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Cold Chain Trends

Take a look at five major trends shaping the cold chain industry and changing the way companies process, store, ship and sell food.

 

Food around the world is changing—driven by consumer demands and innovations in transportation and storage. From the quality of ingredients to how food is imported and exported, consumers expect more than ever before. While healthy eating is great, this trend is pushing the limits of the current cold chain technologies.

What is a cold chain? A cold chain is a temperature controlled supply chain that allows for an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities that maintain a given temperature based on needs. In other words, it keeps food safe for consumption from warehouse to store.

Over the past two years, cold chain warehouses have grown 20 percent globally, according to Foodlogistics.com, and they continue to evolve. Here’s a look at five major trends shaping the cold chain industry and changing the way companies process, store, ship and sell food.

 

1. Food quality demands rise in the U.S.

There is an increase in the food quality that people demand and eat. In the U.S., for instance, sales of organic food and organic non-food products broke a record in 2014, totaling $39 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year. Organic sales now near a milestone five percent share of the total food market, according to the Organic Trade Association, in Washington, DC. The organic dairy sector posted an almost 11 percent jump in sales in 2014 to $5.4 billion, the biggest percentage increase for that category in six years, according to the association. Organic and other healthy foods tend to be more perishable, require additional care and temperature precision during delivery and in store.

At the same time, the import and export of food is at an all-time high, which means delivery distances are longer, requiring solutions for air and boat shipping as well as the typical truck shipping. Because of these new challenges, temperature requirements for shipments have changed, going from 3 zones of temperatures per shipment to 5 zones of temperatures per shipment, reports Inboundlogistics.com. This means new technology to ensure that food arrives safely.

 

2. Emerging market consumers also demand quality

Consumers in countries such as China, India and Brazil are also demanding fresh foods, and they’re buying fresh produce both from within their own countries and imported from other parts of the world. With this shift in eating comes the need for new cold chain systems that match the distribution channels, transportation infrastructure, and buying patterns in each country. Already companies selling healthy foods in China and India face a challenge when it comes to refrigeration. Worldwide there is an estimated 552 million cubic meters of refrigerated warehouse space, and that’s up 20 percent versus 2012, according to Foodlogistics.com. However, refrigeration warehouse space in China and India—the world’s two most populous nations—represents a meager part of that number, less than one percent of total refrigerated warehouse space, according to a report by the International Trade Administration. There is work to be done if safe eating habits are to become the new normal in these countries.

 

3. Food regulations are on the rise

In the U.S., five years ago, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act. As part of that act, earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released rules that cover farmers who grow fresh produce, as well as food importers.

The Food Safety Modernization Act requires that every distributor, warehouse and store document every step of the food supply chain. This demands impeccable record keeping and quick access to data. Companies must be able to have travel times, temperatures, locations and hundreds of other pieces of information at the snap of a finger. Better technology is the only way to ensure that recall systems are reliable and efficient.

 

4. Cold chain grows in coverage

Cold chain technology is no longer just about getting products safely from warehouse store, it also now covers keeping them fresh in-store. In the U.S. alone, over 3,700 items are in the frozen food aisle. The perimeter of the store (produce, seafood, meat, bakery, dairy and deli) now accounts for more than half of grocery sales. Keeping these products fresh and safe for consumption is important not only for health reasons, but to keep the bottom line of the business healthy.

And finally, cost and energy efficiency continue to be a concern. Stores that aren’t energy efficient are expensive to operate. What’s more, eco-friendly consumers are looking to buy from companies that follow sustainable practices.

So what is being done to address these changes? Tons. Take new cold chain retail solutions that deliver comprehensive approaches rather than single products. This end-to-end approach helps stores manage the entire cold chain process rather than having to piece together machines to create their own chain and reporting systems.

New features like LED lighting, air conditioning and surveillance systems are being added to the chain. A complete chain features the following:

  • CFC-free Freezer Systems – CFC-free freezer systems are equipped with technology that controls the delivery pressure of refrigerants. It’s lighter and more compact than before and will require less construction to install.
  • Condensing Unit Showcases for Supermarkets – A new temperature control system, less vulnerable to atmospheric changes, keeps food at a level temperature. This enables food quality management by maintaining a proper temperature, and prevents the loss of energy by cover cooling. This technology, in part with a CO2 exclusive refrigerator, is another new way to help keep the cold chain efficient. Additionally, by equipping with LED lighting, improving cooling efficiency and eco-conscious glass doors, the showcases can generate a 30 percent savings in energy.
  • A Store Controller – An innovative store controller can connect and centrally control a wide range of store equipment from showcases, freezers, air conditioning to lighting. New products will regulate store equipment. To help meet government requirements, all of these products will be hooked up to cloud data management, a service that will enable customers to remotely monitor and control the equipment, as well as download and share data.
  • Remote Data Service for Stores. A sophisticated Remote Data Service provides functions necessary for store operation by connecting via the Internet to a cloud service to allow for data management and sharing. This saves energy by making temperature and energy consumption visible. It also quickly notifies customers of temperature or equipment anomalies and contributes to food safety and security.

