AutomationInnovation

Telematics In The Food Industry

What is Telematics and why is it useful for the food sector?

Telematics is the branch of IT that deals with transference of computerized information to a very large area. It enables wireless data communication between different machines and sensors that are involved in a particular process. This branch opens up a huge range of possibilities in any sector, ranging from mechanical to food. It is used heavily in fleet tracking and management. Telematics is not very popular in food sector but because of its versatility, the future of food industry is based on telematics and upcoming technologies.

Now coming to use of telematics in food sector. For example, in a farm camera identifies weed, it needs to communicate this information to another machinery in which it is in contact with, that machinery can spray some herbicide over the weed. Thus, this is how communication takes place between different machines, which is completely automated.

Telematics in Heron Foods
Heron Foods has collaborated with a telematics company for their fleet of trucks

Today, telematics is used widely in refrigeration and cold chain, food and beverage industry, let’s see how is it beneficial and used in these industries.

To minimize the microbiological contamination to food, during long distance transport, refrigeration & cold chain is the most important and the effective technology. To make refrigeration & cold chain more efficient, telematics is used. Telematics is the best practice to document pre-cool satisfaction, controls temperature during long distance routes as by just installing 4 temperature probes on a delivery van, it is easy to monitor and control the temperature zones in refrigerated vehicles. This technology can help in controlling the delivery times and speed of a refrigerated vehicle as by the combination of GPS and on-board diagnostics it’s easy to know the exact location and speed of a van. It not only improves operational performances but helps in achieving financial goals too. Telematics can even generate a report of refrigerators and other units.

Dr Patrick Brecht, founder and President of PEB commodities, Inc. and a member of the World Food logistics Organization’s(WFLO) Scientific Advisory Council(SAC) , who has expertise in refrigeration technology, beautifully framed the importance of telematics stating that,‟Our investigations and studies have found that human error accounts for up to 80% of cargo losses during transportation. There are tremendous opportunities available for integrating advanced trailer refrigeration technologies and telematics with food safety program, and the computerized refrigeration systems today are not being fully utilized.”

In food and beverage industry too telematics /IVMS (In-vehicle Monitoring System) helps in adjusting temperature, which is the most important factor to maintain the quality of food. It helps in vehicle management and fuel management. Anas Salam, IT engineer at Keita Catering, said ‟IVMS helps us to increase productivity, reduce fuel and other operational costs while improving safety and customer service. IVMS helps us to maintain tracking history of vehicles which is most vital tasks when managing the fleet.”

Telematics used in Pioneer
Pioneer, too has tied up with a telematics company to help maintain freshness of food

Top Telematics Companies:

Now let’s see what all companies offer solutions. Here, are the some of the top companies:-

– AirlQ.

– Fleematics Group.

– Mix Telematics.

– Tom Tom.

– Trimble.

– Ctrack.

– Fleetboard.

– KORE.

– Masternaut.

It is one of the finest technologies that helps in reducing work load and makes the industry fully automated.

Written By,

Himanshi Gupta

Student, NIFTEM

Also, if you are interested about technology to help change the future of farming, do check our article.

Future Of Farming: Hydroponics, Aquaponics and Aeroponics

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