“It is an effective way to discover weak points in logistics, as you can see exactly where and when the temperature changes,” says Patrick Poulet, Head of Sales for Kelvin Solutions. The company offers cold chain solutions for several industries, including the floral industry. Their products include electronic indicators that measure the temperature during flower transportation. “It is definitely a growing market, and there is a growing demand for trustability,” says Poulet.
Patrick Poulet, next to the Innolog
From army food to flowers
Poulet explains that the first temperature devices, that are similar to theirs, appeared about 30 years ago. “The first temperature monitors were used in the army when shipping food to the soldiers. These devices were used to make sure that the food was arriving in good conditions. At the time, the devices were mostly mechanical ones, with lower precision, and they were much bigger than what we have now. Ever since, it has been a growing market. People want to understand what happens with the temperature during the cold chain, as it affects the quality of the transported products. In addition, there is a global demand for trustability. For flowers, the temperature during transport is especially important, as it gives information concerning the vase life.”
Statistics and alarms: how to track temperature
According to Poulet, their Innolog is the most sold of their products. “It is a single-use device that measures temperature. You put it as close as possible to whatever you want to measure during the transport, inside the pallet for example. Once the flowers arrive at their place of destination, you can connect the device to your computer and get the report immediately. The statistics will give an overview of the temperature and time during the transportation. Some companies just use it once, as an assessment, and some companies like to use it for every flower transportation.” Kelvin Solutions also offers a device that indicates when the temperature is not correct during the transport. “If the roses need to be shipped at 2 degrees, for example, the Innocheck’s alarm will go off when the temperature deviates too much.”
Discovering the weak points in logistics
“There are millions of these temperature devices traveling the world every day. Temperature control is also important in the food industry, and recently there has been a demand for them for vaccine transportation. Overall, we can see that these types of devices are being used more and more,” says Poulet. “Some floral customers have actually saved money just by discovering the weak points in their logistics chain. When improving transportation, the flower quality improves as well. Our devices have even helped some companies during legal issues, as the statistics can be used as proof if the temperature was incorrect.”
What does the future look like?
According to Poulet, their next challenge is to make the devices more reusable and recyclable. “In the future, we would love to have the devices work almost entirely without batteries. In addition, we are working on making some devices more reusable, and for the single-use devices to have a longer life. We also think it would be great if we could share the valuable information and bring it to the blockchain in the future.”
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