Tracking system developed in record time

Tracking system developed in record time

Arctic Seaweed, which grows seaweed and kelp, needed a tracking system to gain better control over production, quality and stock. They have just started using the first edition of the new solution developed by Digitread Connect.

Arctic Seaweed was founded in 2016 and, since then, has developed innovative solutions for growing seaweed and kelp which has enabled it to become commercially profitable in a high-cost country like Norway.

“The process needs to be industrialized and automated, only then can we produce a large enough volume at a price that is competitive. That is why we have worked hard to create an industrial platform for cultivation. At the same time, we have also trimmed all stages of production to make it more efficient, reduce unnecessary time and to reduce costs,“ says Kim Kristensen who is CEO of Arctic Seaweed.

Tracking is essential

Since the seaweed and kelp that Arctic Seaweed produces can be used as an input factor for other foods, this tracking system caught the attention of the food company Orkla, who came on board and invested in the venture last autumn. However, delivering products to the food industry places very high demands on quality, therefore it is crucial that the production processes can be tracked in a proper and reassuring way:

“We must be able to trace each product all the way back to the source. In addition, we must have control of each individual batch we harvest with seaweed and kelp so that we know which production cycle it undertook and that it has been developed according to our protocols. Previously, all the data recorded such as production location, date, species, water temperature and which process method was used was completely manually. However, this was not very beneficial, especially if the listings took place on a rainy and windy day out on the facility at sea. This could result in data becoming lost or the registrations being inaccurate due to human error,“ Kim explains.

By using a mobile phone and QR-codes on their boxes, Arctic Seaweed can get all nessecary data about the contents adn where they are in the process.

A well-functioning first edition

Arctic Seaweed contacted Digitread Connect, and after only the initial meeting, Digitread had already managed to develop a first edition of a tracking system for them.

“Digitread Connect has worked at lightning speed. It literally took just a matter of days for them to  rise to the challenge that we presented them with before they presented an app we could test directly on the phone – and it worked well. I had feared that such processes would take forever, but this was all done very quickly,“ he smiles.

“When the kelp is harvested, it is placed in a container marked with a QR code. The operator at the plant scans the code, which, in turn, opens an app which enables the operator to enter where the kelp has been harvested, what species it is, what it weighs, how much liquid has been added and a number of other parameters. When the warehouse receives the container, and scans the QR code, they receive the information they need to handle the raw materials to ensure that the products are both packed correctly and placed where they should be. The tracking is also included as part of the quality assurance procedure since the operator on land can check that the parameters conform as they should before the products are forwarded for packing, or checked again in the event of any deviations.“

Many have similar needs

There is a huge need for traceability in a number of areas within the industry. Tracking can be used to establish the origin of a product, but can just as easily be used as a tool to make sustainability calculations to determine climate emissions in different parts of a production process. The solution from Digitread Connect is a finished product that can be adapted to all types of processes where the data is presented clearly and distinctly in an app on the phone.

“At Arctic Seaweed, we started with a fairly low-key solution that we built around QR codes. It is simple, affordable and tangible and the possibilities are almost endless for the types of data we can collect and use in our solution. Hence, it is very easy to expand the solution and integrate other types of sensor data so that our insight into the processes gets even better,“ explains Christoffer Lange, the CEO at Digitread Connect.

The “Process Tracker“ application is delivered as Software as a Service and will be continuously improved as more and more people use it.

“We are also in the process of entering into a collaboration with a market-leading printer supplier so that we can offer printing of QR codes and labels directly from the application,“ Christoffer adds.

Process Tracker is available both as a mobile and as a desktop application. The application can be customized for any industrial process.

In the starting grid, revved up and ready for further development

Back at Arctic Seaweed, Kim Kristensen says that he is very satisfied both with the collaboration and with the solution that Digitread Connect has developed for them:

“We are in the starting grid and have a system that keeps track of the relevant details such as location, species and quality for each container. This is the most important basic data we need and allows us to give the customer a detailed overview of the product they have purchased. From here, the solution can be expanded in any way we wish. We can link the data to other systems pertaining to quality and storage, and if we want to collect more basic data about, for example, water temperature, salinity, lighting conditions and such things during the production process, the data can be collected automatically via sensors and presented in the app.“

“On the whole, we are very satisfied with Digitread Connect. They showed a good understanding of our issues, were flexible and proactive and, above all, quick to present a well-functioning solution,“ Kim concludes.

Published: 08.06.2021