Sunday, 31 March 2019


Major Fresh Produce Supplier Montague Conducts Airborne Bacteria & Ethylene Removal Trials

For 70 years Montague have been delivering fresh produce to the Australia market. Their reputation has seen them work with many leading food producers to store and distribute household brands, producing product that refreshes, inspires and satisfies.
Dedicated to delivering the absolute best in Australia’s fresh produce, Montague have always sought to implement the latest technology, such as introducing the first Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage into Australia in 1967.

Introduction to the Bio Turbo Solution 
However, like any other fresh food supplier, Montague are not immune to dealing with post-harvest spoilage and wastage of product, which is often a natural by-product of the environment that fresh produce is typically stored in. 

In what proved to be a timely occurrence, the team at FreshView approached Montague with a solution to help overcome these challenges - the Bio Turbo solution. Manufactured by Miatech, Bio Turbo’s patented four-stage purification system significantly reduces airborne bacteria, ethylene gas, mould spores and odour from any cold storage facility, making for longer lasting, fresher quality produce.

Putting the Technology to the Test 
The aim of this investigation would be to quantify the difference between a control, and a Bio Turbo-treated replicate. This would involve the tracking of total kgs /dollars of product at the commencement of the trial, versus the amount of product that was totally spoiled after a given period of treatment. 

The treatment replicate consisted of a 73 kg pallet of various fresh produce samples (valued at $179) left in a cold room in an atmosphere treated by the Bio Turbo unit (Fig.1). 

Acting as the control replicate, an air tight plastic tent was erected, which created an untreated atmosphere (Fig.2). 


This replicate, (also 73 kg) was sealed prior to turning on the Bio Turbo unit to ensure the atmosphere was not treated.

Other variables such as temperature and humidity were consistent between replicates to ensure no premature conditioning or ripening would occur. This was also done to prevent any unnecessary chilling injuries of the climacteric fruits, which may in turn result in unrepresentative levels of breakdown or spoilage.

The Results 
After the trial, conducted over a period of 16 days, the total kgs of produce lost in the control replicate was 15.16 kgs, equating to a value of $74.30. In the Bio Turbo treated environment, produce loss was only 7.85 kg valued at $38.50.


Montague have reported that they have certainly been impressed with the results seen from the Bio Turbo unit. There was roughly only half the spoilage from produce treated by the Bio Turbo solution, compared with produce that hadn’t been. 

The impact of this saving over the entire season is going to deliver a rapid return on investment for Montague.

Download
Download a PDF copy of Montague's Bio Turbo trial here


Want to know more?

Contact us today to to find out how Miatech's Bio Turbo product range can assist with your own application.

For this, and more or our post harvest technology solutions, visit www.FreshView.com.au 



Did you know?
Montague are opening a new 5,578m2 world class produce facility within the Brisbane Produce Market, Rocklea.
The facility boasts a fully automated, temperature-controlled environment with 24/7 monitoring, and energy-efficient building that houses all the latest and environmentally-friendly refrigeration technology. 


While Montague will utilise the facility for their own products, the building has been created to service the greater produce industry in general. For more information contact mql@montague.com.au

Wednesday, 23 January 2019













The Solar Flagships Program:

Pacific Data Systems Assists Transfield Services in Bid to Develop Solar Thermal Plant

Background:
In 2009 the Australian Federal Government announced the $1.5 billion Solar Flagship Program, an initiative designed to accelerate the delivery of large-scale, grid-connected solar power to the National Electricity Market. 

Collinsville Solar Limited, a subsidiary of Novatec Solar, the technology provider in the Transfield Consortium, is shortlisted to develop a 150MW solar thermal power station near Collinsville in Queensland.

An important component of the full application was a feasibility and design study which included the accurate collection of on-site solar irradiation data.

Our Solution

The requirements called for a remote and self powered ground station that would routinely monitor and log solar and weather data measured at the site. In conjunction with Collinsville Solar’s project consultant, Pacific Data Systems designed an innovative solar tracking station. 

Phase One - Design
By incorporating an active solar tracker  and pyrheliometer for monitoring direct solar irradiance, the solution constantly tracks the sun’s position. When cloud cover prevents monitoring of the sun’s azimuth and elevation, the solution is able to revert to passive tracking to ensure only a small degree of drift occurs. When the cloud clears, the solution reverts automatically to active tracking. 

