Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Emerson forms cold chain division to fight food waste

Steve Rogerson
October 10, 2017



Following its acquisitions in cargo monitoring and building on its years of experience in food retail and food service, Emerson has formed a cold chain organisation focused on supporting temperature-sensitive and asset optimisation services when commercial goods are moved, stored or sold.
 
The Missouri company’s cold chain organisation will offer a total-channel approach to protect foods and other critical cargo every step along the cold chain, from grower and processor, to distributor and retailer.
 
As the cold chain has moved to the forefront in the fight to preserve food safety and freshness, Emerson has expanded its offering to help its customers navigate these problems. The stakes are high; $990bn is lost in food waste globally each year and keeping food fresh is a $32bn global investment in energy.
 
Energy management and maintenance intensity are major concerns of operators from the standpoint of profitability as well as their carbon footprint. Energy consumption in cold chains globally is only predicted to rise due to increasing population, with 40% of all foods requiring refrigeration and 15% of world fossil fuel energy used in food transport refrigeration.
 
“There are big challenges to solve with the amount of food wasted, revenues lost and energy consumed globally, and this is why we are expanding our role in safeguarding the cold chain,” said John Rhodes, newly named group president of cold chain for Emerson. “Organising our expertise and resources to focus on the cold chain and deliver unique solutions that help improve food quality, reduce energy use and optimise business effectiveness, will allow us to bring more value to our customers while making a positive impact on the environment.”
 
The new cold chain organisation is led by a team of long-time Emerson executives, including Rhodes who previously managed Emerson’s refrigeration business. Within the organisation there are four market-focused teams to solve problems and develop industry-specific offerings for food retail, food service, transportation and aftermarket distribution. These teams are led by Ed McKiernan in his new position of president of the cold chain business.
 
To accelerate development of cold chain technologies and services, group president Mark Dunson leads the company’s global electronics business.
 
“The digital and IoT approach Emerson brings to the industry are the next wave of tools that our customers can utilise to further enhance their brands, advance their management of food quality and waste, and boost their optimisation of critical infrastructure,” Dunson said. “Our focus on connected controls and monitoring services, twenty-plus years of data-driven insights, and recent investments in the cargo space make us an even stronger partner for customers looking to holistically manage and optimise their buildings, equipment and perishable inventory.”
 
Emerson, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a technology and engineering company in industrial, commercial and residential markets. It helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers increase production and protect personnel and the environment while optimising their energy and operating costs.