M2M, the watchman of cold chain
Thursday, 07 March 2013
Breaking the cold chain can waste years of testing in a laboratory, ruin nutritional properties of tons of food or affect the curative properties of drugs. Maintaining the accurate temperature is a matter of life and death for some industries. The best way to monitor it is with M2M solutions.
The cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain with the purpose of keeping some products in a range of grades to ensure its shelf life. Any variation must be taken into account, and any incidence must generate an alert to make decisions as soon as possible.
José Miguel Hernández Izquierdo, Product Development and Innovation at Telefónica Digital, explains the importance of managed connectivity in this issue: “Some laboratories have talked with us looking for solutions. They use to work with very sensible products: one hour without electrical power supply can elevate the temperature of vaccines, for example, and let them useless.”
One of Telefónica’s solutions relevant to this industry is Smart M2M, a best-in-class web-based platform for the connectivity, management and control of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. “In the labs example, temperature, wet and other ambiental parameters can be monitored to alert responsibles for the lab when something goes wrong”, added Hernández Izquierdo.
Cold chain monitoring is necessary throughout the whole life of a given sensible product, including, of course, its transportation. Thus, asset tracking solutions can also be combined to assure the proper temperature in any minute of its life.
Although chemicals are the most sensible products and machine-to-machine uses can be key, cold chain is also one of the greatest worries in food industry. If it is broken the quality and safety of the product becomes dangerous. On one hand, it allows for the microbial development, both spoilage microorganisms and disease-producing pathogens; on the other hand degrading enzyme reactions can cause alteration of the food.
Therefore, the most exigent cold chain processes will be supported by M2M technology. It will be able to control all the temperature cycles of products in real time, anywhere.