Advantech's LoRa sensors aid cold chain management solutions

An international hypermarket chain in Taiwan required a solution that would help ensure the quality of their frozen and refrigerated foods in order to meet the key objective for the store to remain compliant with the county administrators food supply chain requirements to ‘protect from the risk of spoilage due to fluctuations in temperature’.

A’ Chain Management Solution’ was therefore implemented utilising Advantech’s LoRa wireless cold chain sensors. A Wireless network was built so that all frozen and refrigerated foods on general sale, in the warehouse or within its wider chain of logistics centres could be monitored by tracking essential temperature and humidity changes in freezers and refrigerators, controlled via a cloud based platform.

The spotlight on customer safety

Many food safety incidents throughout the world have raised both public awareness on the issues and encouraging retailer demand for higher levels of food safety.

In the past retailers have only paid attention to temperature control whilst in transportation to avoid losses, however with the spotlight now on increased customer safety, the scope of control has been expanded to the wider supply chain; including warehouses and stores to ensure that both frozen and refrigerated foods are kept at the appropriate temperature to ensure optimum product freshness.

Advantech consulted with the hypermarket and provided a selection of LoRa wireless cold chain sensors to allow the customer to monitor the ongoing temperature in the freezers and refrigerators at every point in the supply chain, including providing LoRa sensors to their suppliers in order to monitor the temperature of the products offsite. Data could then be accessed via the IT management system, ensuring end to end monitoring and management of fresh goods.

The hypermarket also provided hand held units to their employees suitable for temperature scanning and data transmission as a platform for next-generation supply chain optimisation.

With these handheld PCs, the company’s employees can handle receipt, cross-dock, put away, pick, replenishment, packing, dispatch, stock taking, and more. The information is derived from a variety of data sources, including barcode, RFID, and the LoRa sensors, all sending data back to the management layer in real-time, reducing the opportunity for human error. With the wireless network of LoRa sensors, the hypermarket also realised a 10% boost in operational time efficiency.

The benefits of cold chain management solutions:

•    Increased autonomy
•    Improved supply chain efficiency
•    Reduced costs
•    Regulatory compliance
 
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