FDS has increased the sugar content of several sugar factories by 10% of sugar produced from 10% sugar yield to 11% sugar yield, resulting in huge profits for farmers and sugar co-operatives.

Maturity of sugar in sugar cane follows a bell shaped curve. Most sugar factories carry out a sampling of the sugar content in the cane while it is still planted. The idea is to measure the sucrose content and harvest the cane when the sucrose content is the highest. It is essential that the cane be crushed within a few hours of harvesting so as to preserve the sucrose content.

If forecasting the sucrose maturity is tough, the other constraints are even tougher to handle. Sucrose content starts falling within a few hours of harvesting. Three problems can occur resulting in lower yield:

  • Crushing Capacity: If you have more cane that the factory can handle the cane is going to sit around and reduce yields,
  • Transportation: If you have more cane than you can transport, the yield is again going to fall,
  • Harvesting: If you have more cane maturing on a day than what your factory can crush or transport or harvest then the yield is going to be reduced.

FDS has come up with a very innovative unique and innovative solution to take all these constraints and meet the objective function of increasing sucrose content in the cane at the time of crushing.

In order to come up with a solution to maximize sucrose content, this algorithm uses data of sugar content in planted cane and some other important factors such as age, type of cane, fertilizer used, watering of the fields, temperature patterns etc. to statistically forecast expected sugar content curve in cane. Based on the maturity forecast curve it is possible to arrive at the most suitable time for harvesting the cane.

The solution implementation goes through three major steps:

  • Statistically forecast the expected sucrose content in cane,
  • Arrive at an optimal harvesting schedule given the above constraints,
  • Generate an action plan for harvesting, transportation and crushing.