All combined, these innovations make for a more efficient cold chain—with readily available data. The means more cost-effective for stores, and most importantly, healthier and safer for consumers. Learn more at From Farm to Table: Comprehensive Cold Chain Solutions at http://news.panasonic.com/global/stories/2015/43904.html

 

Credit-Yasuhiro Shibata is the assistant director, cold chain business division, Panasonic Corp. For more information, visit http://news.panasonic.com/global/stories/2015/43904.html.

DELTA Microelectronics Brings Turnkey Services to North America

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DELTA Microelectronics Renews  Joint Alliance with ChipStart

July 1, 2015 - COPENHAGEN, Denmark & OAKVILLE, Ontario & PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ChipStart LLC, a leading developer of semiconductor intellectual property (SIP), and DELTA Microelectronics, a leader in ASIC services for the semiconductor industry, have renewed their partnership to bring the power of innovation to the market through a joint relationship. The relationship will involve the sale, marketing and North American representation of DELTA’s turnkey design services, including its production and test capabilities through ChipStart. Globalfoundries Inc. is a major silcon foundry partner of DELTA Microelectronics.

 

“We are extremely pleased to be in a position to take advantage of DELTA’s intimate knowledge of the mobile payment, RFID and sensor markets and to be able to offer their extensive portfolio of solutions,” said Howard Pakosh, President and Chief Executive Officer, ChipStart. “By officially recognizing this partnership, we are continuing to grow our capabilities and services giving our customers the tools necessary to develop next generation technologies.”

“DELTA Microelectronics is happy to team with ChipStart. Their portfolio is complementary to DELTA’s, so we expect that our customers can gain significant synergies from this cooperation,” comments DELTA’s Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Gert Jørgensen.

ChipStart will promote DELTA Microelectronics’ ASIC Design Services to system houses and semiconductor communities throughout North America, with the specific focus on SoC's used in the areas of mobile payment systems, RFID, optical systems and sensor systems.

About ChipStart

ChipStart is a semiconductor intellectual property solution company based in Palo Alto, California. ChipStart provides development, sales, marketing, and support engagement solutions for companies that require semiconductor intellectual property solutions, and support design services for ASIC and fabless semiconductor companies. ChipStart solutions are used as critical components of communications, consumer and computing products including switches, routers, modems, cellular phones, set-top boxes, HDTVs, DVD players and PCs.

About DELTA Microelectronics

With over 25 years experience, DELTA Microelectronics is a European leader in ASIC services for the semiconductor industry. DELTA’s comprehensive turnkey services include ASIC design, layout, test development, package development and assembly, components supply, logistics and supply chain management. DELTA’s development and production facilities are based in Denmark and the United Kingdom, with service partners throughout Europe and Asia. For more information, visit asic.madebydelta.com.

Tags: System IP, Processor, SoC, turnkey, design services, embedded vision alliance, ASIC, IC design

SoC System Manager (SSM) Assists with Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Applications

ChipStart has published additional information on SSM (SoC System Manager) in the members area. To access this information, click HERE.

SSM is a hardware-software “subsystem” IP which decouples SoC system management functions, such as power, security, error recovery, and boot sequencing, from the specific design, and consolidates these tasks, promoting high reuse and faster hardware-software integration. Add SSM virtualization to you SoC architecture and save time and money.

SSM Assists with SDN Applications

Tags: SSM, SDN, System IP, Processor, NoC, network-on-chip, on chip, bus

IP Licensing Survey

GSA IP Licensing Best Practices Survey Global Semiconductor Alliance

It has been documented that the semiconductor IP (SIP) licensing period can take more than 22 weeks! GSA's IP Working Group is attempting to reduce the negotiation time and cost required to complete an average SIP licensing agreement by collecting information from IP suppliers and buyers. It is believed that if both sides of the negotiation table have a better understanding for what is reasonable and customary, then the negotiation process will be easier.

GSA is conducting a quarterly survey to gather data and publish results to aid in the semiconductor IP negotiation process between buyers and suppliers. The aggregated results will only be available to quarterly participants and all data will be kept confidential (i.e., participants will not be mentioned by name or company name).

The survey is currently open for all CYQ2 IP contract negotiations (April 1, 2011 - June 30, 2011).

DEADLINE: August 31, 2011 11:59PM CST

Survey