Growing Interest in Remote Temperature Monitoring

Published: 16 September 2011 - www.engineeringnews.co.za

Wireless specialist solutions provider Ikhaya Automation Systems has extended its product range to include the SubZero, a real-time remote temperature monitoring system used in refrigerated vehicles, cold server rooms, chillers and freezers.

The SubZero uses wireless general packet radio service and alerts companies of temperature deviations from predefined conditions, which can be escalated to different recipients through SMS and email on a time-based stage alarm escalation.

“The cost-effective system helps maintain the integrity of the cold chain and contributes to reduced claims and cost savings for customers,” says Ikhaya MD Praba Moonsamy.

The solution provides a secure password-protected Web-based temperature monitoring system that allows transporters to monitor their entire fleet 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere in the world through the Internet.

“On request, graphs dating back 12 months can be created through the Web, detailing the date, time and temperature value for each trip. Ikhaya Automation Systems also provides a daily graphical temperature report through email, which acts as a quick reference guide for the customer,” he says.

This assists in critical business decisions and frees up the customers’ time to perform other tasks.

The SubZero system calculates the number of running hours on any refrigerator unit and, when a preset number of hours is reached, the system will also automatically notify the client through SMS or email that a service is due. 

Several companies, such as goods transporters Tanzer Transport, Fairfield LongHaul, Stihl, AAA Beef, the Moses Mabhida stadium, Path Care and Tyd-stroom Poultry, have reported success in reduced spoilage, improved quality and increased profitability, says Moonsamy.

In the refrigerated transport industry, clients require strict temperature controls and probe stock at offloading points to ensure the product was kept at the required temperature throughout the trip, adds Fairfield LongHaul operations director Kit Maharaj.

Further, he adds, the company is able to send sampling reports to clients, showing the complete trip temperatures. Temperature queries can also be dealt with in real time online, eliminating the need to send the unit to a refrigeration service agent for information.

Maharaj says Fairfield LongHaul is currently implementing the system across its entire fleet and, once all the trailers have the system installed, will approach the company’s insurers for a reduction in premiums, owing to the reduced risk.

Further, Ikhaya Automation Systems has a similar solution for measuring other variables, namely pressure, level, flow, electricity and water.