BT9's Xsense makes sense for New Zealand kiwi storage company

Allan Dawson of Aongatete Coolstores, a family owned storage and packaging company that caters for the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry has recently been using BT9's Xsense system.

Explaining his decision to implement the system, Allan says, "Aongatete Coolstores is a recognised leader in the adoption of new post harvest technology and quickly accepted the opportunity when it was presented by Zespri, who have provided the funding for the project."

The system involves the use of Radio Frequency Identification tags, which are placed in kiwifruit pallets at source. The tags are able to download, a continuously monitored temperature, at various points along the supply chain.

"The tags have a unique bar code, which enables the temperature data from each pallet to be identified," Allan says. "Location features have been developed and are integrated into the system - giving the pallet's position in addition to the temperature at any given time.

"This enables us to better understand what is actually happening with our fruit temperatures and, therefore, our inventory management at all parts of the supply chain."

Allan is quite clear that there has been great benefit gained from using the system.

"The Xsense information has made us aware that we are not always doing as well as we thought and this applies to the packhouse/coolstore environment as well as parts of the supply chain.

"In the packhouse/coolstore we have become more aware that some stores are more effective than others and also just how long it takes to re-restablish acceptable temperatures if pallets are temporarily removed from storage for any reason."

Allan concludes with a ringing endorsement for the Xsense system:

"Everyone in the fresh produce business appreciates how important the coolchain is but none more than those whose product is managed through a whole series of change points and movements in getting it from one side of the world to the other. In this regard the Xsense system is “casting” our coolchain management in a whole new light.

"This technology is a great tool which will guide improvement and accountability in all parts of the supply chain. Ultimately this will result in a better product for the consumer and better returns for the grower."

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