The customer is an international producer and bottler of beverages based in Central America. To increase sales and for advertising purposes, the branded refrigerators are made available to his customers free of charge as part of distribution partnerships.
The operation of these refrigerators posed two major challenges for the beverage manufacturer.
Due to faulty operation of its refrigerators, the beverage manufacturer complained of lost sale. Therefore, it had to be ensured that the refrigerators functioned perfectly at all times. This included both the optimal cooling of the beverages and the constant illumination of the brand advertising on the device itself. If problems occurred, the service teams had to be informed and dispatched as quickly as possible to prevent any adverse effects on beverage sales. In the past, this often resulted in high and avoidable costs. Service staff had to travel to each individual sales partner location to inspect or repair refrigerators, even in the case of mere suspicion of problems.
It was also necessary to ensure that the refrigerators were neither stolen nor misappropriated. For example, the refrigerators should not be stocked with products other than those of the beverage manufacturer or removed from the points of sale to use them for purposes other than cooling beverages.
Together with an American system integrator and a world-leading manufacturer of IoT gateways, azeti developed a comprehensive solution for remote monitoring of beverage refrigerators for the customer. For this purpose, individual gateways were developed based on the project requirements. In addition to a large number of interfaces for connecting sensors, the gateway has a mobile radio modem and GPS for data communication. It also includes a rechargeable battery which continues to supply the refrigerators and thus also the gateway with energy when there is no power supply. The finished gateways were installed together with the following sensors and relays:
Part of the azetis software runs on the IoT Gateway to collect the sensor data and evaluate it directly locally. If, for example, the temperature in the refrigerator is too high because the door has not been closed properly, the azeti software automatically sends out an alarm and informs the relevant employees. The azeti software can also determine whether the refrigerator requires maintenance. This is done by means of various measuring points. Examples are the running time of the device, the heat pattern of the compressor in the refrigerator or deviations in power consumption.
In addition, the beverage manufacturer can determine where the refrigerator is located using the built-in GPS and battery. He can find out whether it is still at the intended point of sale or has been moved to another location and therefore no longer servesthe purpose of selling drinks. In this case, he can send a signal via the azeti platform to permanently interrupt the power supply to the refrigerator and thus its functioning.
In addition to the opportunities for the beverage manufacturer's service teams, marketing and sales also receive valuable information. All data is made available to the respective departments of the beverage manufacturer on individually adapted dashboards on the azeti platform. Depending on the position and responsibility, the data can be made available and further evaluations can be carried out. In this way, the marketing and sales departments can identify, together with the service department, which sales partners they should focus on.
The customer was able to plan his service assignments in a more targeted manner. This in turn led to enormous time and cost savings in the area of maintenance. The service technicians receive all information on a specific device on a specially adapted dashboard. This allows them to determine in advance whether a fault is present and what the probable cause is. By diagnosing faults in a targeted manner and bringing the right spare parts to service call, maintenance teams can better plan and optimize both the time required for repairs and the associated recommissioning.
The use of refrigerators that were not used to sell the manufacturer's beverages was also eliminated. The built-in battery allows the refrigerator to be powered even without a direct connection to a power source. This makes it possible to locate the device via IoT Gateway and initiate measures such as permanent interruption of the power supply. This function led to a minimization of the unwanted misuse.
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