Worldwide connectivity helps keep the global food chain intact. According to The Economist, four-fifths of the planet’s 8 billion mouths are fed in part by imports. Fleets in the air, on the sea and on the road connect tens of millions of farms to hundreds of millions of shops and kitchens.
Emerson’s Transportation Solutions business has a proven reputation for tracking this freight, regardless of where it is within its journey. The world’s leading shipping companies, truck lines and refrigerated container manufacturers count on these refrigeration products and monitoring solutions. Building upon the smart communications it provides, Emerson’s Transportation Solutions business now supports Digital Container Shipping Association’s (“DCSA”) new internet of things (“IoT”) connectivity standards for shipping containers. DCSA is a nonprofit group founded by major ocean carriers to digitize and standardize the container shipping industry.
These recommendations focus on ensuring interoperability within the industry on the standardized methods for communications of IoT devices on container to IoT gateways at sea and on land. These universally adaptable standards align internal radio communication protocols for IoT gateways, addressing the network connectivity requirements for reefer containers, dry containers, and the RFID registration of these containers.
With these recommendations in place, carriers and supply chain participants will be one step closer to providing customers with an uninterrupted flow of relevant information regarding the whereabouts of containers and the status of their contents at any point along their journey.
Amy Childress | Vice President of Marketing & Planning, Cargo Solutions
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions
This blog summarizes an article from Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery, “Advances in cold chain technology for snack and bakery warehousing and transport.” There have been significant technological advances in recent years to enable better temperature and condition monitoring, including key offerings from Emerson. Read the full article here.
In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has pressed for increased monitoring and documentation of refrigerator and freezer temperatures at every point along the cold chain to detect when cold storage temperatures fall out of the transported food’s safe range. Heightened awareness of foodborne illness as a serious health problem has driven advanced monitoring systems that trigger alarms and notify personnel should temperature conditions deteriorate.
However, these advanced systems are largely the domain of processing plants, warehouses and supermarkets, fixed locations where continuous monitoring and wireless data collection and processing are incorporated into an IT infrastructure — but they’re quickly earning industry-wide adoption.
When a food shipment is transferred to a truck, train or ship, accessing and documenting its temperature data becomes problematic and limited. Historically, food transport has been the weakest link in cold chain tracking. That’s why it’s become increasingly important to track temperature data on frozen and refrigerated food in transit to ensure food security and provide operators with end-to-end documentation.
This is where the latest advances in cold chain technology come in: the development of monitoring systems that include data loggers, i.e., electronic devices that communicate with sensors to collect data over time. When fully automated, they can eliminate the errors of manual tracking and recording information during transit, transmitting and storing continuous temperature data in real time.
Emerson Cargo Solutions is one of several companies working to fill data gaps during transit, with a suite of cellular monitors and loggers — GO Real-Time Trackers — which track and log the status of perishable products shipped across the entire cold chain, all in real time. Using cellular technology and the processing capabilities of the IoT, GO Real-Time Trackers can continuously transmit and log temperature and location data and send alerts from the loading dock to the shelf.
GO Real-Time Trackers are affordable, easy to use, and small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand, making them particularly functional for tracking and logging goods in transit. Yet they also provide global visibility to shipments while transmitting temperature data to end users’ systems via the cloud and the IoT.
To use a GO Real-Time Tracker, a worker simply pulls a tab to start the device, places it in a container or trailer, and inputs its serial number into Emerson’s Oversight Exchange Data Integration app. From there, end users have access to comprehensive and automated monitoring. Logging data is encrypted for security and transmitted cellularly to the cloud and IoT for real-time processing and analysis. With either a smartphone or tablet, a user can check shipment status and generate documentation on the go. And the real-time data and documentation that GO Real-Time Trackers are capable of collecting are extensive:
Maps, graphs and charts of shipments with location and temperature details
Shipment summary reports using GO Real-Time Tracker serial numbers
Current product temperatures, temperature ranges and mean kinetic temperatures
Trip name, current trip status, location and duration
Total time out of cell range, above range and below range
End-to-end, real-time cold chain temperature monitoring and logging with GO Real-Time Trackers provide a higher level of overall security. Users can identify and fix previously unknown problem points in the cold chain. IoT connectivity and cellular communication make it possible for apps to monitor temperatures at set parameters throughout transport. And GO Real-Time Tracker documentation provides transparency, generating comprehensive reporting to comply with regulatory agency requirements for food safety.
Commercial & Residential Solutions is a global innovator of energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions for residential, industrial and commercial applications. www.climate.emerson.com
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