to all our 68 bases throughout Brazil. In total, more than 3,300 trucks are tracked—an entire fleet, safe and smart!
Pillars of Project ONE
Logistics Efficiency Cell (CEL) | Allows for planning routes and evaluating the operational design adopted.
Monitoring | Performed in real time to immediately correct any problems and provide CEL with information for statistical studies.
Technology | We invest in software development that integrates every stage, from planning the route to the stop at the end point by monitoring drivers' driving patterns, including sudden braking and speed in rainy weather, in order to ensure safety of the operation.
We launched the app called CSfácil, which aims to mitigate queues of trucks7 in fuel loading and allocation at the terminals. The tool was developed based on a survey that found that 70% of the demands of these drivers were related to fuel allocation or changes in transportation. That's because, before CSfácil, drivers would load according to the sequence in which the orders were entered into a system and, when drivers needed to change the transport, they would contact our call center—a process that could take about 30 minutes.
With the app, drivers started to check the load to be transported and to allocate the fuel before reaching the terminal. At the beginning of 2018/2019, we had already recorded a 47%reduction in the number of calls to our plant compared with the previous year.
7 Free on board (FOB)
Main features of CSfácil
Driver Chat: Our center is available 24 hours a day to answer real-time questions.
Documentation: Driver can check in advance the necessary documentation to enter the terminal.
Notifications: The app issues alerts, such as terminal hours, that were previously sent only to the dealer and often did not reach the driver.
The waiting time of sugarcane suppliers in the production units will also be reduced, as of the 2019/2020 crop year, after the implementation of Project Berlim. The initiative integrates procedures related to own and third-party sugarcane, in order to unify management under the same operating indicators, reducing the average waiting time in the external yard, increasing productivity in the industry and ensuring the convenience and satisfaction of partners.
The technology consists of an automated chat (chatbot) feature in the app called Telegram, whereby drivers will check-in upon entering the perimeter of the external yard and which will organize the call for unloading—automatically. The development of the resource promoted a true cultural transformation in the team, which became available in multidisciplinary teams (squads) operating in an agile model.
In addition to communication with suppliers becoming even more agile, generating a competitive advantage in attracting partners, gains include efficiency in the operation, since the linearity in receiving sugarcane at the unit avoids changes in rotation of the crusher.
Laboratory of the Future
Analysis of own and third-party sugarcane samples will be enhanced, at the beginning of the 2019/2020 crop year, with the new laboratory of the Paraiso Production Unit, in Brotas (SP). It is a pilot project of the Laboratory of the Future, in which the processes will be 100% automated. The technology, disruptive in the sugar-energy sector, aims to ensure, to us and our partners, the profitability of the raw material.
In addition, with less human interference, we will be able to guarantee greater productivity. This is because, supported by artificial intelligence resources, innovation reduces the time for analysis by about 92.5%, from 40 to only three minutes.
In the near future, the project will enable suppliers to access an online platform with information on results to assist them in decision making in the field—it is our energy in favor of more efficient win-win partnerships.
In 2019/2020, we intend to launch Revenda 360º, the new digital platform of our Commercial Front. Innovation is part of our journey to digitize the sales force and our relationship with our dealers, a reflection of the maturity of the Network Planning Department, which, in the last two years, has conducted a broad diagnosis in order to put us at the forefront of market trends, which requires better understanding about what is going on in other industries and that can be applied to our business relationships.
With Revenda 360º, the team will have easy access to information from the dealer network and, with this, will direct their focus to the most important activities, considering the priorities of each service station. The tool also offers greater agility throughout our planning process that supports our growth and expansion of the Shell Network.
In July 2018, we completed the implementation of the Project Águia in the cutting, loading and transporting areas of the production units. The initiative focuses on the proper registration of routines and expected results, seeking to increase the efficiency of our operations.
With this solution, operations managers now rely on a complete mapping of the activities in the field to better monitor the teams. In addition, all procedures have been documented to increase internal controls and disseminate best practices in the operation.
In addition, an app has been developed to enable these managers to record field activities using smartphones—which was previously done manually. The technology strengthens the intelligence of the Agricultural area, as it allows for a systemic view of all the operational fronts. It is also an efficient tool to communicate with employees who work remotely, away from offices and laptops.
At the end of the previous harvest, we had announced the winners of Inovar 2.0, a recognition program for employees who presented ideas that helped increase efficiency, reduce costs, or improve customer relations. A total of 314 ideas were registered and ten teams were shortlisted.
In November 2018, members of the winning team traveled to Lisbon, Portugal, where they participated in the Web Summit, one of the largest technology conferences in the world. The event was attended by more than 1,800 startups, more than 1,200 speakers and an audience of more than 70,000.