Current, powered by GE, and the industrial internet of things company IMS Evolve formed a strategic partnership this week to offer energy-saving IoT solutions to the food retail sector.
The companies say their solution for cold chain management combines IMS Evolve’s integration and automation capabilities with Current’s Daintree lighting control and sensor data aggregation, helping global retailers lower operational costs, increase profits, and improve food quality.
In a case study for a client identified as a “leading retailer,” Current and IMS Evolve say the retailer saved $2.9 million on energy through scheduled lighting, had a 137,000-Mwh reduction across a six-month energy pilot, and saw $7 million in energy savings across a single refrigeration initiative.
This retailer also saw a 30% reduction in customer complaints about fresh produce, a 40% reduction in reactive maintenance calls, and a 49% reduction in stock loss from machine failure.
A separate example the companies provided said that a U.S. regional grocer that recently installed the combined IMS/Current solution across about 200 stores is on track to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in the next few months “simply by identifying and removing excess defrost cycles in refrigeration cases.”
This customer estimates that the project will save more than $1.2 million annually on refrigeration, HVAC, and lighting-related energy combined, Current and IMS Evolve said.
The IMS Evolve IIoT platform integrates with existing refrigeration, lighting, and HVAC infrastructure and systems, offering access to real-time, fleet-wide actionable data on a single platform, the two companies say. In addition, IMS’ software can run natively on Current’s wireless area controller. “Leveraging Current’s platform enables enterprise-scale deployments with minimal capital costs for the retailer and zero disruption to sales,” the partners added.
Current will also provide project management support, including systems engineering and IT services, in the new partnership.
“As the grocery industry progresses from manual to fully-integrated and automated controls, food retailers will see a marked drop in the operational costs it takes to efficiently keep food quality high while delivering an excellent customer experience,” said Colleen Calhoun, head of software solutions and chief marketing officer at Current.