We want to be actively involved in the world and in technological developments. In addition to appliance sales, we want to take our business to the next level and offer our customers smart features for their refrigeration equipment, making it easier to use and maintain the equipment and providing a whole new level of data on the use of the equipment.
At the end of 2021, the ELY Centre awarded €35 800 to Suomen myymäläkaluste to support a project to develop the smart features of refrigeration appliances. The final product of the project, which was completed in August 2022, will enable easy and worry-free wireless monitoring of devices. The digitalisation of refrigeration equipment with intelligent features ensures the monitoring of the food cold chain and the optimal operation of refrigeration equipment. Temperature monitoring allows, for example, to react in time to abnormal temperature variations in the appliance through various automatic, self-set alarm values. Work on the theme will continue intensively even after the end of the project.
The project has received support from the European Union under the Sustainable Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.
From device sales to smart devices and services
The idea for the development project came from the observation that there were no refrigeration appliances with intelligent features available on the market, even though our survey showed that there was a strong interest in them. We wanted to meet the demand and fill a clear niche in order to serve our customers more widely!
The aim of the project was to move away from simply selling appliances to offering smart appliances and solutions by developing a range of refrigeration appliances with smart features already installed. We have successfully developed a product to offer our customers smart features to connect their refrigeration appliances, allowing them to monitor their temperature data wirelessly!
The product development of the project was the responsibility of Janne Hokkanen, our electrical specialist, and the development and productisation of the digital service package and the customer needs analysis was the responsibility of Sami Juutilainen, a sales manager who joined the company in the early stages of the project.
The device uses IOT technology.
Added value for customers
Digitising refrigerators with smart features makes it easier for users to monitor their appliance and keep it in optimal condition every day. At their best, the use of smart features in refrigeration appliances contributes to environmental and economic sustainability; they help to save energy consumption and thus reduce carbon emissions from the use of appliances, while proper maintenance and anticipation of maintenance needs significantly increases the lifetime of appliances. The service also adds value to the appliance owner by providing new data on the use of the refrigeration appliance.
Wireless temperature monitoring with temperature alarms anticipates equipment maintenance, extends equipment life and facilitates regulatory requirements for self-monitoring.
Development work continues
The development work started during the project will be continued after the end of the project, building on the results and experience gained from the project. The global shortage of components caught us by surprise, which inevitably affected the project’s implementation schedule. So far, the project has built prototype versions of the product and worked on their development. Productisation and marketing methods have been planned, and experimental marketing has also been carried out for individual customers.
We continue to develop temperature monitoring and plan to develop other additional intelligent services. The product developed during the project is expected to be launched in early 2023. We look forward to seeing what opportunities this new venture will open up for us in the future!
We will provide more information when we are ready to launch the product. We would be happy to tell you more about the development project and the intelligent features of the refrigerators!
Development work on the smart features of refrigeration appliances will continue after the project has ended.