Lot of oil, life science, pharma companies suffering huge loss due to theft of costly liquids from the containers during road transportation. These companies usually hire third party logistic partner who transports the liquids from one factory to another in trucks. These trucks which travel days sometime have standard containers or non-standard containers but either way pilferage happens. And this is a major concern for management. They want to track these trucks their location in real-time and want to receive alerts/alarms in case of any miss-happening.
IoT can bring respite for them. With the help of various GPS devices, sensors & electronics seal this problem can be tackled up to a large extent.
a) GPS devices: GPS devices along with 3G capabilities can send the real-time location to a central server and using a website or mobile app management can see the route of the truck. By setting-up geo-fencing one can track if the driver is getting off the designated route.
b) Level sensor: Installing some ultrasound based level sensor the top of the container which can send level data to the cloud server, management can track if there is any significant change in the level thus indicating any anomaly. Off course factors like outside temperature & bumping of trucks also to be taken care of.
c) Electronic seal: Electronic seal or electronic lock with 3G, GPS capability can be very useful in such scenario. These seals come with customized steel rope/string and connected to the lock in a very firm way. Once locked at source it can be unlocked at the destination either remotely by sending password or by swapping a valid RFID tag there itself. Alarm is generated whenever steel string cut, swipe RFID tag, unlocking, wrong password, vibration, enter geo-fence, exit geo-fence or low battery. These can help identifying if there is any unauthorised activities.
d) OBD (On board diagnostics) device: By installing OBD devices in truck one can also monitor remotely the driving behaviour of driver such as ignition time, total driving time, total idling time, average engine hot-start time, average speed, history high speed, history RPM, total acceleration times, total deceleration times, sudden brake. It can also give truck’s engine, battery health status etc.
While designing the IoT solution one must take care of the following:
- Battery life as trucks may travel for 7-10 days or even 15 days based on the country’s geography. Level sensor must be highly accurate & robust enough so that container liquids doesn’t erode it.
- These devices should be easily installable and configurable as there could be a huge number of such IoT device required.
- These IoT devices should have high IP protection (Ingress Protection) & wide range of temperature tolerance as they will be operating outside environment.
- From cloud & web application point of view, security aspects must be considered along with scalability.