Automatic cold chain management
The basis for efficient and secure cooling systems
The availability of fresh products is one of the main differentiators that offline retailers have as an advantage over online retailers. Ensuring the function monitoring of cooling devices and the entire cold chain 24/7 is a crucial element for retail stores to keep this advantage and exploit the potential for higher efficiency.
Store managers require the long-term documentation of temperature data as well as permanent online remote control to ensure that their cold chain is compliant with HACCP principles. Real-time notification is necessary in order to allow immediate responses by the store personnel.
When cooling devices malfunction, food retailers face food wastage. This calls for more proactive intervention in the case of temperature fluctuations.
Retail stores have high energy costs, some of which is caused by cooling devices that run during peak times or that cause a load peak.
Devices from different vendors report their statuses in different dashboards, which results in inefficient monitoring processes.
Automatic cold chain management: benefits for food retailers
Operational efficiency: The solution automatically monitors the temperature within cooling devices on a 24/7 basis.
Legal compliance and corporate responsibilities: Long-term documentation is generated for the temperature levels inside cooling devices. This can be used for legal reference and compliance proof (HACCP).
Efficient monitoring of cooling device dashboards: Consolidated visualization of data from cooling devices from various device manufacturers in one single dashboard reduces efforts on the part of store personnel and makes the entire monitoring and reporting process more efficient.
Reduced energy consumption: The cooling intervals of the devices can be adjusted according to energy market prices in order to reduce load peaks. This solution calculates a peak load by means of constant monitoring of the devices and of the current overall power consumption. It suggests “block” signals to prevent flexible devices from being switched on when their operation would cause a load peak.
Clustering of stores: The data for all cooling devices can be viewed collectively across specialist divisions and departments. This allows retail stores to be clustered into units in order to identify regional or country-specific differences and identify optimization opportunities.
Proactive interventions by store personnel: Predictive notification of malfunctions (or notification before a pre-defined temperature is reached) ensures that staff can intervene proactively. This reduces food wastage and ensures that customers are not irritated.
Automatic cold chain management: use case overview
Devices and components from different vendors can be connected to one backend via various protocols and APIs. They can either be connected directly to the cloud, or indirectly via gateways.
The data captured from these devices is processed within one solution. Processing can either be done locally on a gateway (for real-time evaluation or data privacy reasons) or in the cloud (for storage and later legal reference).
Data sets are sent to a central dashboard for documentation and reporting purposes. This central dashboard eliminates siloed IoT reporting views and dashboards.
Employees receive a notification on their device of choice for real-time interaction.
Data is used to configure devices remotely and to set up rules. All devices can be configured thanks to multiple device management protocols and various classes of gateways and devices.