Smart Mesh Network Supply-Chain Monitoring
November 20, 2019
Shipping is the engine behind the global economy. Making sure every product is safely & efficiently delivered from production to customer across the world – is the key for an optimized & growing economy.
How important is trade for the modern global economy? In 2018 the value of global goods traded was just under 19.5 trillion USD, that’s an over 20% rise from 16.1 trillion USD just 10 years earlier.
All this ever growing trade around the world requires massive logistical enterprises to run the show. Every product goes through a number of stages in its journey from production to customer, including local pickup, packaging, warehouse, journey to port, shipping, customs, journey to local distribution center and finally journey to customer doorstep.
The long and complex logistical process of international shipping is not managed by one company. Which is a good thing.
But that means there’s almost no control over the journey as a whole. Shipping and logistic companies are used by producing companies to haul their products around the globe, with little to no insight into how their product reacts to the different environments it passes through.
This goes both ways. Shipping and logistic companies manage goods of hundreds of companies on a daily basis, without the ability to closely control the state of the goods at all times. If a container arrives with damaged goods, there’s no way of telling how it happened and at what stage of the journey.
14 million containers are traded globally every month – with a total volume of 169 million containers annually.
Not so long ago, goods were transported while producers and customers both had nothing to do but hope they arrived on time and in good condition. In many cases this is good enough. With more sensitive goods such as cars (which dominate a large chunk of global trade), food products, certain chemicals, electronics, machinery, and many others – monitoring the supply chain is crucial.
In recent years technology has taken a massive leap forwards. With implementing mesh networks of sensors across cargo packages or containers, the producing company, shipping service, and end customer can all monitor the state and conditions of the goods in real-time. This is especially important for making alterations to the supply-chain based on the data, understanding the state of the goods as they arrive and for damage control.
The key benefactions of such a system would be shipping, logistical and cargo delivery services who can provide this data in real-time as an added feature – aimed at reassuring both sides if the supply-chain.
Some materials are sensitive to different temperatures, humidity or pressure, or could be sensitive to sudden or extreme changes in these conditions.
Possibly the most basic data that can be gathered through the journey is the physical location of the goods. Tracking each step of the journey and making sure everything is in the right place at the right time.
An important set of sensors includes gyro, vibration, air pressure & others – aimed at monitoring any harm to the goods. These check for container falling, breaking or shaking – which could damage the cargo.
Mesh Networks connected by powerful Edge Gateway devices are easy to deploy & maintain – at a relativity low price point.
The basic network mesh at ground level consists of modules or sensor arrays, connected to the Wirepas Mesh as hop points, and at the heart of the mesh is the SolidSense gateway. The mesh provides the most optimal way for a large number of module to communicate over a large range, and by utilizing a high performance gateway, data can be locally processed and encrypted before transmission to the cloud.
SolidSense was developed to offer both modularity and simplicity in implementing complex automated networks. The combination of a rich software offering with the SolidSense cloud applications, delivers a ready to use IoT infrastructure for industrial and business applications.
The SolidSense gateway is the focal point of the system. It features a rich software offering for effortless system integration. SolidSense is designed to offer robust compute with a wide variety of connectivity options, housed in a reliable outdoor industrial grade enclosure.
SolidSense is offered with an added level of cloud based device management which allows for centralized control over modules across the network.
The highest level of the supply chain monitoring system is the management platform, which integrates all collected data onto a user created management software platform. By harnessing the variety of flexible SW solutions provided with SolidSense, makes robust system integration very simple.
The Wirepas Mesh framework provides the devices connected to the network with decentralized, autonomic and intelligent communication with the gateway. End-devices, such as sensors, become intelligent with the ability to decide on the optimum frequency and energy usage with which to communicate with the gateway and network in real-time.
Another key feature of the Mesh technology is adaptive multi hopping, making every device in the network a possible router for communication. Devices choose the best way to send information with the option of using multi hop routing, the role of each device isn’t predefined – instead it changes automatically in real-time, depending on the needs of the network around it.
SolidRun is a partner and licensee of Wirepas, thus enabling shipping of SolidSense gateways pre-flashed from factory with Wirepas software – simplifying the development process and business model.