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Gerd Uitdewilligen, PakSense: The importance of tracking transportation data

PakSense to launch new temperature monitoring products

During the transportation of flowers, the environmental conditions are very important. If the air is too humid and the temperature too low or too high, it will affect the quality of the flowers. As the flowers are often transported by third parties, it is important to know what is happening during transport. In order to trace back the history of the transportation, PakSense developed several devices that can be applied on the box and record the time, temperature and in some models the level of humidity. This summer, during the United Fresh show in Chicago, United States, they will launch a new product offering that monitors stationary areas such as storage and processing facilities, walk-in coolers and freezers and cold cases. 'AutoSense Facility, combined with the company’s temperature monitoring labels, will enable continuous monitoring and visibility of the cold chain.'. This is explained by Gerd Uitdewilligen, International Sales Director at PakSense.

PakSense is a provider of innovative environmental monitoring solutions and began developing the labels nine years ago. These labels can be applied on the transportation boxes and track all data regarding time and, temperature during the entire trip from supplier to receiver. "It can even record the temperature on the inside of the box, the actual product temperature, with an accuracy of ± 1°F (±0.5°C). .

The battery lives and the memory capacity differs depending on the model of the label. Each can last 6 days, 14 days, 1 month or 2 months, depending on programming.

Assortment of labels
"Over the years, we came up with varieties of new labels all based around time and, temperature with different reading options", says Uitdewilligen. At the moment, the assortment of PakSense monitoring labels consists of 34 models with different methodologies for downloading data:

Ultra Contact: Standard temperature monitoring label that digitally records time and temperature data that is can be downloaded using a PakSense reader and software.

XpressPDF™ Label: These labels are flat and feature an integrated USB connection point which can be plugged directly into the USB port of a computer. Once connected, the label automatically generates a PDF file containing complete time and temperature history, including graphs and summary data.

AutoSense Inbound: A Wireless system that automatically delivers cold chain temperature data from PakSense Wireless Labels to a cellular-based reader. This reader sends automatic and proactive email alerts to smartphones upon arrival to perishable receiving locations, without any human intervention.

Some of the labels are suited for large shippers with many different receivers and others are very well suited for small shippers with one large receiver. "So, when a flower shipper, for example, ships his flowers to many different locations in the world, the XpressPDF™ Label and Ultra Contact are good labels to use. Then, the information can be shared manually. When a supermarket, for example, receives flowers from many different floral suppliers, AutoSense Inbound is very suitable. Then you get all shipments of all suppliers in one central location", explains Uitdewilligen.

The Need for Humidity Monitoring

PakSense also offers a reusable Temp and Humidity Logger about the size of a thumb drive: These loggers record temperature and humidity levels of a product’s environment during distribution and storage. Both temperature and humidity ranges are programmable via the PakSense TH Software and all units are reusable. Data collected can be downloaded and graphed. The relative humidity range is 0% to 100% with an accuracy of ± 3%RH" says Uitdewilligen. The recording interval can be programmed from 1 minute up to 24 hours. The data can be downloaded via an USB connection and is presented in different formats via the provided software.

AutoSense Facility powered by Controlant
Launched in conjunction with PakSense strategic partner Controlant, this system monitors temperatures in stationary areas such as storage and processing facilities, walk-in coolers and freezers, and cold cases. The system is completely wireless and uses gateways that connect to the Cloud using cellular connectivity. There is minimal impact on existing networks with this drop-in cellular system.

“We will launch this at the United Fresh Show, co-located with International Floriculture show, held from 8-10- June 2015 in Chicago,” says Uitdewilligen.

AutoSense Facility utilizes fixed wireless (RF 915MHz) sensors that communicate continuously with a gateway. All data is uploaded to the centralized cloud database where proactive out-of-range alerts and reports are automatically generated and delivered.

The Next generation
By the summer, they will also launch a next generation printed electronics label as the commercialization partner of Norway-based Thinfilm. "We will be the first to market a printed electronics time and temperature indicator for the food and floral markets." This label features conductive ink on a flexible substrate and is smaller and thinner than the current label. Therefore it will be more cost efficient. Besides that it is flexible, which enables it to be attached on flexible boxes. PakSense will feature prototypes of this label at The The United Fresh/International Floriculture Show as well.

Next to the transportation of flowers PakSense solutions are used in many more industries, like the poultry, produce, protein, seafood, and the life sciences markets.

For more information
Gerd Uitdewilligen