IoT for Floral Cooling with Fathym IoT Ensemble

June 25, 2021 by Kim Loomis, Product Owner @ Fathym

The pandemic had a landslide effect. As the world shut down to keep people safe, businesses shut down or had limited hours. With places shut down, events were canceled or incurred long delays. Some of the canceled events that caused the most disappointment were weddings and other in-person celebrations like graduations, holiday get-togethers, religious ceremonies and even funerals. Even huge outdoor events like the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA was canceled! The pandemic had far-reaching effects across the world.

One thing the aforementioned events share is the use of flowers. Flowers are used to symbolize different things, such as remembrance. They are used for decorating. They are used for mourning. They can express love, romance, joy, gratitude, sympathy, remorse and so much more. The Rose Parade uses the flowers to tell the viewers about the paradise of Pasadena, CA, especially in January, while a lot of the USA is covered in snow and enduring cold weather. Across the world, flowers are a means of communication.

According to these stats, the floral industry is worth about $5B in the USA and “there are 31,663 floral businesses in the country, with an estimated 65,339 workers.” A typical floral business is relatively small and makes a modest income. The majority of floral shops bring in about $200K or less in sales, providing about a 10% salary and 10% profit.

Floral Shop Owner

Something every floral shop should have is a cooler. Keeping cut flowers cool can help maintain their appearance for longer. Floral coolers are also a marketing mechanism with their glass doors and mirrored walls. They are made to accommodate cut flowers and arrangements to keep them vibrant, appealing, and prominently on display to customers.

A floral cooler is not a typical food refrigerator. The two big differences are the temperatures at which contents are kept and the air flow within the coolers. A floral cooler keeps a very constant temperature and has high humidity so the flowers will not dry out, wilt or die prematurely. The floral cooler is the integral piece of equipment for a floral shop, ensuring the highly perishable and very valuable flowers last as long as possible.

Floral Shop Cooler

A simple way to increase margin and peace of mind regarding the longevity of flower inventories is to upgrade the cooler technology. This does not have to be complicated or expensive – the goal is to keep costs low and results high. Preventive measures to keep the stores of flowers at optimal operations can save a floral shop a lot of money and retain goodwill. Lack of quality flower inventory can mean lost revenue, lost wages for employees, ruined inventory and lost customer following. Technology can certainly help here.

A floral shop can employ a simple and cost-effective temperature sensor like the High Precision TMP117. With the sensor in place, the shop can be notified if the cooling were to go outside of expected ranges. This can save a shop owner a lot of “wallet-aches”, during equipment failures, on hot days when electrical brown outs happen, or bad weather days when the power lines are adversely affected.

Temperature Sensor in Cooler

This tutorial takes you step-by-step through configuring the Arduino ESP32 Board with High Precision TMP117 Temperature Sensor from scratch, connecting it to IoT Ensemble, and then streaming the data to a dashboard with email/text alerts. This small proactive investment in technology can save you a lot of pain in the event of a problem. And it doesn’t take technical saavy to do this. If you are new to technology, you can probably set this up in a couple hours. And if you have any questions along the way, drop us a line at support@fathym.com and we will be happy to help.

Sign up for IoT Ensemble and save your floral shop money, time and lost product. Enroll your first device for free. No credit card required.

Fathym Temperature Sensor