Monitoring frozen storage warehouses – When a frozen product moves through the complete supply chain, it passes through various cold storage before it reaches the consumer. In many cases, the frozen products are stored for a certain time in warehouse facilities, and it can be days or even weeks before they are sent to retail outlets.
The very nature of the cold supply chain poses a risk to the products. Even the slightest change in the cold storage warehouse temperature can cause product damage and economic impact. Food safety monitoring and cold supply chain tracking thus become very important for frozen storage warehouses.
Frozen Storage Warehouses Monitoring
The Need for frozen storage warehouses Monitoring
The traditional method of maintaining a cold storage warehouse included a process where the managers had to collect the information manually from the temperature gauges. Using the latest technology helps warehouse managers to focus on problem areas rather than spending time on fixing them. By doing so, the manager’s job role changes from the one collecting the data to the one analyzing it.
If you are wondering if cold supply chain monitoring is for your warehouse or not, you need to weigh the pros and cons. Warehouses experiencing losses due to poor temperature control, need to give it a second thought. It is important to compare the cost of cold supply chain monitoring, with the possible losses that can be incurred; especially when you are dealing with environments where the margins are slim.
However, if you believe that the investment is worth it, you must determine how you want to monitor the frozen storage warehouse. There are various methods that can be implemented. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
Wireless Sensors and RFID
These are the two popular technologies used to monitor frozen storage warehouses. The RFID sensors help capture the temperature along with the location, and the information is communicated and stored in the database. Various parameters like the remaining shelf life, etc. can also be calculated with the help of RFID sensors.
WSN devices are equipped with more sensors and include an integrated member. However, they are expensive when compared to RFID sensors. Both the WSN and RFID devices are limited to one device per pallet, but the data collected is quite substantial.
Estimation of Temperature
Some studies have shown that the data collected from an RFID sensor can be limited. For a pallet that has several packages of food, an RFID sensor might not be able to detect a temperature fluctuation of a single food package. The use of an “artificial neural network” has shown some significant benefits in such scenarios.
An artificial neural network collects the outside temperature of the food package to get an estimate of the inside temperature. The major downside to this is that the model requires intensive training, which in many cases can disturb the logistics.
The number of RFID or WSN sensors can be decreased with the use of thermal imaging. This technology, although quite effective, the results can vary based on the packaging used, or the surface being measured.
CFD or Computational Fluid Dynamics
CFD is a technology that is used to analyze the airflow that occurs throughout the cooling process. This technology helps determine various variables like pallet distribution, the right ventilation needed for crates, and more.
Wireless Temperature Control and Monitoring
Frozen storage warehouses can also be monitored using wireless technology, where real-time insights are provided via a web portal, email or a SMS. This ensures that the right temperature is maintained in the cold warehouse and provides timely alerts when a problem arises. Food producers who store their goods in warehouses that use this technology can view the current temperatures in real-time.
While every technology has its benefits, it is hard to find a “one-size-fits-all” solution to monitor a frozen storage warehouse. As the supply chains vary based on the product and location, the monitoring needs also keep changing and can depend on the regulatory requirements of the industry too.
Use of Multi-Temperature Storage
One solution that fits most of the sectors is multi-temperature storage. A frozen storage warehouse that offers this facility enables storage of a large inventory, which is not only limited to perishable and dairy products but can be used to store dry foods, beverages, and various other commodities. Inventory maintenance under the same roof, not only saves time and costs, but also enables easy distribution of goods.
Offering a suite of exceptional services, like multi-temperature storage and transportation services, CDS Group of Companies offers these all under one roof! Get in touch with us today!
- Posted by admin
- On November 28, 2020