Cold Chain

Cold chain logistics and technology, e.g. for temperature sensitive products (biologics, fresh foods, etc.)

Achieving Consistent Produce Quality—Part Two

Kaizen methods can help continually improve produce cold chain processes, starting by addressing low-hanging fruit problems and then progressing to ever more advanced practices. Knowledge-based systems can provide situational awareness and help workers make smarter, data-driven decisions in real-time, taking into account changing circumstances on the ground, such as expected field harvesting rate/timing, pre-cooler capacity and queue length, and projected reefer truck arrivals, departures, and capacity.

Achieving Consistent Produce Quality—Part One

There is an opportunity to substantially improve the consistency of produce quality and shelf life by adopting modern process disciplines and quality management techniques. The produce industry can learn from successful manufacturers who have, for decades, used statistical process control and related process disciplines to continually reduce process variation, minimizing waste and reliably creating consistent products conforming to precise specifications.

Pallet-level Monitoring – Part One

Pallet-level monitoring enables a more intelligent approach to distribution—Intelligent distribution and FEFO inventory management (First Expired, First Out)—as well as providing the data needed to optimize end-to-end processes for maximum shelf life. Implementing these approaches can cut losses in half for retailers and growers.

Geospatial Intelligence: Part Five – Traceability and Provenance Assurance

Traceability has become increasingly important in supply chains, whether it’s pharmaceuticals, food, lumber, electronic parts, conflict minerals, and other commodities. The goals of traceability are diverse, such as anti-counterfeiting, rapid response/recall when tainted goods are discovered, brand protection, fair trade, environmental protection, and prevention of diversion/grey market sales.

IoT: From Hype to Adoption – Part One

Small and medium manufacturers and wholesale distributors are trying to determine where IoT fits into their busi­ness strategies, within the constraints of limited budgets, inhouse expertise, bandwidth, and technical resources. This requires prioritizing many potential IoT initiatives. In part one of this two-part series, we look at three areas that manufacturers and distributors are implementing IoT: 1) on the plant floor, 2) in supply chain and logistics, and 3) in service and repair.

Measuring Produce Freshness: Part Two – Meeting Customer Requirements

Improving produce freshness and quality requires a system bringing together the end-to-end temperature history of each pallet, knowledge of the temperature response of different varieties, capabilities to match each pallet’s condition-based expiration date with different customers’ requirements, and finally, prescribing simple actions to workers and supervisors to ensure the best match between remaining shelf life and customer need.

Measuring Produce Freshness: Part One – Ensuring Delivered Freshness

Freshness ‘blindness’ causes a lot of waste in produce supply chains. Here we explain the role of the Condition-based Expiration Date–a critical element to solving this problem. We look at what it takes to create a reliable and accurate algorithm that models deterioration of different varieties of produce exposed to different temperature histories.

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