Use Case:
Cold Storage Temp/RH Monitoring in a Restaurant

Problem

After a well-known Italian restaurant in New England recently doubled its cold storage capacity to a total of eight large walk-in units, the owner recognized that he needed a more efficient way to adhere to state regulations that require dated logs to prove compliance with FDA guidelines for storing temperature-sensitive foods at a maximum temperature of 40°F. He had been relying on twice-daily temperature checks of built-in dial thermometers, but realized that: 1) manual recording took 1,260 hours of employee time per year; 2) a single thermometer didn’t accurately represent varying temperatures within the unit; and 3) the thermometers offered no record of temperature excursions or power outages that might occur when the restaurant was closed. Seeking a more efficient temperature-monitoring solution that would address these issues, the restaurant owner reached out to Onset.

Solution

Onset and the customer discussed a number of options and ultimately selected the cost-effective HOBOnet remote monitoring system. With the flexible web-enabled HOBO RX3000 station as its core component, the system works with wireless HOBOnet sensors that can transmit through the walls of the cold storage units to provide highly accurate air temperature and relative humidity (RH) data.

Data is accessed through HOBOlink, Onset’s innovative cloud-based software platform. With HOBOlink, users can: view temperature and RH readings from anywhere, at any time, via the internet; schedule automated delivery of data; and set up and manage alarm notifications that are automatically sent by text or email in the event that conditions exceed user-set thresholds.

Results

After installing a HOBO RX3000 station plus two wireless temp/RH sensors in each of the eight cold storage units, temperature readings are more reliable and the need for physical temperature checks has been eliminated, so employees are focused entirely on revenue-generating activities. And because the sensors also measure relative humidity, the restaurant is using that additional data to enable more informed decisions about system settings and smarter inventory management, such as storing humidity-sensitive items, like produce, in units with lower RH readings.

Most importantly, HOBOnet is providing the restaurant owner with some welcomed peace of mind. Not only did he become aware of a faulty refrigeration unit that he was able to fix immediately, but also HOBOnet contributed to his business’s bottom line. This occurred recently, when the restaurant
owner received a text alarm notification from HOBOlink in the middle of a stormy night, after a power surge had interrupted operation of one of the walk-in freezers. Because he was alerted to the problem so quickly, he was able to respond immediately by moving thousands of dollars worth of meat into an alternate freezer that was spared any effect from the power surge. Had the owner not received the alarm notification, the restaurant would have suffered a significant financial setback.

“We are thankful to have found Onset and HOBOnet. Installing the system was easy, not to mention affordable! We no longer waste time manually recording temperature, and can sleep well at night knowing that the system has our back if something goes wrong.”

Products Used

ProductHow it was used
HOBOnet remote monitoring systemFor continuous temp/RH monitoring of eight cold storage units
HOBO RX3000 stationFor instant access to temp/RH data
HOBOlinkTo view and manage data and send alarm notifications via text or email should conditions exceed user-set thresholds