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The high prices of basic commodities like milk are one of the problems that face societies today. With the focus on healthy living, milk is an important beverage that packs useful nutrition needed by both young and old. Compared to soda and other beverages, milk is a healthy and preferred favorite.  To address this problem of making high quality milk delivered in a cost effective manner directly from the farmer, T4tech was engaged to design the automated milk dispenser.

How is T4tech Automated Milk Dispenser Useful?

This prototype seeks to give solutions to common problems besetting the dairy industry and dairy farmers:

  • The high cost of bottled milk. This can be attributed to the additional costs incurred by farmers; one of which is the packaging cost. There is a need for sustainable packaging that eliminates the use of plastics. Instead, packaging that can be recycled and reused is preferred to ensure environmental preservation. Today, many environmental-conscious companies are advocating the use of reusable containers like glass to lessen the use of plastic wastes in landfills. Plastics are no longer an environmental or healthy choice.
  • Costly Distribution Methods:  In addition, high costs can also be the result of distribution methods. Eliminating the middlemen in the distribution system ensures that additional costs will not be passed on to the consumer. Every business aspires for low overheads while ensuring efficiency. For many dairy farmers, one of the common problems is finding a cost-effective means of delivering milk. Finding a more economical means of delivery by eliminating expensive delivery systems is a challenge.
  • Calves are not left with their mothers long enough:  A new way of sustainable and ethical farming is needed in the industry. Calves have to stay for at least 15 weeks with their mothers to suckle and represents the ideal form of animal husbandry. The need to have adequate milk for the calf and steady supply for sale while eliminating wastage needs careful balance.

Given the problems facing the dairy farmers, the Automated Milk Dispenser provides a cost-effective means, eliminating the need for a middle man. The portable dispenser is lightweight enough to be placed in key locations in the city. There’s no need to carry hundreds of plastic bottles – one machine is all you need to ensure customers get the precise amount of milk they need for the day. Also, having inadequate cash will no longer pose a problem. The use of prepaid cards to pay is just some of the options awaiting the customers. 

The Automated Milk Dispenser possesses a clean build to ensure good presentation and easy cleaning. Made of corrosion-resistant and non-toxic materials, parts were designed to be easily replaceable on-site and easy to maintain. The prototype also solves space constraints due to its compact size. It can fit a small space in the office, school, gym schools, universities, military buildings, government buildings, bus stations and other places with high foot traffic. These can be installed just outside farms for easy delivery for the farmer.

The machine is well insulated, which helps keep milk at the desired temperature set by a thermostat in the machine. The high-density insulation also increases the energy-savings qualities of the machine – translating to more savings and contributing to more sustainable practices.

The system has RFID readers which reads prepaid cards and allows dispensing milk in quantities which the customer wants. The system connects to the cloud software and keeps records of milk dispensed making it easy to assess demand and ensure the dispensers are always filled up during peak demand.

The whole system including the electronics and software was designed and implemented locally in Christchurch by engineers at T4tech.

Benefits of the Automated Milk Dispenser to Businesses

Some of the benefits that consumers and businesses will get include:

  • Sustainable product: By dispensing the precise amount of milk using the container provided by the customers, plastic/bottle wastes will be reduced. The use of plastics adds to additional packaging costs that are passed on to consumers, making bottled milk expensive. The Automated Milk Dispenser dispenses just the right amount that consumers need. In addition, they can use their own glass containers, unlike bottled dairies sold at supermarkets. 
  • Eliminates waste: Milk wastage is eliminated since the machine dispenses only the needed amount of milk. For people living alone, buying just the right amount for a day or two is made possible with the Automated Milk Dispenser. 
  • Realtime Statistics of sales: The system has inbuilt data collection which is connected to the internet. This allows for keeping track of sales as well as ensuring the dispensers are always refilled during periods of peak demand. Due to remote connectivity faults can be reported automatically and technicians dispatched in short notice.
  • Ease of use: The machine is simple and intuitive to use. The display is easy to read; even seniors won’t have a difficult time getting their supply of milk.
  • Cashless payments: Customers will be billed through their prepaid cards; no need for cash or fumbling through wallets for loose change. 
  • Increased sales: Due to the unique proposition of environmental and animal friendly approach the brand attracts a lot of environmentally conscious customers.
  • Reduces operational cost: With minimal disposables and consumables like containers, the business is able to operate seamlessly at low cost and high level of automation.
  • Better taste: Fresh milk is guaranteed every day at just the right temperature – not too warm or cold. 

Conclusion

The Automated Milk Dispenser is cost-effective and useful – making fresh milk readily available to the community. The electronics and software was developed locally in Christchurch by our local T4tech team keeping in mind the needs of the customer and local market conditions. 

It solves the common problems faced by dairy farmers, one of which is the high cost of distribution systems. By eliminating the middleman through a well-built technology prototype, consumers benefit by having fresh milk available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at a lower cost.