Cold Chain gives importance to the quality of food in the supply chain. So temperature sensitive foods strictly follow cold chain guide lines which is unavoidable during the storing and transportation process- By Mr. Anoop J, Founder & Director, Tenova Systems. An IOT company
The main cause of food related illness is contaminated food. So it is important to manage and monitor the cold chain in a better and proactive way to reduce cold line spoilage and for better regulation.
Wasting and throwing away of food is one of the main concern for developing countries. Proper cold chain practice is very important for exporting and ensuring high quality for food products in local use.
What is the Cold Chain?
Manufacturing, transporting, storing, retailing and serving fresh, chilled and frozen foods are the main business engagements in the Cold Chain. The effectiveness of temperature control of the cold chain is very important to maintain the safety, shelf life and quality of the food.
Cold Chain Guidelines for food provide best practice recommendations for transport, logistic and safety requirements to ensure the safety and quality of chilled and frozen foods.
Setting the Cold Chain conditions
It is very much required to set and document the cold chain requirements for any particular food. In some cases, standards and regulations for specific products are present.
To reduce the cold line spoilage, the entire cold chain should be enabled with technology. Wireless data logging using IoT enabled sensors can help companies to monitor their cold chain’s critical parameters remotely. This real time monitoring will empower the organization to proactively take steps that avoids any potential threat to the food.
Quick Guide to choose an Industrial IoT platform for your Business
Many of the IoT projects now, are on discussion or in the process of implementation in the organization. This is a clear indication that several companies are taking initial steps towards incorporating IoT technologies to their existing business process. This can greatly be considered as a move towards Industry 4.0.
This is the fourth industrial revolution which is fueled with automating IoT sensors, IoT platforms and Machine learning to take decision.
The smart industry are machines connected with computers, communicates with each other and eventually make decision without human intervention.
This is considered as a Cyber Physical system (CPS) communicating with the internet of things and Internet of systems to make the industry 4.0 a reality.
You might be ready to try an IoT platform in your organization but you are not sure on the specifications or how do you come to know which IoT platform is right for you?
Let us start by discussing details about IoT Platform.
An IoT platform is a software platform, either it can be a cloud or on premises platform. This platform should be able to connect diverse set of IoT sensors and must allow the flow data from the sensors to the database.
The IoT platform also should have the capability of Data analytics and extent it to mobile devices.
Key factors to consider while choosing your IoT platform
- Be clear about your requirements and also about your Goals
The first and foremost fact is, you should have a clear understanding of, what all processes needs to be IoT enabled. How the IoT installation is affecting your overall performance, both in a direct and indirect way.
List down your processes to be IoT enabled and prioritize it. This will help you to implement IoT step by step and any possible change in the process can be identified earlier and can be corrected easily. This means, those who are preparing to implant IoT should have a clear understating about your Goals
2. Data Security
As the IoT adaptation is in the early stages, the security structures are not yet defined properly. Even though one should be very careful about the security, if you are using a cloud platform or any of the ERP Packages and its extension you do not have to worry much about the security.
But you should be careful about the data flow i.e. Data travelling from device to the cloud platform. It is better to differentiate the data into two types:- One type of data is critical to your business but doesn’t make any sense to others.
Other type is, data which is critical to your business and which can have an impact on your business if it reaches other’s hands. Based on the above criteria you define your security levels of the data from IoT devices.
3. Ensure the protocol supported by the IoT Platform
If we are thinking of enabling our industry, city or anything to IoT then it will happen only with different components connected thorough the IoT platform. These components can be sensors, hardware’s, things and OT’s.
We can use different protocols based on the availability of communication channels and its suitability. Some of the basic protocol we are currently using are HTTPS, TCPIP, LorRaWAN, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, MQTT IoT, NFC, Cellular etc. Ensure that you IoT platform is capable of collecting data using most of the protocol. This will help you to add new things or Sensors to you platform easily.
4. Easy to integrate with legacy systems
Your organization may be working with different systems and software applications. So ensure that you IoT platform is capable of integrating with your existing systems and can connect to any external system for future use.
5. User friendly
Your IoT platform should be user friendly and easy to use, which will provide more adaptability of the system in the organization. Also ensure that your IoT platform is capable of rendering to Mobile device and over the internet.
While available on the internet, make sure that you will not compromise on security. Availability will make your system more adaptable and acceptable in organizations.
6. Future Support and customer testimonials
While you are selecting an IoT platform, ensure that there is enough developer groups, which will help you to have a risk free future life.
Also confirm that the platform have good references and testimonials from the customers.
The ideal condition is to consult with an IoT consultant. First optimize your business process then incorporate IoT in your business process.