Cold storage facilities are one of the most important facilities in the supply chain, and contain equipment that helps keep multiple types of materials. The food and agriculture industry is the primary user of cold storage warehouse facilities by far Non-perishable food is relatively less common than perishable food, and thus food sources kept in such cold storage facilities include dairy products, meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits and more. Sometimes cold storage facilities are also used to store products like pharmaceutical medicine, as these can also be destroyed by keeping them in an otherwise natural environment.
Many important environmental characteristics are controlled in cold storage facilities, primarily of which are temperature, humidity, and air quality. Different types of items often require different optimal conditions, and keeping all of them in a general temperature is not good enough both in profit or the operational point of view. Thus much care is taken by temperature monitoring systems to ensure such differential treatment. However, a lot of resources and investment is needed to maintain such warehouses. Modern IoT(Internet of Things) aims to make a lot of things easier for such warehousing facilities.
Following are the industries that use cold storage facilities for many of their products.
As you can understand depending on the industry, there might be some additional capabilities associated with related cold storage facilities, which we may not go into in detail in this article.
Following are the three particular challenges the warehouse management encounters that often end up using the bulk of its resources. These resources include both human and machine labor.
The first of these which we briefly talked about is maintaining the optimal conditions for all the different kinds of items in the facility. Sensors of various kinds are installed for things like storage temperature monitoring and more. Before modern technologies were available, the sensors were then validated by humans, as even a small failure can spell disaster for the materials in storage.
There are certain industry standards that must be met before these products are ready to be sold. Things like expiry dates are regulated very strictly for certain food products, and both wholesalers and retailers are needed to maintain data about the materials kept in the facility.
Tracing the right products can become difficult because there are just too many products in modern cold storage warehousing facilities. Things like handheld barcode scanners are used before IoT stock management,
Following are the many ways IoT solutions can help cold storage facilities. In effect, such solutions reduce the cost of operation, allow more automation and increase efficiency.
IoT software can analyze various environmental parameters in real-time. The response time is faster than the sensor-human combination that was popular before such technologies. Such software can also then bring parameters back to optimal conditions by controlling temperature and humidity control systems. It also does this in the most efficient manner possible. It can also send warning messages to specified stations if things deviate too much.
IoT software can also be used to operate automatic scanning and logging mechanisms that help in stock and inventory management in the warehouse. This ensures that all empty spaces are filled with stock as much as possible. It also detects the materials that are likely to expire earlier and sells them in time. This part took a lot of time and resources in the days where such technology wasn’t available.
Using IoT technology, only a handful of personnel can operate large warehouses, and even the possibility of operating multiple warehouses can be explored. Humans are still required inside warehouses for emergency conditions and also for handling operations that cannot be done by machines. However, employees are much more relaxed when such solutions are applied.
IoT can help you analyze all the things that are associated with a cold storage warehouse under a single system. This is helpful if you want to see everything under a single screen. Real-time changes are reflected in such analytics and the software system is made secure so that only people with enough credentials can access it.
To upgrade your cold storage facility, you can integrate your warehouse with IoT capable hardware and install the best software to control them all. The security and scalability of such software are of major importance because they will determine the efficacy of software in time. If you want to develop a good IoT based management system for cold storage facilities you can try to hire a good IoT company that has expertise in developing such systems. If your warehouse requires an independent IoT management system from scratch such companies are the best bet because they can deliver them fast and with low errors.
Cold storage is one of the most important areas of operation for storing perishable food and they have been around for a couple of years now. However, lots of resources are required to maintain and operate the cold storage facility effectively. Integration of IoT architecture, both hardware and software into your system can thus greatly help control the usage of resources in the facility. Nextbrain Technologies is a top IoT software development company which is based in Bangalore, India. It has served clients around the world and has top experts around the matter that can be hired at an affordable choice. We can help you install a full-fledged already available system into your cold storage facilities or design them from scratch for you. We can also develop independent solutions to unique problems that can then be solved through our IoT solutions. This can then be paired up with robust supply chain mechanisms to reduce costs.