Refrigeration monitoring solutions and real-time notifications
Learn about our commercial refrigeration monitoring solutions for improved food safety in coolers, freezers, and other walk-in cold storage systems.
Throughout human development, the world economy relied on various technological innovations that increased the production of goods and jumpstarted the modern economy. In time, these industrialized processes led to a near-perpetual upward trajectory in the quality of life of people around the globe. Today, one of the most vital of these is the commercial and industrial refrigeration system used to transport products worldwide, known as the cold chain.
In the years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, the global cold chain market was worth $167 billion. From 2018 to 2020 alone, cold storage capacity grew worldwide by 16.7%. The demand and corresponding value of the cold chain may grow astronomically in the next decade. By 2025, projections indicate an increase in value to $447.5 billion. However, there is a weak link in the cold chain. While many industries rely on cold storage, there is a notable lack of adequate monitoring for their equipment and inventory. This is exceptionally true in industries responsible for the storage of perishable food items, such as:
- Assisted living facilities
- Cold storage warehouses
Some may rely on traditional thermometers, while others cannot monitor their equipment and inventory.
Whether it be freezers, walk-in industrial refrigeration, or even the lowboy in your local diner, the lack of effective monitoring leads to expensive product spoilage and inventory loss. While some perceive these risks as the cost of doing business, they are a real risk to the survival of their operation. To match the demand for and growth of the cold chain, remote monitoring technology, such as Therma°, is quickly becoming a solution to this growing problem. With real-time data and analytics, automated reporting and alerting, and complete integration into the internet of things (IoT), Therma° is poised to become a vital part of the smart cold chain of the future.
Around the Clock Monitoring
One of the essential aspects of Therma’s refrigeration monitoring system is that it allows businesses to audit the temperature of their cold storage 24/7. Therma° accomplishes this with her three main components: the temperature sensor, hub, and software suite.
Therma’s wireless sensors are dual-use and perform as both a temperature sensor and a humidity sensor. By allowing the ability to monitor both factors in real-time, operators can detect if and when their perishable inventory entered the conditional thresholds for spoilage. Food-centered industries refer to these conditions as the food safety danger zone. The danger zone encompasses the temperature range between 40°F and 140°F, where microorganisms that cause spoilage flourish. Humidity further promotes the growth of microorganisms, and a robust food safety food-safety monitoring solution should include these features.
Therma’s sensors measure temperature and humidity every ten minutes and transmit that data to a centralized router, or hub, via long-range radio (LoRaWAN). Using LoRaWAN to link sensor and hub has unique advantages over WiFi or Bluetooth. LoRaWAN can transmit data through metal-plated and concrete walls that often make up the infrastructure of restaurants and warehouses. The hub processes the temperature and humidity data sent by the sensor. It enters the cloud through cellular signals, making it a reliable option almost anywhere, even in places with weak internet access.
Therma’s software suite accesses the data stored in the cloud and can access it via our mobile app or web dashboard. Therma’s mobile app is available for both Apple and Android, while the dashboard must be accessed by an internet browser. The three components in tandem allow users to constantly monitor the conditions that lead to the main reasons for inventory loss:
- Power outages: In locations where extreme weather conditions occur frequently, refrigeration monitoring indicates when and for how long your equipment and inventory have been out of threshold. Using refrigeration monitoring systems allows you to diagnose how long your inventory has been out of threshold and possibly needs to be discarded, or whether it is still usable and can be relocated to alternate locations.
- Equipment malfunctions: As crucial as commercial refrigeration is, it is prone to breakdowns and malfunctions. In fact, refrigeration units less than ten years old have about a 33% chance of breaking down every year. However, coolers generally don’t break down randomly. A breakdown is often precipitated by a gradual inability to hold temp, such as a slow warming trend, which you can predict using wireless sensor data. Using this information, operators can summon maintenance teams before a breakdown occurs, helping to reduce downtime, limit the price of repairs, and prevent loss events.
- Human error: Businesses that do not use wireless refrigeration monitoring often utilize manual temperature monitoring. However, during busy operating hours, teams may not notice temperature excursions or conduct their audit accurately. Therma° performs temperature checks correctly and automatically, giving their employees one less thing to worry about and ensuring the efficacy of the data.
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Real-Time Alerts and Reports
While the ability to monitor temperature and humidity at a glance is crucial, it alone only provides only a piece of the refrigeration monitoring puzzle. To take control of your equipment in both the short and long term, users can look to our software suite.
You can utilize Therma’s mobile app for temperature monitoring on the go. The app can help you quickly install sensors and invite users. It is also your primary vehicle to set instant email alerts and receive instant alerts by text message or phone call. Therma’s alerts allow operators to take a preemptive approach to mitigate the results of conditions out of safe thresholds.
For example, when operators receive an alert, they can relocate their inventory to alternate areas on or offsite before it spoils. During this time, they can summon maintenance personnel to fix their equipment before it fails. Acting quickly is crucial; complete equipment breakdowns take significantly more time than minor component fixes. That period, known as downtime, is an additional cost to operators because foodservice operations can’t function without refrigeration and corresponding inventory.
In contrast, our web dashboard includes more detailed analytics and serves as the primary method for logging data and producing verified reports that help you comply with local health inspectors and national safety protocols such as HACCP.
Ultimately, using Therma° can reduce some of the 28-35% of your annual revenue wasted by inventory loss. At $10 per sensor per month, Therma° is a highly cost-effective way to put $15,000 back in your pocket every year.