How remote monitoring is enabling farms and agribusinesses to optimise their cold chain. 

Fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers’ cold chain require special monitoring and supervision around different key aspects, such as controlled conditions along the cold chain. During all post-harvest stages, effective pre-cooling, temperature management and dehydration control and monitoring are among the most important strategies to extend shelf life and retain the quality of your produce.

InspiraFarms remote monitoring system (InspiraConnect) is integrated with our data cloud system (InspiraCoolCloud), which comes with a user-friendly online platform that works on any mobile or desktop device, allowing the instant share of detailed data and reports, which allows to:

  • Give full transparency on conditions inside and outside the cold room to achieve the highest possible product quality and shelf-life, while reducing losses. 
  • Generate the key data required to optimise post-harvest operations, cooling performance and track energy consumption, optimising OPEX performance.
  • Offer diagnostics and remote support for your cooling technology to increase uptime and optimise the performance of your machine 

InspiraConnect – the data solution connecting sensors in a cold room

InspiraConnect is the hardware that consists of IoT-enabled sensors, including intelligent sensors, loggers, and electronics that allow our operating system, InspiraOS, to generate the key data needed to optimise post-harvest and cooling performance, and track energy consumption of our clients. This set of data solutions is available for both InspiraFarms cold rooms and as retrofitting for cold rooms delivered by others.  

InspiraConnect is offered in two versions: Lite and Touch, each one with its capabilities and features. The entry point data solution includes a control unit, temperature readings for the evaporators and the cold room, door opening sensor, and energy sensors 

The more advanced Touch version comes with additional and optional features such as a product probe and humidity control hardware for optimal humidity management and staged cooling (recipes and refined fine-tuning of the cooling process). 

This advanced version also comes with additional remote monitoring capabilities, such as pressure probes, to prevent or reduce machinery breakdowns and detect leakages early. When combined with any InspiraFarms’ cooling machinery, InspiraConnect enables you to significantly reduce production losses and cut down your energy consumption, while increasing the consistency of produce quality passing through the cooling process.   

InspiraCoolCloud a produce monitoring cloud-based solution  

InspiraCoolCloud is a cloud-based platform, a virtual environment that serves as a data centre, offering cloud services, such as users’ access to its data through the InspiraCoolCloud Data Portal. This data Portal is an easy-to-use virtual entry point that allows users to access the real-time data generated by InspiraConnect sensors, such as readings, reports and alarms on temperature, energy, and door openings, optional humidity data, and more. Through this, users can visualise remotely the main parameters of operations and utilise this data to take actions towards optimising OPEX performance. 

InspiraCoolCloud supports cold chain operations with the capability of knowing in real-time the health of fresh produce and machines, with a convenient solution to track the amount of stock inside the cold room and keeps track of the key parameters for each batch processed in the cold room.  

Oftentimes, as an agricultural enterprise, you might require producing reports across the cooling chain. While many enterprises rely on third-party reports to access such data, InspiraCoolCloud can give you access to this information remotely and first-hand. With this data package, you can automatically access information on the state of your product and reduce your dependency on third-party reports. Additionally, this remote and first-hand access will help you to increase the value of throughput by optimizing cooling toward the lowest shrinkage and rejections, providing full transparency for you and your customers. All this data is available as charts, time series, and downloads for the past 6 months, to assist in record access in the event of claims. 

What are your options for you to adopt our remote monitoring system?

InspiraConnect is available as Lite, that offers limited number of key sensors, or as Advanced, which includes all sensors available in the Lite versions plus a much more options of sensors such as version product probe and humidity control hardware and more.  

InspiraCoolCloud access is available in two cloud data plans, sold in blocks of 6 months or for activation on seasonal basis. 

Latest key feature updates for higher performance of your cold room

  1. Push notifications: Even when your internet connection is down, you can now receive notifications alerts on your cold room and produce conditions by email or SMS. 
  2. Remote diagnostics: With this feature, you will get remote assistance from InspiraFarms engineers, who will monitor your cold room in the back end, to support your on-ground technicians, in case of any maintenance needs, including repairs and breakdowns. 
  3. Regular reports: You can customise the timelines in which you can receive a periodic email, highlighting internal parameters, on a weekly or monthly basis. 

Sample Screen of a live cold room, showing some of the parameters monitored live

Usage and UX reported by our clients 

This remote monitoring facility, has been used by clients growing, packaging and aggregating fresh produce for export, including for avocados, blueberries, peas, and French beans, among others. 

One of these exporters in Wiserow Enterprises, an agricultural enterprise specialising in the production and export of blueberries. Their entire cooling facility consisting of a 240 square meter facility with 2 pre-cooling rooms, is wired to InspiraConnect, that collects data and sends it to the cloud every 15 minutes, allowing for remote monitoring of the facility. According to Bruce, their past cooling conditions were monitored by their team manually, but now they use a set of digitized data monitors. With 24/7 access to such vital data, including temperature, energy, door openings, humidity and energy consumption, Bruce shared that they now make informed decisions based on scientific data and not just feelings.  

“We can also look back at the live history of our cooling data in any case of shipment complaints and monitor our energy usage to help us improve our energy efficiency. This access to reliable energy data is really important for our ongoing plans of moving part of our packhouse to an off-grid powering solution, so having access to real-time monitored data is critical for us.” 

Bruce shares that the InspiraFarms data platform has proved to be very beneficial, as the remote monitoring system allows engineers from InspiraFams to provide remote monitoring and troubleshooting, before having to send a technician on-site every time they need something troubleshot. 

Remote monitoring for blueberries in Zimbabwe

Lauetta Farm is a blueberry project and agribusiness, put up in Zimbabwe. Founded in 2019, they reported their first successful export started venturing into blueberry export with great success. In that period, their shareholders would further invest in another 15-20 hectares of production. Thanks to the key indicators of success in the delivery of class 1, premium quality fruit to final markets, they in turn had a premium return on investment.

The enterprise have a 240sqm cold room with 2 pre-cooling rooms, from InspiraFarms. Their entire facility is wired to InspiraCoolCloud is a cloud-based platform, that collects all the data, and sends it to the cloud every 15 minutes, allowing for optimal monitoring of the facility. The platform allows the team from Lauetta to monitor any power surge or faulty units. It also monitors energy readings, should they want to contest their energy readings, and find ways to save money.

All hardware is designed and manufactured according to EU regulations and certifications. It is calibrated at the source to guarantee the maximum precision required to reduce uncertainties in fresh produce supply chains. Interested in remotely monitoring your cold room? Contact us here.

Interested in on-farm pre-cooling and cold chain for your fresh produce? 

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