Assistance system to support employees and seasonal workers in fruit production


Project MIRO


  • Naturally fluctuating product qualities
  • Shortage of skilled workers
  • Conflicting goals between environmental/climate protection and productivity
  • Lack of networking within the value chain

Research Result

  • Recording of the general conditions for the use of assistance systems in fruit growing
  • Analysis of the work tasks of the personnel
  • Creation of a knowledge database
  • Development of demand-specific assistance solutions


  • Time- and resource-saving training of the personnel
  • Ease of work and appreciation of the personnel employed
  • Assurance of product quality and safety
  • Increase in process efficiency
  • Ensuring security of supply


Logo of the project Mitteldeutsche Innovationsregion Obstbau. The lettering MIRO is shown in small letters, the "O" in the shape of a green apple in pixels. Below is the reference to the website
Two workers during the fruit harvest. In the foreground are boxes of harvested apples. The workers are looking at a clipboard with information.
© / aleksandar-georiev
Logo des Bundesministeriums für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft und der Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung

Making the entire value chain in fruit production fit for the future


Climate change, the dwindling acceptance of some cultivation methods, the shortage of skilled workers and a tense competitive situation pose major challenges for fruit growing in particular. In seven use cases, the Mitteldeutsche Innovationsregion Obstbau (MIRO) (Central German Innovation Region Fruit Growing) project demonstrates practice-oriented digitization solutions along the entire value chain that offer design options for these challenges and help position fruit growing for the future.


Digital assistance in fruit processing


Digital assistance systems can help operators in fruit-processing operations to become familiar with their work and complete their tasks safely. As part of the MIRO project, the Fraunhofer IVV is demonstrating the benefits of such a digital assistance solution at a fruit processor in central Germany.

The naturally fluctuating biogenic product properties of fruit can often not be measured or only insufficiently measured during the processing process. A high level of experiential knowledge is therefore required to compensate for the fluctuations and missing product information by optimally adjusting the machine parameters. Due to the shortage of skilled workers and the generally high proportion of seasonal workers in the industry, errors in the processing often occur, leading to downtimes and associated economic losses.

To enable sustainable problem solving, the assistance system provides the staff with user-generated experience knowledge in the form of instructions.

This enables employees to gain a deep understanding of the process and increases process efficiency. In addition, the assistance system significantly shortens the familiarization process for new personnel.


Farm management information system for fruit production


In parallel, the Fraunhofer IVV is collaborating on the development of an electronic infrastructure system specifically for fruit production. The system networks various mobile communication modules and enables interaction with smart end devices. Relevant data of fruit cultivation and processing can thus be collected, aggregated and made available in a visualized form as needed via a central user interface.

The information system supports efficient decisions in day-to-day operations by using this database to provide a totality of organizational, technical, economic, agronomic and sustainability-relevant indicators. For example, harvesting processes can be optimized by allowing those responsible to decide, based on the data provided in real time, whether additional vehicles are needed to transport the harvest away, for example.

The use of the system enables the optimization of operational processes and thus savings in costs, fuel and other resources, which additionally contributes to a lower environmental impact.


Digital fruit production: data-based networking


Regional fruit-producing farms are of central importance for agile and robust value creation in fruit growing in central Germany. In order to survive in international competition, it is necessary for all players in the fruit value chain to work together more closely. To ensure this cooperation, the project partners contribute their extensive prior experience in knowledge transfer.

The seven use cases of the MIRO project start at different points of the value chain ("data processing", "breeding and cultivation", "product processing and logistics" and "marketing"). In addition to solutions for the respective point, they primarily offer a networking opportunity for the players. In the project, these are enabled to recognize data-based value creation potentials and understand technological opportunities. At the same time, spaces are created in which the future development paths of the region can be thought through further.


Project informationen MIRO


The MIRO project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) based on a resolution passed by the German Bundestag. The project is funded by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung, BLE) within the framework of the announcement on the funding of the establishment of experimental fields as farms of the future and regions of the future of digitization in agriculture and in upstream and downstream value chains with the funding code 2822ZR002.


Project duration: February 2023 to December 2025
Funding code: 2822ZR002
Project partners: IMMS Institut für Mikroelektronik- und Mechatronik-Systeme gemeinnützige GmbH, Universität Leipzig (Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik IWI), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH, TU Dresden (Institut für Naturstofftechnik – Professur Agrarsystemtechnik AST), Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung IVV, Fraunhofer-Zentrum für Internationales Management und Wissensökonomie IMW

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