UCN School of Engineering and Viña Concha y Toro create innovative logistics model

Both entities have been working together for three years on a project that will be used in Lontué to optimize the processes during the harvest.

In order to maximize resources and optimize processes at the Lontué productive plant, a new system created by graduates in the class of 2023 of the School of Engineering of the Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN) will be implemented during this harvest, with the collaboration of Dr. Ricardo Luna, leader in R&D&I in Engineering of our Center for Research and Innovation (CRI), and the team of winemaking operations engineers and winemakers at the plant.

The project is called “Sistema de Apoyo a las Decisiones de Planificación para la Producción de Vino Blanco,” a capstone project developed by Eduardo Rojas and Loredana Baldo, an engineer and industrial civil engineer, together with Luciano Tapia, a civil engineer in computer science and information technology. Eduardo Rojas highlighted the great experience of developing the initiative: “It was challenging and we were able to apply several career tools, especially in the area of operations research. Teamwork was essential, as we had the opportunity to work with a computer engineer, which allowed us to learn about his area and work as a team as if it were our future work, which is gratifying, as well as working with personnel from Viña Concha y Toro, engineers and winemakers”.

Developing the project in our facilities in the VII Region was possible thanks to the framework agreement between UCN and the CRI, which has allowed the School of Engineering to work for three years with the company.

The academic in charge of the project, Dr. Carlos Monardes, emphasized that this project is an example of inter-institutional collaboration and practical applicability of academic research. He explained that the project was born out of the need for wineries to decide quickly and organize the processing of grape lots arriving from the fields, so the objective was to generate a computer system based on a mathematical programming model that helps the winery operator to make faster and more accurate decisions, optimizing production.

“The development of the model is a first approach, a first minimum viable product to have a complementary tool to the experience of the workers, which allows them to make better – and faster – decisions during the harvest period. In the 2024 harvest, a pilot will be carried out to see how the algorithm works in production, and to gain experience of working with these tools and how it contributes to the daily work of the winery,” said Ricardo Luna.

Felipe Silva, Lontué’s Winemaking Operations Engineer, explained that the next step is to train the supervisors and shift managers, as they will be the ones who will read the production programs, because although there is a harvest planning, they did not have a specific program like the one provided by UCN, which will allow them to be more efficient and optimize these processes.



UCN School of Engineering and Viña Concha y Toro create innovative logistics model