Auckland is home to 55 percent of New Zealand’s food outlets and the Council has responsibility for ensuring their compliance with the Food Management Act.
This includes making sure that food outlets are checking the temperature of their refrigerators to make sure they are within the required limits.
With the help of Hitachi the council has developed a system that uses sensors in the fridges communicating to Hitachi’s cloud based Lumada analytics platform.
Auckland Council’s ICT manager, Mark Denvir, told Computerworld NZ that the previous system had been to manually check that food outlets were keeping logs showing that there were monitoring refrigerator temperatures with the required frequency. Often that was with pen and paper. If we are lucky, an Excel spread sheet,” he said.
Denvir was speaking with CWNZ at Hitachi’s Next 2017 event in Las Vegas at which the company announced a new IoT focussed subsidiary, Hitachi Vantara, that combines the former Hitachi Data Systems, data analytics subsidiary Pentaho — acquired by Hitachi in 2015 – and the IoT-focussed Hitachi Insight Group formed in 2016 to handle Hitachi newly-announced IoT platform, Lumada.
Denvir told CWNZ: “I like what Hitachi is doing with Lumada. It is open in the sense that it plays nicely with everybody. There are a lot of other IoT capabilities but they are quite restrictive, you have to use their entire stack. With Lumada you can use their entire stack or replace almost any part of it with somebody else’s.”
He said the fridge monitoring was one of number of early council IoT initiatives, but said the council was working on an overarching strategy to avoid creating silos and to ensure, that – subject to privacy and confidentiality constraints – data gathered from one project could be used with others.
For example, he said the council has put in place a program under which it monitors water quality at Auckland beaches to check for pollution. “But we cannot use that data for any other use cases. So we have taken a step back: we have to be scalable.”
He said the council was hoping to release an overarching smart city strategy and an IT strategy by year-end.
The author attended Hitachi Next 2017 as a guest of the company