Viscofan and Alhona have worked together on a project that has served to highlight all the value that IoT (Internet of Things) can bring to the food industry. The objective has been the development of IoT standards that Viscofan will use in their projects and the implementation in a plant of the company for validation.

Viscofan is the world’s leading company in the production, manufacture, and distribution of casings for the meat industry. It has more than 40 years of history and production centers in more than 12 countries.

Project background

Viscofan, as part of its strategy to consolidate its leadership in its sector, has a digitalization roadmap aimed at improving efficiency in its operations.

The project to develop IoT standards is part of this roadmap. Specifically, the main business objectives pursued with this project are to improve efficiency by increasing the availability of assets and total control of processes through traceability of the different parameters.


The challenge exposed was to define a totally standard IoT for the Converting activity, which would allow scaling to all Viscofan plants, regardless of the age of the assets or the state of communications, including new centers to be built in the future, and, of course, to meet the business objectives set.

In this way, given that it is a global company with multiple centers and a vocation for growth, the value can be multiplied, thus making the most of the initiative. It was therefore a question of developing a standard that was sufficiently broad and, at the same time, easy to implement, to cover all Converting’s current and future activities.

After an initial analysis of the challenges and Viscofan’s activity, Alhona put forward a proposal for the development of the IoT with a series of characteristics that would allow it to achieve its objectives and meet the challenges posed: minimum additional hardware, Cloud environment, minimum OT programming, complete standard signal blocks to cover all activity, definition of equipment to be connected and associated protocols, optimized connectivity standard, secure and easily scalable network and communications architecture, and definition of new sensor technology, among others.

After this definition work and subsequent validation by Viscofan, a second phase consists of implementing a pilot project where the defined standards are put into practice and, at the same time, Alhona’s knowledge is transferred to Viscofan’s teams. The Urdiain plant in Navarra was chosen for this pilot project.

Knowledge transfer is an important part of the second phase of the project, as it was intended to provide Viscofan teams with sufficient autonomy to do their own deployments, either by their own means, or with integrators under the direction of Viscofan teams. This transfer of knowledge is achieved through the close relationship between the teams when doing the work, with training sessions at the end of each task and with the availability of Alhona teams to answer questions and always help in the understanding of the solutions.

The project has lasted 10 months, included the two phases.


The implementation of the IoT pilot in the Converting line of the Urdiain plant has been successfully completed, allowing the standards defined in the initial phase to be validated in a production environment.

Thanks to this implementation, Viscofan has at its disposal a huge amount of new data, fully standardized and contextualized, which will enable it to achieve the efficiency objectives pursued and to gain greater control of its processes and product.

In addition, the Alhona team, through the support of Viscofan teams and various training sessions, has transferred the knowledge necessary for the teams to be autonomous in subsequent IoT deployments in other plants of the company, which will allow Viscofan to exploit the full potential of IoT in the rest of the plants. The main learning for the Alhona team in the project has been to comply with the strict regulations of the food sector, particularly in terms of incorporating new sensor technology in the processes.