18 December 2015

Smart monitoring for “cold chain” management

With  “cold chain” we mean the system that provides for the maintenance of a constant temperature for all the steps of the production or distribution process of an asset. In many sectors, we think of frozen foods, but also the pharmaceutical sector, we need a very efficient cold chain control system.

The goal is to reduce to zero any thermal shock, from the production phase, through storage and warehouses, to the freezer of the final consumer’s homes. The breaking of the balance on the cold chain can irreparably affect the quality and life cycle of the product.

The refrigeration and refrigeration systems involved in the “cold chain” need continuous monitoring and monitoring so that the efficiency and constant maintenance of the appropriate temperatures are guaranteed, limiting any thermal excursion to the minimum.

A smart monitoring system could be very useful for the efficiency of the cold chain. Let’s try to briefly see a so-called system as it could develop. Suppose we need to monitor a system on multiple refrigeration systems in a warehouse.

The first central component is a control management platform implemented on the cloud and accessible remotely through an app or web browser. It will need a control and implementation card that will collect data from the sensors applied on each fridge, these cards that will have a control software will communicate with the management system through a local Wi-Fi network. From the management platform we could have the centralized and constant monitoring of fridge temperatures, with reporting and archiving processes, we would access from any device remotely thanks to the cloud and we would have the notifications and instantaneous alarms on any anomaly of the various modules that make up the entire cold chain and the possibility of real-time intervention.

Further elements that could be monitored with a system of this type could concern not only the temperatures, but also the humidity and pressure levels inside the refrigeration modules, important factors for the protection of the product and for the proper functioning of the machines themselves. .

The IoT and cloud computing components are fundamental for many industrial processes, in the concrete case of the cold chain we can have a great deal of margins for the progress, efficiency and energy savings of our production and distribution processes.