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Posts from the ‘Internet of Things’ Category

Tapping the Potential of IoT in the Food Cold Chain

John Rhodes_Blog John Rhodes |Group President, Cold Chain
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

In a recent Progressive Grocer article, I described how business leaders are leveraging the internet of things (IoT) and connected technologies to achieve much tighter integration along every step of food’s journey to consumers, addressing some of the most challenging problems currently plaguing the food cold chain: food safety and food waste.

Consider what’s involved in bringing food to our tables. The process typically starts at a farm; proceeds to a processing plant; enters the transportation and logistics stream; arrives at a storage or distribution facility; and is delivered to retailers. Think about the many opportunities for errors along these steps — such as time in transport, temperatures and humidity. It’s easy to see how quickly and easily food quality can be impacted. We’re often reminded that these problems can lead to food safety issues for consumers and businesses. But too often, the related problem of food waste is overlooked.

A fully IoT-connected and integrated cold chain has the potential to change that.

Mitigating the cost of food waste

According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 1.6 billion tons of food — the equivalent of $1.2 trillion — are wasted each year, essentially reducing total global food production by one-third. It’s a staggering amount that if left unchecked, could reach costs of $1.5 trillion by 2030.1

The study looked at the potential for loss at every stage of the food supply chain. IoT can help combat the food waste crisis at every step.

In the article, I cited one area that’s particularly problematic: fresh produce, which represents 46 percent of the total output lost each year. To illustrate how IoT sensors provide real-time tracking, monitoring and analytics of food conditions, I tracked the journey of a single strawberry from the moment of its harvest to a retailer’s shelf, showing how producers can use IoT to greatly extend perishable shelf life and improve the quality of fresh produce.

IoT can connect historically disconnected supply chain providers to make a real difference in maintaining food quality and freshness and combat food waste. Per the BCG study, “An unbroken, temperature-controlled ‘cold chain’ can help to reduce spoilage significantly.”2 By boosting the food supply chain’s efficiencies and its underlying infrastructures, the potential exists for $270 billion in food preservation gains annually. Simply put, reducing food shrinkage translates into significant bottom line increases for producers and retailers alike.

Building a more sustainable cold chain

Emerson is actively collaborating with leading cold chain providers who are embracing IoT for its potential to match fresh food with growing consumer demand. Our connected solutions draw on decades of global experience in refrigeration, controls, communication, analytics and insights. We work to track, trace and monitor critical data points, making the connections needed to ensure the appropriate handling of perishable foods from farm to table, creating sustainable solutions that are good for businesses, consumers and the global food supply chain.

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References

  1. https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2018/tackling-1.6-billion-ton-food-loss-and-waste-crisis.aspx
  2. Infographic from BCG report; available upon request

 

The Risks and Rewards of Connecting Commercial Kitchens

Paul_Hepperla Paul Hepperla | Vice President, Solutions Integration – Foodservice

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

 

Join us our next E360 Webinar, “The Risks and Rewards of Connecting Commercial Kitchens” on Tuesday, December 11 at 2 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. PST.

The Risks and Rewards of Connecting Commercial Kitchens

It seems everywhere you turn and across multiple industries, companies are touting the promise that the internet of Things (IoT) will digitally transform their operations. The restaurant sector is no exception. In recent years, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and restaurant retailers have spent considerable time and effort figuring out how to leverage the power of connectivity in commercial kitchens.

While it’s relatively easy to conceptualize how the internet of things (IoT) could improve operational efficiencies and provide business value, bringing these ideas to fruition has proved more difficult. Too often, we see retailers make the jump to connecting assets without first having a clear idea of what problem they’re trying to solve, or how connectivity will fundamentally change the way their business operates. Then, once everything is connected, they’re left wondering: “What’s next?”

Our next E360 Webinar will examine why this is the case, and focus on how foodservice OEMs and retailers can work together to tap the seemingly limitless potential of IoT. My presentation, “The Risks and Rewards of Connecting Commercial Kitchens” will focus on these key points:

  • The importance of defining the scope and purpose of your connected project
  • An examination of the far-reaching and dramatic impacts to your business
  • Real-world examples of successful and failed connectivity projects
  • Evaluating business models that involve service contracts, recurring revenue or monetization

Another common problem with connected kitchen projects is underestimating the complexities inherent with these new business models. For example, a connected maintenance offering might require somewhat sophisticated coordination of not only OEM and end user roles, but also the inclusion of an authorized service provider. Frankly, these are the types of business relationships and interactions that are often overlooked when companies rush to exploit the power of IoT before thinking through the implications.

