Autonomous monitoring of the quality of products

Worldwide, one third of all foodstuffs spoil before they reach the consumer. This is due to losses along the supply chain which are triggered by insufficient temperature monitoring. The current equipment measures only the air temperature, but not the actual temperature of the goods. The many different fruits and vegetables from different parts of the world also require different storage and temperature conditions during transport. This monitoring of these parameters is to be improved by the Intelligent Container. By constantly monitoring the quality of the goods, a better planning can be carried out and the goods can be delivered according to the First Expired First Out (dynamic FEFO) principle. In this case, the goods are delivered to the customer in a short period of time, while goods with longer durability are provided later or for more distant customers.

In order to enable continuous monitoring of product quality, appropriate sensors and technologies have been developed and tested. The objectives of the project were:


  • the improvement of the traceability of food products through autonomous monitoring of product quality
  • the avoidance of goods losses by dynamic FEFO in practice
  • the creation of durability models to predict temperature-dependent quality changes
  • the prototype implementation and practice tests of the ‘intelligent container’

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As part of the project, OTARIS developed mobile applications that supported the partners’ business processes. The goal was an economic, efficient and realistic integration of the intelligent container. In addition, the security concept was evaluated and developed with regard to the elements of the communication, sensor networks, and the entire system.

The project was completed successfully. Various follow-up projects were subsequently planned, with the first follow-up project already starting in 2013. The project was also being presented at various conferences.

Project duration: 01.07.2010 – 30.06.2013
Participating project partners:

  • aicas realtime
  • ATB Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie
  • BIBA
  • Cargobull Telematics
  • ComNets Kommunikationsnetze
  • Dole
  • ELBAU Elektronik Bauelemente GmbH Berlin
  • Microsoft Innovation Center Europe
  • IMSAS Institut für Mikrosensoren, -aktoren und -systeme
  • Abteilung Kommunikationselektronik des Instituts der Theoretische Elektrotechnik und Mikroelekronik

  • Lühn Transport und Lagerungsgesellschaft mbH
  • OHB Teledata Business Unit
  • OTARIS Interactive Services GmbH
  • ProSyst Software
  • RUNGIS express AG
  • SEEBURGER Business Integration
  • Texas Instruments
  • Working group Cold Chain Management der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

This project was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.