Smart, real-time and seamless system to constantly inspect the affecting factors on the foods and show their current condition through a dashboard tool

About

The current technologies in retail logistics and supply chain management do not provide efficient solutions for monitoring the quality of perishable products. These products might be destroyed or damaged due to dynamic conditions with regards to transportation or environmental conditions. Therefore, we propose a smart, real-time and seamless system to constantly inspect the affecting factors on the foods and show their current condition through a dashboard tool. The system would be also able to provide feedback and report in case of observing any abnormality and recommend a corrective action.

The prototype consists of a microcontroller, communication modules, sensors and etc that are small and cheap to manufacture. The prototype can work through or from within food packaging and it is suitable for deployment in the supply chain.


The monitoring system could be set in three modes:

1. Online mode
a. We provide continuous and real-time monitoring of the food from walk-In freezer to the shipping truck and ultimately the supermarket
b. We will have a gateway in three locations (walk-in freezer, shipping truck and supermarket )
c. Long-range wireless sensor network (WSN) will be used for data communication
d. All data is transferred to a cloud sever and users would be able to see data live

2. Offline mode
a. It would be infrastructure-less (No gateway is required)
b. A small size battery-based device is attached and configured to a certain range (based on the required standard) to sense the required condition. The device always travel with the food and keep record its condition.
c. If any abnormality observed, an alert will reflected by a red LED.
d. Reaching the supermarket with green LED shows that all shipment standards were followed and the food was in a proper condition.
e. All sensors all reusable and reconfigurable and the device can work for more than 2 years with the initial battery power.
f. It is cheap. In mass production, the price of each device would be around £5.

3. Hybrid mode (online and offline)
a. We only need one gateway in the walk-in freezer and one in the supermarket
b. All sensors will be configured to a range.
c. When the sensors’ data is not in the range for a specified time, a red LED will blink and a warning signal will be transmitted from the sensors
d. When the food reaches the supermarket, the gateway will receive the warning signal from the device and the food/container taht didn’t follow the standards will be identified.

Technology is at technology readiness level (TRL) 4. Prototype of the technology has been developed and we are now looking for industrial partner to assist with further development the technology, test and get it ready for market.

Key Benefits

Our innovation allows to continuously monitor the gas, humidity and temperature levels of packed foods. We have also developed a digital platforms for communicating with such sensors, enabling real‑time monitoring.

Applications

Technology can be used in retail logistics and supply chain management for monitoring the quality of perishable products.

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