Smart Freezer Controller

Imagine the food we could save during the various stages of the supply chain if we used smart freezer controllers to monitor temperatures.

Smart Freezer Controller

smart freezer controllerFood loss and waste is a global issue, with loss/waste occurring at all seven steps in the supply chain from farm to table.  

  1. Farming
  2. Post-harvest and Packing
  3. Process and Distribution
  4. Retail and grocery store
  5. Food service and restaurants
  6. Households
  7. Disposal  

According to a Wall Street Journal article written in 2012, the United States alone tends to waste $165 billion in food each year.  While there are many factors along the way that contribute to this giant loss, temperature control plays an important role.  

 

The Role of Temperature

In many instances, temperature is the culprit in food loss.  When food traveling from the farm to the market is in a truck with unregulated temperatures, food can arrive at the grocery store spoiled and be immediately discarded.  If an industrial freezer/fridge door is left open for too long, the temperature can rise enough to render the food unfit for consumers.  If equipment on a freezer/fridge fails all of the contents can be lost before anyone notices. A smart freezer controllsmart freezer controllerer can warn you before spoilage occurs when used in post-harvesting and packing, process and distribution, retail and grocery stores, and foodservice and restaurants–that is four steps in the supply chain.  Even relatively small differences in temperature can mean loss: up to almost 20% globally. “In developed countries, food losses from the absence of refrigeration account for nearly 9% of total food production, and 23% on average in developing countries” (Shaw).

 

The Cold Chain

A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain in the food industry is an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities and associated equipment which maintain a given low-temperature range.  A functioning cold chain is critical to the protection and delivery of fresh and frozen perishable foods. “In parts of the world where the cold chain is established and run effectively, perishable food loss can be maintained as low as 2%. When applied properly and consistently, a fully functioning cold chain can successfully prevent and reduce food loss” (Shaw).

However, breaks in the cold chain occur due to a variety of issues, including: operator error, insufficient precooling, poor loading practices, inadequate insulation, improperly functioning refrigeration equipment, or even something as simple as cargo or walk-in cooler doors being left open too long. Any of these breaks can cause damage to perishable foods with exposure to conditions that are too warm or cold, all leading to food loss/waste.

 

Save Food Save Money

Powerblanket has teamed with Beacon Controls to develop a connected temperature controller. This new, smart controller allows you to monitor and control your device from your smartphone or computer. More importantly it allows you to receive text, email or push notifications when the temperature goes outside limits that you specify.  Imagine the food you could save with a warning when something goes wrong and time to act before food starts to spoil.  Commercial refrigerators and freezers used in grocery stores and restaurants use controllers.  Replace your freezer/fridge controller with Beacon smart freezer controller and receive a notification when the temperature of your equipment falls out of the assigned threshold.  

Benefits of Beacon Smart Freezer Controller:

  • Compatibility with a wide variety of heating or cooling devices
  • Change settings locally or connect remotely so you can keep your operation running smoothly wherever you are.
  • Customizable alerts based on temperature, electrical current,  and voltage give you complete peace of mind.
  • 120/208/240V AC options, directly switch up to 24 amp loads

portable keg cooler

Sources

Gunders, Dana. “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Land ll”. NRDC Issue Paper. August 2012. 1 March 2017. www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf

Plumer, Brad. “How the U.S. manages to waste $165 billion in food each year”. The Washington Post.  22 August 2012. www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/08/22/how-food-actually-gets-wasted-in-the-united-states/?utm_term=.5476832ffe73

Shaw, John and Mark Beasley. “IMPROVED COLD CHAIN MANAGEMENT IS KEY TO REDUCING FOOD LOSS”. Food Logistics. October 2016. www.sensitech.com/assets/articles/flog10161415coolinsightsrgbz.pdf

 

PORTABLE KEG COOLER

 

TEMPERATURE AFFECTS THE AGING

As soon as beer is made, the aging process starts. The best way to lengthen its lifespan is to put it in the fridge as soon as you bring it home — even if you don’t plan to drink it until two months later. “Store your precious beer cold (3°C/38°F) until it’s ready to drink,” advises Julia Herz from the Brewers Association. “Beer is  like bread or milk. It will advance, but when stored cold (not room temperature) that advancing of flavors and oxidation is slowed down.”

For pasteurized beer, you’ve got more time than a few months. In a course that Herz and Chef Adam Dulye taught about food and beer, they cited research from MillerCoors that stated that “storing beer in the following conditions will result in equivalent flavor loss:

  • 3 days in the trunk of a hot car (32°C/90°F),
  • 30 days at room temperature (22°C/71°F), and
  • 300 days in the refrigerator (0°C/32°F).”  Which means you have almost an entire year to drink that can of pasteurized beer before it goes bad!

KEEP BEER COLDportable keg cooler

Every beer has a shelf life. Beer will certainly “last” longer if refrigerated. That is, the flavor will evolve more slowly over time at lower temperatures. Storage at higher than room temperature will invite a turning of the beer’s flavor for the worse, often described as “skunky”.

In some cases, an aged beer might be considered to have an appealing taste, but refrigeration will still slow the aging process and keep the beer longer. Additionally, the flavor of highly hopped beers will degrade quickly (within several months) at room temperature, and most people would agree that very hoppy beers in particular should be refrigerated.

HOW TO KEEP BEER COLD

Using Water, Ice and Snow

If you are indoors and without ample space in the fridge, simply dunk your can/bottle/keg in cold water.  Depending on the size of the container, use your sink, a bucket, a cooler, or your tub.  To speed the process, add ice to the cold water and stir.  By stirring, you’re using forced convection to speed the transfer of heat out of your drink and into the ice water solution.  A small handful of salt in the ice bath will help as well. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of the water, so the water can get colder than the normal freezing temperature (0°C/32°F) without turning into ice. When outdoors, put your beverage container into a lake or stream, ensuring that your can/bottle/keg won’t float away.  Or if it is winter, put it out in the snow.

