Cold chains play a huge role in ensuring the food safety of consumers across the world. They ensure the safe transportation of food from the source to the customer by maintaining the right temperature, humidity, and other parameters in a very close range. A robust cold chain is a vital part of almost all companies in the food manufacturing or processing industry.
While cold chain technologies have supported the industry for a long time, it’s not perfect. The existing solutions leave a lot of room for efficiency, effectiveness, and improving food safety.
Let’s have a look at some of the common challenges in cold chain logistics and how an IoT remote monitoring solutions can improve the processes involved.
What are the challenges of managing cold chain logistics?
Logistics is a complicated field; there’s a lot of paperwork and processes, and even with the best efforts, it’s not easy to bring an adequate level of predictability to the industry. The complications double when it comes to cold chains where you have to maintain narrow conditions throughout.
Here are some of the common challenges of managing cold chain logistics:
A huge share of expenses involved in logistics comes from energy usage. Transporting goods from one part of the world to another costs a lot in terms of fuel alone. The logistics sector is also responsible for a lot of pollution from fossil fuels. In the case of cold chains, companies have to use a lot more energy to maintain the goods at low temperatures, in high-grade packaging, and have to use specialized handling equipment, all of which add up the costs.
Delays are costly, even more so when you’re transporting food or other products sensitive to changes in the environment. Unexpected delays can necessitate businesses to discard entire batches of food products significantly hurting the companies’ bottom line.
Food products exposed to wrong conditions:
Throughout the cold chain, if food products are exposed to conditions outside of a very narrow range, it can affect the quality of the food. Enzymes and microorganisms that can degrade the food get activated and it can become unsuitable for consumption.
Companies have to perform robust quality control processes to ensure that only high quality food reaches the customer. Even if they use cutting-edge technology to process and transport food, they need to ensure that there is no accidental contamination.
How can you build a cold chain monitoring solution using IoT?
Bridgera’s IoT platform is a powerful solution that was designed for a wide range of use cases, works with multiple sensors and protocols, and can process large quantities of different types of data. The platform is perfect for building a robust cold chain monitoring solution that can help improve logistics operations.
The first step for building any IoT solution is to define the requirements. It is important to identify the parameters to track, the cloud to be used for deployment, the data to be collected, and how the project aligns with the company’s goals. These requirements will then determine the different components that go into the solution.
For instance, if the temperature is important, the system will need the respective sensor. If the company wants real-time location data, it may need a GPS sensor. The company will also have to use the specific sensor based on where it will be deployed and the accuracy the solution demands; it will be different if you’re using a single large sensor for an entire shipping container or if individual sensors will be used for each pallet or unit.
Once the team chooses the sensors, they’ll have to figure out how to power them and get the data to the cloud. This will once again depend on the specific use cases; some connectivity solutions offer high-speed low latency data transfer, but they may need large batteries. Some may offer asynchronous transfer of small data packets whenever there’s a fluctuation in parameters.
Along with developing the IoT device, the team will also have to figure out the backend and cloud architecture. They’ll have to build a system that can accept the data from these devices, filter the noise, and send them to the user interface when demanded.
The platform should also be capable of sending alerts or alarms if the sensor data exceeds the set parameters. The team should also design a robust UI that can help operators make data-centric decisions and improve their processes.
How can Bridgera help develop an IoT cold chain monitoring solution?
Bridgera is a pioneer in custom IoT solutions and have helped businesses worldwide resolve their pain points with internet of things. Here’s how we can help develop an IoT cold chain monitoring solution.
Bridgera IoT platform is highly flexible, scalable, and robust
Our IoT platform is designed for a wide range of use-cases, IoT protocols, sensors, and devices. It can capture data from different types of sensors and showcase them in real-time on customizable dashboards.
Even when the company scales up, the platform can easily keep up with organization’s requirements. The platform can handle large and fluctuating data volumes and manage them efficiently.
Bridgera IoT platform also undergoes consistent testing and maintenance to ensure high availability and uptime. We invest significant resources to test the platform for managing data loads and for resisting cyber threats.
Rapid development and short time to launch
Bridgera’s IoT platform is built to support rapid development and launch of IoT solutions. Bridgera has done most of the heavy lifting and once we understand our pain points and requirements, it takes little time for us to build, test, and deploy the solution.
Experienced team of developers
Our team of developers have significant experience creating diverse solutions for the cold chain and logistics industry. The team is aware of the common pain points faced in the industry and knows the best practices for creating robust solutions in the sector.
What are the benefits of using IoT for cold chain monitoring?
Here are six benefits of using IoT for cold chain monitoring:
Traditional cold chain processes involved a lot of manual processes which increased the workload for the workers. With a robust IoT solution, businesses can automate many of the processes for monitoring cold chains.
Better quality control
With advanced IoT sensors, food processing companies can ensure that their products reach their customers in the best conditions. They can reduce random manual inspections or tests and simply view the quality data on the screens.
IoT solutions can help manufacturers and logistics providers to keep track of their shipments. The system can automatically alert the stakeholders if there are any delays and allow them to take action quickly to prevent losses.
By keeping track of food and its conditions, companies can ensure that they reach their destination on time. IoT solutions also offer a ton of data which empowers businesses to improve their processes and reduce wastage in the long run.
Reduce energy consumption
With advanced IoT sensors and algorithms, businesses can keep track of their energy consumption and even their emissions. The data can help businesses identify where most of the energy consumption is from and mitigate them.
Ready to transform your cold chain processes? Reach out to Bridgera
Bridgera has been transforming businesses across the world with its state-of-the-art IoT platform. We have built our platform to capture and collect data from a wide range of sensors and store it in Bridgera cloud. We enable our clients to configure alerts and alarms with our highly customizable solution. Through our custom analytics dashboards, we empower our clients to take real-time data-driven decisions to improve their workflow and save costs.
Our team has delivered some of the most amazing results by focusing on the businesses and the process and not just on the technology. We build solutions that integrate seamlessly into an organization’s processes and make them more efficient and effective.
Ready to get started? Send us a message and we’ll get in touch soon.