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Posts tagged ‘Food Quality’

Strengthening the Cold Chain With Connected Technologies

AmyChildress Amy Childress | Vice President of Marketing & Planning, Cargo Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Maintaining food quality and safety is a primary challenge facing retailers who rely on the global cold chain to fulfill the growing demand for fresh food offerings. New technologies are emerging to provide improved visibility and traceability of perishable items, help stakeholders communicate, and ensure adherence to food safety best practices and/or regulatory requirements. I recently contributed to an article by Progressive Grocer which speaks to the importance of leveraging these technologies to achieve those goals and maintain an unbroken cold chain.

With the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent announcement of its New Era of Food Safety initiative, the technology that provides traceability and other key services is becoming more important than ever. This rapidly advancing technological toolset includes internet of things (IoT) condition sensors, temperature-sensitive flexible barcodes and blockchain. Combined, these tools are helping growers, shippers and retailers help ensure the freshest and safest possible product for consumers.

As I stated in the article: “This is especially critical with the global demand for year-round access to perishable products. Achieving this feat can require fresh produce to be transported by land, sea and air, encompassing the point of harvest, processing, cold storage and distribution — all before it ever begins the last-mile delivery to a store or restaurant.” In fact, a perishable shipment may be subject to as many as 20 to 30 individual steps and multiple changes of ownership before it reaches its destination.

Gaining visibility with IoT monitoring and tracking infrastructures

To better manage the sheer complexity of this cold chain journey, stakeholders are leveraging connected IoT monitoring technologies and tracking infrastructures. Operators now have better potential visibility into each step of food’s journey — even the possibility for comprehensive cold chain traceability. These tools — such as Emerson’s GO Real-Time Trackers and GO Loggers combined with our cloud-based Oversight online software portal — are giving stakeholders at each point the abilities to monitor and track a variety of conditions necessary for preserving food quality, including: temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, lighting and much more.

As I pointed out in the article, one of the key values of this technology is the ability to receive email or text notifications in real time when an in-transit shipment falls out of the ideal temperature range: “This allows suppliers to correct the issue promptly with the carrier or even reroute the shipment to a nearby location and preserve that perishable cargo.” Retailers and growers can also track these in-transit shipments to monitor delivery timelines and ensure that carriers are following proper shipping routes. Retailers rely on these devices to help them validate produce quality on receipt and monitor all their suppliers to ensure they’re meeting the freshness standards that their customers demand.

With Emerson’s connected monitoring and tracking infrastructure, data from our GO Real-Time Trackers and GO Loggers is pushed to the cloud and presented in Oversight, giving our customers both visibility and analysis of critical cold chain information with which to make better supply chain decisions.

End-to-end cold chain certainty

Of course, Emerson also provides the critical refrigeration components, controls and compressors to help retailers ensure optimal refrigeration temperatures in their refrigerated cases, walk-in coolers and freezers. Our advanced facility and asset monitoring systems provide real-time access to the critical information that retailers need to track, triage and quickly respond to issues that could potentially impact food safety and quality. What’s more, our automated temperature monitoring and recording devices help operators eliminate the need for time-consuming manual documentation — giving them the abilities to access on-demand reporting as needed for food safety compliance purposes and provide historical cold chain data.

 

How ProAct™ Connect+ Software Manages the Tasks That Matter Most for Retailers

ronchapek_2 Ron Chapek | Director of Product Management/Enterprise Software

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Today’s supermarket, restaurant and convenience store operators face an increasingly complex retail environment. A recent article in E360 Outlook Product Spotlight demonstrates how the Emerson ProAct Connect+ platform and software modules give you a sharp picture of the most critical facets of your multi-site operations. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

How ProAct™ Connect+ Software Manages the Tasks That Matter Most for Retailers

Seamlessly connect and actively manage your multi-site food retail operations

Today, consumers demand premium food quality, variety and convenience, with an exceptional, consistent shopping experience, regardless of location. Retailers need the tools that can help them quickly adapt to customer preferences and trends, ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, and ensure the quality and safety of their food — in every store within their multi-site network.

That’s why Emerson has leveraged its site management software legacy to develop the next-generation ProAct Connect+ Enterprise Software Suite.

By connecting devices and controllers to the cloud, Connect+ provides near real-time access to a wide range of critical information from anywhere in your multi-site operations to help you immediately track, evaluate and respond to issues — all from one centralized location. Backed by Emerson’s deep domain expertise in refrigeration systems, controls, facility management, data analytics, cloud connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT), Connect+ helps multi-site retailers achieve their critical customer service and business objectives faster, with less risk, by focusing on the tasks that matter most.

Core software modules address critical operational challenges

The Connect+ platform is a scalable, customizable and robust toolset of software modules that enable multi-site performance optimization by gathering and analyzing a broad range of data about many critical functions, including:

  • Data acquisition: providing secure data acquisition, storage and aggregation
  • System management: helping monitor, manage and optimize performance in key facilities, including refrigeration, HVAC and lighting
  • Advisory management: alerting your enterprise and facility managers of any issues in the network, helping them to quickly view, evaluate and respond to issues or alarm states that could impact your operations
  • Setpoint management: continuously monitoring and optimizing temperature setpoints to help drive energy efficiency and ensure food quality and safety
  • Condition-based maintenance: improving the effectiveness of your maintenance teams by providing both real-time and historic data about equipment performance, helping them detect and address potential problems before they can impact operations
  • Food quality reports: automating reporting of Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) food safety documentation requirements, helping you demonstrate that you are assuring consistent food quality and safety while minimizing food spoilage and waste
  • Energy management: automatically optimizing energy consumption in your systems and facilities to drive cost savings throughout the enterprise
  • Push updates: informing hundreds or thousands of connected sites and systems about important store or customer service initiatives or technical equipment update information in hours instead of days

Making high-end software easy to use

For all its capabilities, Emerson designed Connect+ to be fast, flexible and secure — and with features such as color-coded network maps, alarm visibility and intuitive navigation — remarkably easy to use.

By connecting devices and controllers to the cloud for comprehensive data management and analytics, ProAct Connect+ provides the architecture, information and intelligence to help you address today’s challenges while scaling to meet tomorrow’s demands. To learn about even more of its capabilities and the user-friendly functionality you can expect from the ProAct Connect+ software suite, read the full E360 Outlook article.

 

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