Portable Keg Cooler

If you would like a more reliable means of cooling your beer and it is in a keg, consider using the Powerblanket® ICE portable keg cooler.  Even on the hottest summer days, the Powerblanket ICE insulated portable keg cooler can keep a cold keg of beer below 10°C/50°F for up to twelve hours without ever having to change the ice packs.

Powerblanket ICE Portable Keg Cooler

  • portable keg coolerBlack materials absorb the sun’s energy and get hot fast.  The Powerblanket ICE insulated keg cooling blanket has a highly reflective industrial grade white vinyl shell that reflects solar radiation to help keep your keg cool.  
  • Many insulated keg jackets are made from ¼ inch neoprene.  The Powerblanket ICE insulated keg cooling blanket contains a ½ inch thick sheet of closed cell industrial grade foam insulation that will keep your keg cool on even the hottest days.
  • Designed with 12 internal pockets to hold standard, reusable 12 oz 6” x 6” x 1” ice packs.
  • The ice packs are affordable and easy to find, making replacement a breeze, keep an extra set in the freezer for continuous or frequent use.
  • Easily swap ice packs out with newly frozen units for longer term use or colder temps.
  • Convenient ice pack size means it will be easy to fit these ice packs into your freezer.
  • Cooling blanket and ice packs are easily portable, along with your keg
  • Low cost beer keg cooling solution
  • Keep keg beer cool for extended periods at low cost

 

portable keg cooler

Sources

Breslouer, Lee. The 5 Rules for Keeping Your Beer Fresh and Drinkable.”  Thrillist. 20 February 2017. www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/how-to-store-beer-the-5-rules-to-storing-your-beer

 

The Beacon Temperature Controller: Automated and Mobile

The technology behind The Beacon Temperature Controller is truly remarkable. And when you pair Beacon’s innovative approach to temperature control with Powerblanket heating and cooling products, you have the best of both worlds. Beacon plus Powerblanket equals total temperature control, and all as an easy and convenient mobile solution too.

 

beacon temperature controller

The Beacon Smart Controller

Whether you refer to it as the Beacon Temperature Controller or the Beacon Smart Controller, it’s the same innovative solution, an innovative solution that engineers have been developing for over two years now. And get this; the Beacon Smart Controller offers temperature monitoring through a revolutionary mobile system that is both easy to use and compatible with most mobile devices.

Remote temperature monitoring through the Beacon Smart Controller means that you don’t have to worry about babysitting your important, but perhaps time-consuming, temperature needs anymore. Other systems require your presence to monitor the changes and levels of temperature fluctuation. However, with the Beacon temperature controller, you can set alerts that come straight to you via email or text. Additionally, Beacon’s device mapping feature shows you were your temperature device (a.k.a Powerblanket) is in relation to other devices.

The Beacon solution works as a WiFi temperature controller to enable notifications, alerts, and device mapping. In addition to this, every beacon controller comes with the added option of adding a cellular plan as well, affording you even more access to your temperature control information. Beacon control solutions also provide data storage and analytics, the ability to add multiple user accounts, and the option to control your system locally as well as remotely, manually as well as automatically. Oh, and did we mention that you can easily schedule temperature changes and ramping through a simple programmable system. Such a feature makes epoxy curing and other similar tasks a breeze.

When it comes to regulating temperature, Powerblanket and Beacon come together to offer a revolutionary, easy-to-use system that makes total temperature control both easy and painless. Take a moment to consider what Beacon offers and the benefits associated with it.

 

The Benefits of the Beacon Smart Controller:

  • Compatible with a wide variety of heating or cooling devices
  • Offers both local and remote control through Wi-Fi or Cellular networks
  • Enables scheduling of alerts, temperature changes, and ramping
  • Allows for multiple users with varying levels of access and control for added security
  • 120/208/240V AC options, switch up to 24 amps

 

Learn More

Ideal Temperature Control for Semiconductor Manufacturing

If you know anything about semiconductor manufacturing, then you know how precise everything has to be. There can be no contamination, no variance in temperature, and no room for error. That’s why Powerblanket® products play a vital role in maintaining ideal temperature for gases used in the manufacturing process of semiconductors.

 

Ideal Temperature Control for Semiconductor Manufacturing

Close Enough Isn’t Good Enough

Every semiconductor manufacturer seems to have their own recipe for producing their product. Whatever the processes, it’s certain to be very particular and stringent in nature. For example, heat-treated gases, purified for various processes in the creation on semiconductors, have to be able to maintain the ideal temperature for the duration of their function.

If a gas were to drop by as little as two degrees, the entire manufacturing process would be compromised. Temperature alone isn’t the only factor, however. Extraction rates have to be bang on form too.  Of course, in the end, extraction rates and flow rates ultimately have to do with temperature. Keeping the temperature of a tank of gas at the absolute perfect degree allows for consistent flow rates and uncompromised accuracy.

 

The Powerblanket Role in the Matter

The application possibilities of Powerblanket products are more than meets the eye. At least, we could say they’re more than the common person would think of upon first consideration. That’s why examples such as these are exciting for us to share. We love learning from our customers and sharing the myriad of applications and processes our products serve.

In regards to semiconductor manufacturing, our blankets allow for tight and regulated temperature control. With thermostatic controls built in, Powerblanket tank blankets can keep any gases, liquids, solids, or any combination at the proper temperature for as long as needed. So remember, if you can haul, build, truck it, or ship it, Powerblanket can cover it…literally.

 

Learn More