Just as the Internet has revolutionized our lives over the past 20 years, the Internet of Things (IoT) promises another upheaval to the way we work in the years to come.
The Internet forever altered the way we communicate with each other and gather information in order to make decisions and run our lives. Acting on this framework, the IoT will enable machines, computers, appliances, industrial equipment and even built environments to transmit large amounts of data to cloud-based applications that will intelligently analyze and act upon it, often without human intervention.
As the IoT has begun to take hold, new technologies, such as the SiteSage energy and asset management system, now allow restaurants and convenience stores to maximize the lifetimes of assets such as kitchen equipment, HVAC systems, and lighting. The IoT allows these businesses to maintain an optimal level of service to their customers and enhance product quality while minimizing maintenance and capital costs by informing how they operate their facilities.
Remote monitoring with smartphones
For example, the manager of a large portfolio of restaurants may remotely monitor ovens and other cooking equipment so that cooking efficiency is optimized and consistent product quality is maintained. Sensors mounted on each piece of equipment wirelessly send data to the cloud, where automated analysis is performed, generating alerts and recommendations which are transmitted to computers and mobile devices. In addition, the IoT can be used to monitor energy usage and temperatures of HVAC equipment and obtain real-time notice of problems. With advanced analytics and access to internal HVAC diagnostics, the IoT can reduce maintenance costs and help avoid failure.
The real value of the IoT is in intelligently using the large amounts of data gathered by sensors to respond quickly, in real time. Responses could include automatically adjusting settings, sending alerts about potential malfunctions before they cause catastrophic shutdowns, troubleshooting existing problems–and even turning off a piece of equipment that’s not needed. Applications may remind operators when maintenance is required, let them know the correct procedures to take, and – ultimately – even order replacement parts or supplies automatically. Additionally, since food safety and product quality require constant vigilance, the IoT is a great vehicle for ensuring that these key factors are being addressed 24/7/365.
IOT increases food safety
In fact, the IoT is already making real strides in maintaining a safe food supply. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) mandates detailed monitoring, record-keeping and reporting for commercial food producers and suppliers, including restaurants. Equipment including refrigerators, ovens, and food warming equipment are being connected wirelessly to the cloud to provide real time reporting of temperature and other data.
Smart kitchen sensors allow managers to be alerted, in real time, of individual equipment and performance issues that could compromise food safety. The data is also used to archive records of cooking temperatures and times.
For example, to better harness the power of the IoT for kitchen management, you can use applications such as Powerhouse Dynamics’ new SiteSage Smart Kitchen module. This module enables wireless connection of ovens to the cloud-based platform, so that commercial kitchens can continuously and remotely monitor cooking temperatures to ensure product quality. The module also monitors refrigeration equipment and automates food safety reporting.
The IoT promises increased efficiency and productivity, as well as profits, by collecting, processing, filtering, sorting, and acting on the large amounts of data generated by and for all the equipment that make up a commercial enterprise.
To find out how to begin implementing the IoT at your convenience stores or restaurants, click here to learn more about SiteSage. To learn more about the new SiteSage Smart Kitchen Module, view our press release.