XLink and their partner SimiCode, a local supplier of telemetry devices, are enabling South African pharmaceutical distributors to take advantage of IoT in Refrigeration and lead the way in the automation of health and safety compliance.
According to CCO of XLink, Hymie Marnewick, IoT in Refrigeration is gaining traction in South African industries because “it allows fridges and cold storage areas to be automatically monitored remotely across a company’s existing network infrastructure.” This helps to improve the efficiency and accuracy of compliance monitoring, whilst containing costs.
With automated monitoring, companies are able to remotely monitor refrigeration operation and temperatures “24/7/365”, even when the business is closed and warehouses are unattended.
Automated refrigeration also allows companies to adhere to new regulations. “Increasingly, regulated environments such as food and pharmaceuticals are demanding daily, automated temperature readings – manual readings are no longer regarded as sufficient,” said Marnewick.
“Automatically generated exception reports listing only out-of-spec temperature readings allow stakeholders to proactively manage and focus on faulty and deteriorating refrigeration. By ensuring that nominated personnel receive notice of out-of-spec readings (by either email or SMS), even outside of business hours, they can respond immediately to correct the situation,” continued Marnewick.
This means that businesses no longer have to rely on constant manual monitoring and escalation with human intervention to notify them of an unusual development – and, in turn, employees can focus on their core functions and reduce the risk of potential disasters going undetected.
On their IoT in Refrigeration solution, Phil Minnaar of SimiCode noted: “It’s compact and easy to install; and the device includes efficient battery back-up. It’s a cost effective option for single and multi-fridge operations, and is highly configurable – so, one device can be used to monitor both the internal fridge and the external ambient temperature as well as the compressor temperature whilst also monitoring when the fridge doors are opened and closed.”
From data to information
In addition, the sensors deliver all the data they collect to the Skydata platform, where it is collated, stored and presented in user friendly dashboards that turn the data into intelligence.
“The Skydata platform is powerful, flexible and fully customisable, and can be tailored to meet customer requirements as they arise. The platform is available as an Apple and Android smartphone app, making it easy for customers to access and use the platform. This enables them to see the status of any monitoring device in their domain, or access the data and reports, whenever they need to – no matter where they are,” said Minnaar.
Marnewick added that: “In the highly regulated pharmaceutical space, the initial installation and annual SANAS approved calibration certification of monitoring equipment is very costly. This cost is negated by the use of digital temperature probes, which have been certified in an approved laboratory and are then distributed for installation at customer sites – making for great savings.”
Powering through load shedding
With the ever present risk of load shedding, Marnewick added: “Through our partnership with Sentinel Fuel Products, XLink is enabling the smart monitoring and automated management of wet stock (diesel) to alternative power supply from diesel generators. This further mitigates the effects of power outages on mission critical refrigeration and temperature control. The use of smart metering and monitoring in this scenario could provide the assurance that there is sufficient diesel available for continuity of power during load shedding as well as enable the remote monitoring of the generator runtime and condition.”
XLink is confident that IoT in Refrigeration will play an even greater role going forward, as industries become more competitive and legislation requires compliances with ever more precise standards.
“There is great potential for many new applications and opportunities, as business managers realise how they can benefit from monitoring their assets and operations. The solution, together with the smartphone app, means that they are always in control,” concluded Marnewick.