There are usually two types of challenges—arising from two different sources—in the management of refrigerated or frozen assets within the Food Retail or Horeca sector, but both have the same effect:
- Lack of information as monitoring systems not available
- Too much information: the systems are available, but we cannot manage the amount of data presented to us
These scenarios lead us to take incorrect decisions, and thus we cannot correctly manage the stock in refrigerated and frozen products. We often find ourselves in post-disaster outcome scenarios (failures in the electrical supply with ensuing loss of product, loss of sales opportunity, excessive electrical consumption or the product’s conservation being at risk due to an inadequate setpoint…). In other words, we carry out reactive management when losses have already occurred.
“ 9% of product losses in developed countries
are due to poor regulation
Without a doubt, the most crucial factors in the food distribution and catering business are proper food conservation, the reduction of food wastage and losses, and food safety, not only because of their economic value, but also because of questions of brand image, environmental impact and Corporate Social Responsibility. We must always remember that we live in a socio-digital environment, where any problem which could arise due to these factors has swift global repercussions that can instantly ruin a company’s image on the market.
9% of conserved food product losses in developed countries are due to a bad temperature regulation (1), i.e. 9% of stored foods are spoiled due to reasons that are totally avoidable. The thing is, we cannot solve a problem until we become aware of it.
This is an area of today’s refrigeration market where a lot of work is needed: we must have useful information that is presented to us in an intelligible and intuitive way, to aid in decision making—so we can switch from reactive maintenance towards preventive and beneficial maintenance.
AKO has developed an innovative solution focused directly on improving the conservation of stored products, improving energy efficiency, and reducing operational costs in the management of these assets: AKODATA IoT.
AKODATA IoT is a three-tier solution:
- Robust and accurate Temperature and Humidity sensor system.
- A Cloud platform that manages the information obtained through the sensor system, which presents us with conclusions and signs of improvement, through a powerful but intuitive report generator.
- An alarm notification system via e-mail, with a built-in maintenance and repair report manager.
“A temperature and humidity monitoring system
that is installed and up
and running in less than 1 minute”
AKODATA is a temperature and humidity recorder in a robust casing with IP68 protection which can withstand constant operating temperatures of up to -40ºC.
AKODATA is a 100% cable free solution which can be used to monitor systems which usually go unmonitored, and which does not limit their mobility. Today’s Food Retail market has constant promotions that change several times throughout the year; and for these promotions, mobile refrigerated and frozen shelves and cabinets have to be placed in different places of the establishment depending on the objective of each campaign. AKODATA provides the necessary flexibility to manage this situation.
The device incorporates a battery which lasts 3 years and NB-IoT connectivity (Narrow Band, Internet of Things).
The technology NB-IoT guarantees excellent signal strength, even inside cold room stores, giving devices direct connection to the cloud—no need for gateways, concentrators or routers of any kind, which means there are none of the connectivity problems that typically affect other technologies, such as WIFI, in industrial environments.
The stored data are totally secure, with data redundancy both in the device and in the cloud, and completely encrypted data transfer by private APN.
AKONet.Cloud is the AKO cloud platform that helps us to process all the data received and present them in the most intuitive and useful way for management, helping in the decision making process. You can:
Connect devices (unlimited number of devices), by centre, region, country, type of stored product, etc…, so you can analyse data not only by device, but by overall statistics of one or several groups.
Generation and programming of reports aimed at detecting areas of improvement in product conservation, energy efficiency or detection of food health risks.
Alarm notification and document management, so as to swiftly resolve incidents and manage them more efficiently using a repository to identify common problems and establish corrective action plans.
Detect lower or higher than desired working temperatures, which incur either a higher energy cost, or a risk in the product’s conservation that can ultimately lead to direct losses.
Alert about malpractice in daily operations, such as, for example, overly long door openings in cold store rooms that cause both higher energy consumption and poor product conservation.
HACCP, TTI and THI registry (2)
All of these features, with maximum simplicity and usability, applied both to the work environment and to the installation of the system itself (AKODATA is installed and up and running in less than 10 seconds).
At AKO we continue to work to provide useful, simple solutions with a rapid return on investment for our clients’ business.
If you want to know more about our solutions, please contact us. We will be delighted to be of service to you.
(1): Use of Cold Chains for reducing food losses in developing countries, PEF White Paper No. 13-03, by Lisa Kitinoja. The Postharvest Education Foundation (PEF). December 2013.
(2): HACCP = Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, TTI = Time-Temperature Index, THI = Time-Humidity Index