PronGO: Temperature Controlled Logistic Solution

 

To deliver a solution, one has to first identify the problem. One such problem for a company dealing with manufacturing and distribution of Ice-creams is how to ensure ice-cream remains frozen till it is consumed! While it may sound trivial, 7 out of 10 Ice-cream manufacturers will testify temperature maintenance to be the biggest problem than any other identified issue. As per our experience of interacting with ice-cream manufacturers, more than 80 per cent manufactures either outsource the transportation to a third party vendor or use a diesel operated refer truck fleet; both ways it’s an EXPENSIVE operation. If for some time, logistics is to be removed from the scene, problems such as frequent power-cuts and fluctuating weather provide a risk to these temperature sensitive products also. Be it inter-state or inter-city transportation, any ice-cream person: be a manufacturer, retailer or the consumer would want ice cream to melt in his mouth rather than during transportation. The rich and smooth texture of the ice-cream can only be saved if through the entire life-span of the ice-cream the temperature is maintained between -20 to -18 OC.

Current Challenges How PronGO® helps
Spoilage due to poor temperature control PronGO solutions use Phase change technology; using latent heat of the PCM it maintains desired temperature for the entire retention time.
High initial and operating Cost PCM based technology solution tends to be a little expensive in the initial investment. Due to almost negligible operating Cost, the payback period is less than 2 years
Limited Distribution radius PronGO® Solution removes the gap between the ideal distribution radius and current distribution radius by identifying the correct amount of PCM to be used in the solution.

Table1: Current Challenges in the logistic system and Solution Provided by PronGO® Solution

 

 

PronGO® logistics solution identifies need of temperature maintenance at every step of cold chain logistic infrastructure.  It’s a complete temperature controlled logistics solution for every kind of distribution be it from manufacturing facility to distributor to retailer or to the consumer. Being versatile in nature, it can be easily customized and fits in the operational requirement of every individual, it is cost effective and easy to maintain & operate.


Figure 1: PronGO® Solution and its three components

 

 

Component 1 PCM (Phase changing Materials): A phase change material absorbs energy, stores it in the form of latent heat and utilizes wherever necessary. They maintain constant temperature while changing their physical form i.e. from liquid to solid or vice versa. Phase changing being a reversible process, the high energy density behaves as a thermal reservoir which can be used repeatedly.

 

Component 2 Roto-Molded Insulated Container Any PCM without a good insulation lacks in its performance. Roto-molded Insulated containers have at least 25 mm PUF insulation, which acts the first shield between varying temperatures (i.e. internal and ambient). An insulation therefore increase the efficiency of the PCM, thus resulting in longer retention time i.e. increased distribution radius.

Component 3 PronGO® Charging Station:  A charged PCM utilizes its latent heat of phase change which is approximately 100 times higher than its sensible heat. Therefore for deriving the best performance a PCM has to be completely solidified before using it. For complete and effective charging it is preferred to use a Plate freezer.

 

 Graph1: Temperature validation graph of a 50 liter Roto-molded box

 

Given the market size potential and accepting the fact that demand will be ever-growing; a novel technology and innovation makes way for Ice-cream transportation. This new solution will not only reduce the wastage of ice-creams in their transit time but also retain the quality of the ice-cream before it reaches its consumer. In a nutshell: The need of including this novel technology and adopting it in the existing transportation solution will address the most important issues of cost, timely delivery, wastage, quality, distribution radius and above all sustainability objectives.

Temperature validation for -15 to -25 Deg C in a 50, 100 and a 150 Liter roto-molded insulated box in an ambient of constant 30 Deg C proves that your ice-cream is safe and temperature maintained. The PronGo® Logistic solution comes in a set of insulated box and the required amount of PCM thermotab certified for a specific temperature retention. We have created a solution with pre-defined amount of PCM which gives temperature maintenance of -15 to -25 Deg C for around 16 hours.

Table2: Range and Specification

 

Conclusion:

Use of PCM as the temperature specific logistics solution provides the following advantages;

  1. Precise temperature backup: greatly increases the available protection against adverse low and high environmental temperatures.
  2. More Payload: without affecting the thermal performance, we can increase the payload, thanks to PCM technology.
  3. Low Shipment/Consignment Weight: similar to payload volume, a reduction in total system weight could be achieved by using PCM, while maintaining thermal performance.
  4. Easy to Use: there are only two components to be placed i.e. the roto-molded insulated box and the PCM thermotab, making assembly simpler and faster.
  5. Lower Cost: with a Payback of less than 2 years and remaining years of saving is achieved as the operating cost of PCM is very less when compare to other conventional solutions.
  6. Increased Distribution radius: greater retention is a virtue of high latent heat of the PCM.
  7. Decreased Wastage: with precise temperature maintenance, no perishable item is wasted.

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