A data logging solution with remote communications was incorporated into the design of the solution to enable recording of the solar radiation data as well as the air temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure and precipitation data gained through an additional weather sensor. 


Phase Two - Integration
Once the design phase of the project was complete, the Engineering Team at Pacific Data Systems commenced pre-installation integration works.As part of this process, programming of the dataTaker data logger was carried out to ensure Collinsville Solar would be able to easily download and interpret the results.  

Phase Three - Commissioning
In late August 2010, Paul Gapes from Pacific Data Systems, travelled to the Collinsville site to assist with the commissioning of the station.

Over the course of two days, Paul assisted a team of engineers to install the various components, ensuring that there was a seamless handover to Collinsville Solar.

The Result
Subsequent to commissioning, the ground station was put into immediate operation for measuring weather and solar radiation data and has been running since that time. 

The system runs autonomously yet will obviously be affected by environmental conditions like heat, dust, rain and strong winds and lack of sunlight during protracted cloudy conditions. At the times when technical maintenance is required, the good design and documentation of the system has allowed local technicians at the site to keep the system in good working order.
An important part of the integration process was the training of key client technologists for proper use of the system.


Key Components
The key technology supplied and configured by Pacific Data Systems included:-
dataTaker DT80 data logger
Vaisala WXT520 weather transmitter
3G data modem
Active Solar Tracker






About Pacific Data Systems

Since 1984, Pacific Data Systems has been providing the tools to help our customers gather the critical information needed to make faster and smarter choices.
In 1984, we began marketing a range of dataTaker data loggers and Texas Instruments technical computers to customers in the industrial, manufacturing, scientific, geophysical, engineering, mining and defence industries.
Today that same focus continues, but our range of products and services offered has expanded dramatically to include environmental monitoring solutions, data loggers and telemetry, rugged computers, breath alcohol and drug testing equipment, vehicle speed monitoring and audio visual technologies.
We consult with our customers to provide them with the latest technology to lower the total cost of ownership and assist in managing and maximising their organisations' performance and capabilities.
Pacific Data Systems draws on our in-house engineering and software development experience to design turn-key customised solutions so that our customers can start using their new systems immediately.
We have a proven record in the design, construction and commissioning of customised solutions for environmental monitoring, process control, monitors for energy, water or gas and more.
Whatever your project, Pacific Data Systems can help you.

For more information visit www.pacdatasys.com.au

Monday, 17 December 2018










Pasture Legume Trials Increase Pasture & Livestock Productivity

‘...the SatVUE solution has provided them with significant improvements to operational procedure, thanks to improved data visibility. Upon conclusion of the trials, they will be looking to implement the SatVUE system across multiple sites that they operate from.’

The use of pasture legume as high protein and energy feed for cattle is also increasing paddock performance and profitability from grazing animals in Northern Australia.


Pasture legumes offer a highly palatable natural source of protein and high energy food source, which ultimately converts to higher weight gains in cattle livestock. 

The benefit of this is that when cattle reach target weights sooner, the producer can increase the rate of stock turnover, resulting in more beef per hectare. 

In addition to growing across pastures naturally, legume seeds are also added to cattle feed stock. This, in turn, is then distributed by the cattle during defecation - a process known as faecal seeding. 

This process provides even more high-quality forage and reduces the need for additional supplementation.



Measuring Resourcefulness & Profitability
As part of ongoing trials in resourcefulness and profitability, one of Northern Australia’s most innovative beef producers approached Pacific Data Systems with a requirement to monitor rainfall, wind speed/direction, temperature, relative humidity and soil moisture. This was done in order to closely monitor and optimise the productivity and growth performance of pastoral legume.Factors that the client needed to monitor during the trials were:• soil moisture available during the planting process and at what levels
• at what soil moisture levels will legume plants start to wilt/stop vegetative growth 
• what soil moisture levels are needed for germination for different planting methods
• how deep is the penetration of rain and the amount of rain in the different soil types – sandy/loam/clay 
• the effect of low/high temperature on vegetative growth


Technology that delivers - remotely!
At the heart of the monitoring system is the SatVUE Smart Remote Monitoring Solution. 

