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IoT Enabled Refrigerators: A Case Study with ISA

ISA optimized its performance and streamlined its processes by adopting IoT. Explore how they embraced connectivity and learn how IoT can be leveraged in similar ways across other industries.

As a global player, ISA exports its products worldwide, so they required a connectivity solution that would work everywhere. Telenor Connexion supplied the managed connectivity and cloud services and offered ISA access to a partner ecosystem of hardware suppliers and software developers.

White Paper: How Smart Refrigeration Is Opening New Doors for Business Innovation

Learn how Telenor Connexion helped streamline ISA’s cold chain management processes and optimize its performance using IoT.

Topics covered in the white paper on IoT refrigerators:

  • Key benefits of IoT for ISA´s cold chain management process
  • What does an IoT solution look like?
  • The connected product value chain for ISA
  • Outsourcing connectivity management
  • The value of connectivity for the ISA end users
  • Where else can this tech be used?

Introduction – smart refrigerators using IoT!

At the heart of every professional kitchen stands the refrigerator. Any business owner that relies on fresh food will be acutely aware of how important commercial refrigeration is to their business. For such enterprises, fresh food is the main source of income, so it’s crucial that their commercial refrigeration appliances function reliably and operate effectively.

Maintaining optimal temperatures ensures business owners can offer their customers fresh food. If the temperature falls above or below the optimal range, food spoilage and decay will occur.

Spoiled food products, non-compliance with food regulations and equipment breakdown all contribute to lost earnings, reputational damage and often result in additional expenses – even fines.

ISA – the Italian refrigerator manufacturer – partnered with Telenor Connexion to connect its new line of commercial smart gelato refrigerators and display units. Telenor Connexion supplied the managed connectivity and cloud services and offered ISA access to a partner ecosystem of hardware suppliers and software developers. It took just a few months before ISA could generate business value from the customized IoT solution. This is an excellent example of IoT in manufacturing.

Utilizing a remote monitoring system ISA were able to automate temperature control in its IoT enabled refrigeration and display cabinets, for the first time. An online monitoring system sends alarm notifications when the temperature fluctuates outside of a set range, thereby ensuring enterprises get the opportunity to react to problems quickly, if they occur.

The monitoring system works in real-time. Predictive maintenance helps detect problems at an early stage while ensuring equipment downtime is minimized. The temperature ranges can be adjusted depending on the customer’s requirements and the local climate/environment.

In addition, reports can be easily generated for internal use or as evidence of regulatory compliance, thereby facilitating a smoother certification process for enterprises.

Key benefits of IoT for commercial refrigerators

Why connect gelato display cases?

ISA operates in a competitive market where customers demand a reliable product and add-on features that add to the user experience. For ISA, IoT connectivity provides the foundation for a wider set of new features and benefits. Below we explore some of the key benefits IoT generates for ISA.

Enable predictive maintenance with smart refrigerators using IoT

With mobile connectivity, ISA can remotely monitor and control the most critical components of their products. Digital and analog sensors in the display cases continuously collect data which is sent to the cloud via mobile networks.

Automated analysis of this data will detect problems and identify which components have failed. This reduces the need for routine service calls and allows for precise and targeted maintenance. Through real-time analysis of sensor data, combined with a specific customer’s historical data, it is also possible to predict when a component will fail.

Reduced product spoilage with smart refrigerators

ISA gets notified in real-time if the refrigerator temperature goes beyond a set range thereby reducing the risk of food spoilage significantly – even in hot climates.

Performance monitoring

The energy consumed by commercial refrigeration equipment usually contributes a significant amount to an enterprise’s overhead costs. If an appliance is operating inefficiently, food can quickly perish, and energy costs can rise significantly. The risk of any of this happening is eliminated using an IoT-enabled monitoring system which can help flag underlying problems not visible to the naked eye.

Optimize the supply chain

Knowing which component has failed (or is going to fail) allows ISA to optimize both the central and local parts warehouses. This leads to a consistent cost reduction and higher customer satisfaction, as well as simplifying processes for local service providers.

As an international exporter, ISA relies on local service companies in each market to install and service their products. With ISA’s IoT solution, the service providers can better serve their end customers and build a stronger relationship with the ISA central service desk.

Each service provider has access to only the data from the products they manage locally, assuring that ISA maintains secure control of their data.

Collect product data for intelligent analysis

All the data collected by the IoT sensors contribute to ISA’s database in the cloud. ISA can use big-data algorithms to extract useful insights about each product related to working conditions, as well as information such as the statistical mean time between failures (MTBF) for each component. This will not only allow ISA to offer a better SLA on existing products but also provide information the R&D team can use to improve the design of new products.

Give customers remote control of the product with IoT refrigerator thermometers

IoT also creates the possibility to remotely control some features of the ISA products via a control panel running on a browser or a smartphone app. This gives customers the peace of mind that their machines are performing optimally, and their product is being held at the right temperature.

Lowering the need for time-intensive manual processes ISA can now automate temperature monitoring processes and, in some situations, even get rid of manual temperature checks.

Adherence to regulatory compliance

ISA can easily document data and create online reports that describe the temperature and humidity of its cabinets. This helps prove product integrity and secure certification which is crucial for regulatory compliance.

Guarantee performance levels

The end-customers who own ISA products are not so interested in what connectivity technology is being used in their gelato display cases, they want a solution that works, backed up with a service level agreement (SLA) which guarantees minimal machine downtime. The detailed insight ISA can gather from their products allows them to provide an SLA that they know they can stand behind.

Upholding a trustworthy brand identity

ISA’s customers get peace of mind knowing their refrigeration cabinets are reliable and that their food products, in this case, gelato, will remain fresh and edible.

Global solution

ISA exports its products worldwide, so they needed a connectivity solution that would work everywhere. With Telenor Connexion’s solutions, and its network of partners, the entire global rollout was completed rapidly and smoothly.

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