The webinar will look at these challenges from both OEM and retail perspectives. For an OEM, it’s critically important to understand their customers’ business needs before launching a connected initiative. Similarly, retailers need to realize that without involving and engaging their OEM partners in their connected kitchen strategy, they’re not likely to achieve the maximum potential of their IoT solution.

So, if you’re thinking about entering into a connected kitchen project or IoT business model in the restaurant sector, register now to gain a better understanding of the risks and rewards of connectivity.

Connectivity Is on the Menu

Today, many c-stores offer an ever-changing menu of fresh food offerings. The variety of these healthy choices makes hungry customers happier, but creates complications for the c-store chain.Read the full article here.

Read more

The Internet of Refrigeration

Dean Landeche_Blog Dean Landeche | V.P. of Marketing , Retail Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

I contributed to an article published in Condenser magazine. The focus of the piece was to analyze how networked equipment is aiming to improve safety and operations.

 The Internet of Things – an increasingly massive network of electronically connected systems, devices and people that enables cross-platform data sharing – is creating a large, connected ecosystem across many industries, including refrigeration.

woman choosing ice cream at grocery store freezer

There is continuing growth in remote monitoring with all types of refrigeration equipment, driven largely by the need to safeguard consumers and food, manage energy use, and provide a consistent, effective maintenance program.

Retail groceries have long recognized the importance of connected refrigeration systems, and have high adoption rates of connected devices. Previously, the primary focus was operating alerts and alarms to indicate problems. Now with more points of connection, more sophisticated data from embedded sensor and controllers and advanced analytics capabilities in the ‘big data’ world, the focus has changed to creating more insights that drive specific decisions and actions.

There is much more interest and use of information to prompt action in advance, based on opportunities and trends identified in data patterns rather than reacting to failure modes and alerts. Applied at the system, site and enterprise levels, those types of insight-driven actions have huge implications for cost-saving, labor productivity, maintenance improvement, food safety and more.

Through remote monitoring, equipment owners and their service providers can often detect problems, as they emerge rather than after-the-fact in an emergency breakdown. Major food safety risk and food loss is often avoided, and system operation can be maintained through proactive efforts. The adoption of remote monitoring for refrigerant leak detection is also becoming more common. Advanced data can often identify small leaks up to 30 days prior to discovery by leak detectors.

Today’s smarter systems are making it easier, faster, and highly reliable to implement equipment monitoring and performance processes.

Read the full article here.

 

How BMS, EMS, IoT and Insight are Changing Retail Operations [Video]

ronchapek_2 Ron Chapek | Senior Product Manager, Retail Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

The prevalence of BMS, EMS, Internet of Things (IoT) and insight have ushered in a new era of efficiency in retailer operations. In an E360 Conference presentation, I discussed how the insights that these tools provide allow retailers to do their jobs better, thereby helping to save both time and money.

A brief recap and video of the session are included below.

 

Facilities managers need to be able to effectively convert rapidly expanding and disparate data sources into visually insightful and actionable interfaces that are relevant to a diverse range of users across multiple departments.

In the past, the data wasn’t delivered as quickly and was often historic. A good example is a utility bill that shows past usage, making it difficult to interpret and utilize that data effectively. In contrast, intelligent applications – energy management systems, building management systems and IoT-enabled devices – provide a wide variety of data that is more easily applied. Rather than making decisions on historical data, retailers can use this data for valuable, actionable insights to improver their operations enterprise-wide.

But, the problem is often that when there is so much data available, making it all work for you, in your particular role, can be daunting.

Through Emerson’s Site Manager Software and ProActTM Services retailers can better manage growing data volumes and convert this data into something of value to your business including:

  • Transparent access to data: with context. Retailers have access to a large number of standard reports, available on-demand or on a scheduled basis via email. For example, with a monthly Alarm summary, you can quickly see which locations have the most alarms and focus attention on these stores.
  • Attribute-based visualization. Data can be displayed by region, store type, and other relevant location-based attributes, allowing retailers to do their job faster and correctly the first time around. For example, a service truck can be sent to the right location with exactly the equipment that is needed to make any repairs.
  • Embedded energy and refrigeration domain expertise (IP). Many companies have the ability to manage, move and display data, but what retailers need is a trusted partner that knows and understands their business on a deep level, and understands how to best solve any problems that arise.

The pressure on facilities managers to organize and make sense of all of the facility data that is available is enormous. Think of the kinds of data you need to do your job well. We can help you design the right type of analytics to automate that data and make your job easier.

For the full presentation, visit this link.

For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

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