The SatVUE was chosen due to its satellite communications which provide reliable, up-to-date reporting where 3G / 4G infrastructure is otherwise unstable or non-existent. 

Weather and soil moisture data is sent on an hourly basis, which provides up-to-date visibility both ‘back at base’ and offsite via a remote web portal. 
SatVUE technology - satellite communications ensure reliable remote access

Alert capabilities ensure timely response

Alarms have also been programmed into the SatVUE system enabling email alerts to be sent to site staff should any predetermined should any thresholds be breached.

The Result?
The client reports that the SatVUE solution has provided them with significant improvements to operational procedure, thanks to improved data visibility. 

They are confident that upon conclusion of the trials, they will be looking to implement the SatVUE system across multiple sites that they operate from.The Benefits
• provides greater visibility during the trials conducted 
• custody of data and minimisation of data transposition errors 
• remote access from any web-enabled device 
• ease of installation
Monitor Multiple Sites via a single Remote Web Portal

Download
Download a PDF copy of this case study here




Have other applications? Due to its flexible sensor integration the SatVUE solution is ideal for monitoring.
Water - ground, surface, waste, irrigation, bores, tanks, turkey’s nests, pipelines, channels, streams or dams for levels, quality, evaporation, flow & pressure; seawater for quality, currents & tides. 

Air - for dust, gases, temperature, humidity, pressure, solar radiation, wind speed & direction. 

Soil - for moisture & contaminants. 

Oil, gas, & other fluids - in pipelines and tanks for levels and pumps for status & control & more! 

Want to know more?

For more information on the SatVUE solution, visit www.SatVUE.com.au

Wednesday, 7 November 2018


Leading mining company reactivates mine site - employs cost-effective telemetry solution to assist with EPA compliance.

One of Australia’s leading independent coal exploration and mining companies recently re-engaged one of their mine sites from caretaker to ‘active’ status.  

After a number of inactive years, a lot of equipment needed either repair or replacement to comply with both operational and EPA requirements. 

One such concern raised by the EPA was the existing water quality monitoring equipment - specifically used for monitoring waste water runoff. 

With waste water potentially passing over the spillway and into surrounding waterways during significant rainfall events, this could potentially impact negatively upon the surrounding environment. It is therefore crucial to continually monitor the water quality prior to such an event occurring.

Initial estimates obtained by the mining company determined that to it would cost somewhere in the vicinity of $40K to repair the existing water quality monitoring equipment on site. 

The Solution

They turned to Pacific Data Systems for a solution.

PDS were able to provide a complete new water quality monitoring solution utilising their PDS’ SatVUE satellite telemetry solution. The sensors integrated with the SatVUE solution included pH, Turbidity, EC, water depth and flow rate. 

All equipment as supplied for less than a 1/4 of the cost previously quoted to repair the existing equipment. 

Yielding immediate results
Since installing the SatVUE system, the mining company is receiving up-to-date data that can be viewed via a remote web portal, which makes data visible even when off site. 

Alarm functionality is included should any predetermined thresholds be reached when monitoring the aforementioned parameters.

The company is also experiencing peace of mind, that they are complying with EPA requirements, and not impacting negatively on the surrounding environment.
Planning ahead
As a result of how well the initial deployment has gone, the company is already looking to employ the SatVUE unit solution across several of their other mine sites.



Download
Download a PDF copy of this case study here




SatVUE - Technology that delivers remotely!

Developed by Pacific Data Systems, SatVUE is a compact, rugged device which collects and transmits data via the Inmarsat global satellite network.

PDS had initially developed their SatVUE technology for use within the mining industry, but due to the device’s ability to integrate with a wide range of sensors / transmitters, they had since expanded their focus to also assist with monitoring applications within construction, agricultural and other environmental sectors.

At a cost of just 50c per monitoring site, per day for data transmission it makes for a very cost-effective solution, and frees-up personnel to focus on other tasks onsite.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018


Ethylene & Airborne Pathogen Removal: Zimbabwean Fruits Exporter Reduces Citrus Decay to Less Than 2 Percent

“We have done a few trials with the clementines which were packed in week 19...Four cartons were pulled out in week 33 (14 weeks after packing) and checked for mold and fruit unfit for sale. There was less than 1 % decay".

