BinSentry, an innovative Agricultural Internet of Things (IoT) technology company based out of Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada, recently announced their first Internet of Things solution to solve a decades old challenge in the feed-milling industry. Aiming to overcome the limitations of traditional feed-measurement technologies, the BinSentry sensor enables smart and seamless, end-to-end data delivery to BinSentry software and installs quickly and easily - typically in 15 minutes or less - while not modifying feed bins in any way.
Founded two years ago, BinSentry has since grown into an innovation leader in the rapidly expanding Agricultural Technology industry. Says BinSentry co-founder, Randall Schwartzentruber, “when we sat down to talk to people in the industry, we kept hearing the same things at every level. From transportation and logistics to production and sales, people kept noting the presence of an information-deficit that made effective decision-making difficult.” Feed-mills and farmers are feeling the pressure of rising costs and are looking to optimize efficiencies in order to offset those demands. “We recognized an opportunity to partner with feed mills by developing an Internet of Things solution built specifically to provide access to cost-effective and accurate on-farm inventory data paired with software to interpret the data and provide insights,” says Schwartzentruber.
Over the course of the past two years, BinSentry has invested a great deal of time into research, prototyping and development; ultimately concluding that in order to adequately solve this decades old challenge, they would need to develop something completely new. “We felt the best candidate for the task was the same optical sensing technology that gives autonomous vehicles their spatial awareness: LIDAR.” says Randall. BinSentry’s proprietary self-cleaning LIDAR sensor uses modulated light to accurately and consistently measure the volume of feed in bins, sending that data back to BinSentry servers where BinSentry can process the data, send notifications and provide insights such as days-to-empty.
The BinSentry sensor is completely self-sufficient in that it does not require power to be run to the feed bins, does not require on-farm internet access, is self-cleaning and uses solar-power to operate for many years without interruption. Disruptive IoT solutions, such as the BinSentry feed bin sensor, are sparking an industry wide revolution as many key players begin to explore how “Big-Data” can better inform their decision-making and introduce efficiencies by leveraging information that was previously unattainable.
Recently BinSentry received an order for 1300 sensors from the largest independent feed producer in Canada by tonnage, who intends to blanket their delivery network with sensors in order to provide a superior customer service experience to their farmers, while simultaneously realizing cost savings made possible by increased transportation and production efficiency. This company continues to lead the market in feed production techniques with a clear vision for what the future holds for agricultural technology.
“It’s exciting!” says Schwartzentruber, “With the collaboration of some really great industry partners, what started out as an idea in the mind of a local feed-mill owner, we’ve been able to build into a solution that meets a real need.” The future looks bright for this Ontario-based start-up as they work to keep up with the growing demand for their product!