The advent of Industrial IoT is enabling unprecedented optimizations in multiple areas such as:
- Field Service
- Energy Efficiency
- Quality Management
- Safety Management
- Logistics Management
- Data Center Infrastructure Management
Let’s consider the Cold Chain Refrigerated industry. Industrial IoT has enabled optimizations in this industry in at least three areas – optimizing logistics, maintaining quality consistency of perishables and improving energy efficiency. We will look at each of these three areas.
The widespread adoption of hand-held scanners and item-level tagging — using low-cost devices such as RFID — has paved the way for IoT-driven warehouse operations. GFS Crane‘s Asset Management reads data from RFID tags, cameras and locators to place and accurately determine location of an item in a warehouse or vehicle during transportation.
Maintaining Quality Consistency
Minimizing wastage of perishable food items like fruits, vegetables and livestock is a key challenge of this industry. Industrial IoT has become a cost-effective way to bring about significant improvement in quality management. Using sensors, GFS Crane monitors environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, air quality) and alerts warehouse managers when any thresholds are about to be breached.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Cooling costs constitute a large part of this industry’s OPEX. Maximizing energy efficiency is therefore a key objective. GFS Crane helps in two ways:
- Within Warehouse: Correlation of thermal mapping, item category, their location and space utilization help to determine areas where we can do with less cooling.
- During transportation: As items are getting delivered, the reduced weight reading from a weight sensor in the container triggers a control mechanism to reduce cooling.
Some units in this industry may have their own captive data centers. In this case, Industrial IoT use case extends to their enterprise data center as well. First, in monitoring the critical infrastructure for managing power, space and cooling in data center operations. Second, the data center would be the recipient of all the IoT data captured from the warehouse and transportation end points.