Millions of coolers (refrigerators) are installed in various shops around the world. Fridge fault can cause significant loss, from both the loss of perishable goods and the loss of sales due to downtime. A system that could predict possible failures a few days in advance would provide huge savings to the shop owner, even if that system couldn’t diagnose a specific problem.
A manufacturer of perishable products who owns thousands of refrigerator units wanted remote access to diagnostics of their equipment, enabled by the deployment of add-on sensor units. These units would need to be smart enough to take various measurements and perform analysis to determine when a technician needs to be contacted.
The Arkados Group was using a wide variety of coolers with different work characteristics, located in places where access to Wi-Fi is not available. The unit to be developed would need to support the entire range of models, providing a 70% failure prediction rate while minimizing expensive cellular data communication bandwidth.
The Decision Process:
The Arkados Group had met with multiple teams and reviewed their solutions before meeting with us. The other proposed solutions were either too expensive and did not satisfy the ROI parameters required, or they were unable to provide the expected results. Dynamo was able to deliver a demo model of the unit that met the specs within a few weeks, demonstrating both our experience and expertise in this area. As a result, Arkados chose us for the experimental phase of the project.
Within three months, Dynamo’s embedded developers and hardware designer implemented and manufactured 25 units for the experimental phase. These units collect temperature, humidity, electric power, and accelerometer data. Then, they upload this data to a secure cloud platform for future analysis by engineers. An add-on sensor data reading board was developed with an on-board microcontroller to support fast and reliable data communications with 30+ sensors collecting data from the refrigerator unit. Embedded Linux applications receive the data from this add-on board, process it and submit the data to the cloud platform for future analysis. The cloud platform is also tasked with additional data analysis, monitoring all fault conditions, and notifying engineers in case of fault.
By using a previously developed solution (Arkados UDK-21) as a base and expertly developing any necessary modifications and add-ons, the Dynamo team was able to quickly deliver a high quality solution for the experimental phase and to provide a solid foundation for the next phase of development: a complete cooler monitoring solution.