John Perrot
General Manager (Forrester Citrus Zimbabwe)

Forrester Estate from Zimbabwe evaluates the efficiency of Miatech`s Bio Turbo – solution for removing ethylene and airborne pathogens in cold rooms to understand the possibility of expanding market operations.

About 90% of citrus losses are caused by a single type of fungus called “Penicillium digitatum”, more commonly known as “Green Mold”. One infected fruit is enough to generate billions of spores which fly around the cold room infecting healthy fruit items. This was no exception with Forrester Estate. 

The company produces clementines, lemons, and vegetable peas for export to Europe. They faced issues with mold spreading on many fruits and vegetables, especially the citrus fruit. There were also problems with ethylene causing fast ripening, shrivelling, and unpleasant decay odor.

Effective, Patented Technology

Bio Turbo uses patented four-stage air purification process which effectively removes ethylene and 99.5% of airborne bacteria. 

Although Bio Turbo technology uses Ozone in one of its four stages to destroy ethylene and airborne pathogens, ozone is never released into the cold room, which makes Bio Turbo technology completely safe for humans, creating a better and safer work environment for people too. 

Decay Reduced from 25% to under 2%
After more than 2 years of continuous use and good results, they decided to conduct trials to evaluate the efficiency of Bio Turbo.
John Perrot, General Manager of Forrester Citrus Zimbabwe wrote a letter to Coldroom Ozone (Pvt) Ltd – our Miatech dealer in Zimbabwe, where he described in detail their findings. 

“We have done a few trials with the clementines which were packed in week 19 (7th may). Four cartons were pulled out in week 33 (14 weeks after packing) and checked for mold and fruit unfit for sale. There was less than 1 % decay.
The fruit was checked again in another 4 cartons in Week 42 (17th October) still we found less than 2% decay. Before Forrester purchased a Bio Turbo we would face 25% decay in any stored fruit. 

The Bio Turbo has changed our approach to store more fruit for the regional markets for clementines and lemons”, tells John Perrot.

Download
Download a PDF copy of this case study here

*article originally published Oct 30, 2018 on freshplaza.com 



Want to know more?


Contact us today to to find out how Miatech's Bio Turbo product range can assist with your own application.

For this, and more or our post harvest technology solutions, visit www.FreshView.com.au 

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Consultant helps mining company cut remote monitoring costs by 80%



Consultant helps mining company cut remote monitoring costs by 80%

‘We looked at a few options at the time, but none fitted our needs. Radio transmission meant setting up and maintaining a string of stations over kilometers of rough terrain, which was out of the question cost-wise, and the other satellite-based systems used outdated technology that needed a lot of tinkering to make work. SatVue looked like exactly what we needed - elegant, smart, fast to install, up and transmitting in seconds and cost-effective to run’
John Carson
Senior Hydrogeologist

ConsultCorp* is a global group which provides practical solutions for companies involved in mining, infrastructure, energy, urban growth and natural resources. In this case, its client was a major mining company.

High cost and risk

The mine’s location was the first challenge, being situated in inaccessible, mountainous terrain which was out of 3G and 4G network coverage and right next door to sensitive environmental areas.

As part of its environmental governance commitment, the company needed to monitor groundwater levels at seven sites around the mine, monitoring continuously but collecting data once per week.
  

To meet this requirement, ConsultCorp sent two of its people to site each week. This was costly for its client and risky for ConsultCorp’s people, especially in extreme weather which was known to include snow.


Expensive or outdated  
As the senior hydrogeologist, John Carson said, ‘We looked at a few options at the time, but none fitted our needs. Radio transmission meant setting up and maintaining a string of stations over kilometers of rough terrain, which was out of the question cost-wise, and the other satellite-based systems used outdated technology that needed a lot of tinkering to make work.’

Elegant, smart and fast to install
Carson decided to call Thermofisher Scientific, a leading provider of specialist equipment, who recommended Pacific Data Systems, who had been developing monitoring systems for three decades. At the time, PDS was developing satellite-based system called SatVue which was based on advanced technology and was an off-the-shelf ‘plug & play’ device
As Carson says, ‘SatVue looked like exactly what we needed - elegant, smart, fast to install, up and transmitting in seconds and cost-effective to run. More than that we could be involved in its final design, which was very valuable '. ConsultCorp worked with PDS’s R&D team in the final stages of development, and ended up choosing the SatVue bore model for its mining client.


