My favorite piece of (digital) equipment:

The RM-200.

I swear I’m not getting paid for this. In fact, I happily paid full price for the one I use. This post is dedicated to one of the great loves of my day job, and one of the benefits of being able to control the final design of my plant:  The RM-200.

The RM-200 is a temperature monitoring and logging system made by a company called Kitchen Brains.  It uses probes and wireless data readers to log temperatures of various types - cooler temps, room temps, even smoker temps.  It can read hot, cold, and everything in between and logs that information onto the remote server - or THE CLOUD...  There are other remote logging products out there - I just was enticed by the fact that with the RM-200, I wouldn’t have to manually download anything, and all the data would be safely stored on the cloud.

Kitchen Brains’ customers are mostly restaurants and retail markets.  When I was looking for remote temperature monitoring for Alleghany Meats, I found their product and had a sneaking suspicion that it would translate perfectly into a meat processing setting.  And I was right!  As far as I know, Alleghany Meats is the first meat processor to use this product.  You can bet that wherever I go in the future, I’ll be using it again.

Through a web-based account management system, you can log on, check the temperatures at any time, print reports, graphs, and data going back... forever!  This allows you to limit the amount of logging you must take manually.  If your USDA inspector asks, you can pull up any time and date needed, print, and hand it over.  No more filing of temp graphs and logs.  It’s all stored remotely and accessible from any computer, phone, or tablet.  

The other benefit of this system is that it sends alerts.  When the set parameters and control points are broken, the system will send an alert via email or text, or both.  This gives you peace of mind, as well as helps in the negotiations with your insurance premiums.  Knowing that you can identify and potentially fix the problem with your cooler or freezer before it affects your product is a money and stress saver.  Although it is somewhat obnoxious leaving home at 11:30 pm to check on a freezer that had been on a warming trend over the previous three hours and had finally broken the parameter of 20 degrees, it is a lot better than discovering a cooler full of warm meat in the morning.  I drove over to the plant, fiddled with the controls to the freezer, and fixed the problem.  Instead of finding a 60 degree cooler in the morning, I was able to save any of our product from thawing, keeping me from having to conduct a thorough analysis and loads of paperwork for the USDA.  

My excitement is almost palpable as evidenced by my uncontrollable enthusiasm in this (very cue carded) sales video from Kitchen Brains.  Hollywood, here I come.  Enjoy!