Real Time Monitoring
Have you got money invested in fresh or frozen stock? Had a refrigeration breakdown recently that cost you lots of time, money and frustration with lost product? Has your power bill gone through the roof without a reason why?
Real time monitoring has finally become an affordable addition to the quality management systems of retailers and wholesalers of perishable product. With the internet becoming available in most areas with the rollout out of the NBN, combined with the advances in internet compatible hardware it is possible to monitor all the critical points to ensure your perishable products are maintained at the highest quality. With current technology, there should be no reason to be leaving the safety of your investment in the hands of simple human error or unpredictable mechanical or electrical failure.
Installing a real time monitoring system enables you to keep track of temperatures, energy usage, on/off states of any machinery, switch or device and basically anything you can think of – right from your computer or smart phone wherever you may be. A system as such can provide you with cost preventable real time alarms via email or SMS and an automatic archiving historical data report to satisfy all your HACCP requirements.
There are many ways for a monitoring system to save you money, below are some graphs taken from various sites, these show operation of a 3 door freezer cabinet and on/off state of a compressor.
As seen on the above graph, there was an unusual spike in temperature triggering an alarm to be sent to the customer and us, after making contact with the customer they had returned to the shop find that a door had been left open on a freezer cabinet after loading it with stock. If this had not alarmed when it did, the customer would have arrived at work the next day to find a whole cabinet load of defrosted stock ($$$$). The other routine spikes are automatic defrosts.
This graph shows operation of a compressor on a milk vat refrigeration system – showing that the compressor is turning on and off regularly. If a refrigeration unit is running for longer than usual to maintain the temperature in a refrigerated space an SMS alert can be sent out and a problem fixed before it develops into something potentially more expensive and more damaging to the environment (in the case of a gas leak). A gas leak breakdown symptom is not usually noticed until the refrigerated space is at a warmer temperature than it should be, which is too late as most of the gas has already escaped. Monitoring the cycling of the refrigeration unit would have SMS alerted any number of people and the gas leak repaired before most of the gas had escaped to the atmosphere. The anomaly would also be picked up in the daily reports. A huge saving in systems with tens of kilograms of refrigerant.