True to specs

Carson’s role has since changed and it was another Senior Hydro-geologist, Justin Laird, who oversaw the implementation of the new SatVue system across the client’s seven sites. 

Laird said that, although it needed a little fine-tuning beforehand to convert pressure readings to water levels, the actual SatVue installation was very fast: ‘It took only about five minutes, most of which was the physical installation. The SatVue device took seconds to work: we just hit the power button’.

80% reduction in costs

Looking back, Laird is quick to point out the impact of automated remote monitoring for his mining client. For him, it wasn’t just a matter of money, but one of safety too.

‘We used to send two of our guys out every week and they’d take a whole day to get around all seven sites. Now it’s costing us less than $30 a month for satellite. Including the initial capex, that’s a saving of over 80%, and our guys aren’t being put at risk anymore, too.’


Monitor Multiple Sites via a single Remote Web Portal


‘SatVue does what it says’

Laird says that the device does exactly what PDS said it would and the payback was spot on too: ‘Satvue does what it says – reliable, continuous cost-effective monitoring – and the payback was under three months just as PDS said’.
Laird expects that site visits won’t be a thing of the past entirely, but will be reduced by 99%.  He expects that ConsultCorp will probably visit the sites every two years to replace the batteries, but feels it’s a small price to pay, in comparison to the expense and risk of the previous routine.
Download
Download a PDF copy of this case study here

*This client has asked for names to be changed for privacy reasons




To contact us regarding this solution, visit www.pacdatasys.com.au or the SatVUE product website at www.SatVUE.com.au

Tuesday, 16 October 2018



Diesel Engine Condition Monitoring

‘...the organisation is now able to expand their business opportunites to reach clientele operating equipment from remote locations...’
An established organisation who specialises in diesel engine reconditioning and protection systems sought to add remote access, and improve visibility, when it came to real-time monitoring of engine parameters.

It is important to monitor the condition of diesel engines to ensure they are running under optimum conditions, and not under any stress. This involves monitoring pressure, temperature, liquid level, overspeed, time and vibration. 

When certain predetermined thresholds are reached, it is important to respond quickly, a process best handled by automating start/stop functionality to control the engine under these measured conditions. 

An integral part of the organisation’s business is the manufacture of Control Panel displays - solutions that monitor, control & display (locally) real-time diesel engine conditions.
Control Panel - data now accessible remotely

Remote visibility allows rapid response

One major challenge the organisation faces is that a significant number of their clients have their diesel engines deployed in remote locations, and thus, it is often the case that local workers are not always onsite to monitor engine performance - and those that are may be not be adequately trained to respond!

The organisation felt that by adding a remote ‘watchdog’ service, this would allow swift - and correct - action to be taken should any issues arise with diesel engine performance.
This is a service which would significantly reduce operational costs to their clients.
Technology that delivers - remotely!
Another challenge encountered was that many of the remote monitoring sites were outside of reliable - or non-existent - 3G infrastructure. It is for this reason that the organisation turned to the SatVUE Smart Remote Monitoring Solution. 

With the condition monitoring sensors already included as part of the Control Panel system, the role of the SatVUE is three-fold; handling the two-way satellite communications, enabling remote access via secure, user-defined web portal, and added alarm functionality.

Alert capabilities ensure timely response
By monitoring the parameters output by the Control Panel, the SatVUE has been programmed to email alerts to multiple staff, in the event of any predetermined thresholds being breached.

The Result?
Since the implementation of the remote access SatVUE solution, benefits are being reaped by both the organisation and their clients. 

Firstly, the organisation is now able to expand their business opportunities to reach clientele operating equipment from remote locations, and secondly, with the diesel engine conditions monitored automatically and remotely, their clients are free to focus on other operational tasks at a local level.They are now looking to implement the SatVUE system as a solution to any further remote monitoring requirements.

Monitor Multiple Sites via a single Remote Web Portal
The Benefits
• expanded business opportunites to reach clientele operating equipment from remote locations 
• remote visibility reduces need for manual site inspections 
• custody of data and minimisation of data transposition errors 
• remote access from any web-enabled device 
• ease of installation

Download
Download a PDF copy of this case study here
*This client has asked for names to be changed for privacy reasons






To contact us regarding this solution, visit www.pacdatasys.com.au