FROM THE BLOG

Rise of Low Cost Sensors in logistics and its advancement

Low cost sensors are the buzz word which is all set to make 2017 a decisive one for the IOT technology. Innovative IOT solutions based on these low cost sensors in logistics are making it possible for various logistics companies to get affordable options. One of the biggest hurdles in the quest of making logistics as self-sustainable as possible was the cost involved in producing as well as adopting IOT solution. But not anymore.

Effective logistics transportation revolves around key capabilities of moving the right object on right time via right medium at the right cost. That’s when the sensors provide their utility by supplementing the operational staff with the required information. We need to note that this crucial information is not limited to the monitoring aspect of transportation, it also contributes in a great way for planning and scheduling of the freight.There are various innovative ways, through which, IOT solutions are penetrating deep into the logistics industry. If you look into details, low-cost sensors in logistics have acted as the catalyzers for this transformation. Once the engineers got the hold of the idea, they never looked back and proceeded to find out the ways in which the low-cost sensors which are already present at the premise can be included in the supply chain for facilitating IOT solutions. Therefore there is an upsurge in the policies which makes it possible to utilize these multisensor devices available with the employees employed in the system to enhance the efficiency of shipping methods supplemented by relevant technology solutions.  

What makes low cost sensors in logistics so attractive?

As the name suggests, their low cost. One of the major obstacles in adapting to cutting edge solutions empowered by IOT technology is the deployment of the needed sensors. Using most sophisticated sensors for every type of freight transportation is not possible as it goes far beyond the revenue generated by these freight trips. There needs to be a balanced trade-off between the need and level up to which the freight monitoring and tracking are needed and technology that needs to be involved. For certain logistics domains, such as cold supply chains, it is unavoidable to use the best tracking and monitoring sensors. At current times, we are still incurring significant losses due to the non standardized transportation of perishable food items and pharma consignments. To provide a more balanced supply chain solutions, which can provide absolute tracking and monitoring and also doesn’t cut the transporter’s pocket very deep, it makes sense to look out for the low-cost sensors which are already present in the logistics transportation environment. The need is to utilize these gazettes with a new perspective.   

[bctt tweet=”For balanced & affordable scm solutions for absolute tracking and monitoring, it makes sense to look out for the low-cost sensors” username=”Dreamorbit”]

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend

While it definitely sounds like something different and much-advanced practice, it is essentially utilizing the existing devices at best. Till now, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) was limited to the single location office workspaces where the major objective behind the practice is to cut the cost incurred on getting employee devices (PCs/monitors/laptops) for the office. But the same can be applied to low-cost sensors in logistics industry to replace the Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) with the smartphones already available with the drivers. These smartphones can be used as ELDs by updating them with the needed mobility solutions which can be provided in the form of apps or SAAS based applications. This allows flexibility as well as greater ease to the drivers to stay connected with their personal space while also transmitting the vital statistics about the trip.

low cost sensors in logistics available in smartphones

Existing Sensor technologies for logistics in smartphones

To give a brief idea about the extent to which the inclusion of smartphones and tablets and other low-cost sensors can contribute in the logistics industry, let’s have a look at the potential applications which can be accomplished by these devices.

Use Cases and Potential Applications of low cost sensors in Logistics:

  1. Smartphone and Tablet Applications
    – Scanning of Freight
    – Image Documentation
    – Order Management
    – Navigation
    – 3D Imaging
  2. Range Imaging Sensor Systems
    – Volume Measurement
    – Capacity Monitoring
    – Freight Fingerprint
    – Automation Control
    – Gesture Control
  3. Smart Glasses and Watch Applications
    – Pick-by-Vision
    – Augmented Reality based Process
    – Wearable Computing Apps
low cost sensors in logistics

Sensor technology for logistics with its impact on 2 major fronts

Low cost sensor technology usable for measuring tasks in logistics

Volume scans made possible with the help of mobile devices are turning measuring and space allocation for the freight in logistics industry easier and faster than ever before. A majority of the detention time spent by the driver at the distribution and drop centers is considered as unproductive and counterproductive for the supply chain. But this happens in absence of automated and quicker processes which are less dependent on the manual intervention. With the volume scan of cargo, it will be easier for the distribution center to take decisions regarding the dispatch of the carriers without investing time into physical checking. The main information which needs to be extracted is free load meters, available cargo space for any scope for reloading. Scanning freight contours are one of the easiest ways to figure out the volume information of a consignment. After volume scan, the freight can be adjusted for extra space after analyzing the scan results quickly. This also helps the ground staff to automatically update the system with the relevant information regarding the freight such as dimension, contours, shipment colors for classification and different dropping points. This leads to the faster integration of accurate shipment information in the system which in turn contributes in more efficient dynamic routing.  

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) in logistics

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are generally used for the freight consignments which are perishable in nature and are susceptible to damage due to change in temperature or pressure even in a small range. The most obvious segment of the supply chain industry where WSN are considered as most crucial part of the supply is food and pharma. The food logistics industry depends heavily on constant monitoring and assessment of the quality of the freight even during transit as the information obtained through monitoring can be used to make a better judgment about the dispatch of those cargos which are prone to perish faster. Since time and quality become more decisive in this particular segment, WSN nodes are attached to goods which can map the quality of goods and frame an optimal timeline under which dispatch and delivery need to be done. This gives birth to a new method of freight delivery with the help of low-cost sensors in logistics. In contrast with the current practice for FEFO (First Expire, First Out) which is based on “best before dates”, the dynamic FEFO working on the stats provided by sensors can help in minimizing the waste of food due to expiration in transit. WSNs also helps in ensuring that all the standards regarding temperature and pressure for the goods have been duly maintained throughout the transit to avoid any breach of process.

[bctt tweet=”Dynamic FEFO working on the stats provided by sensors can help in minimizing the waste of food due to expiration in transit. ” username=”Dreamorbit”]

 

Few advantageous services of wireless networks with low cost Sensors for logistics are:

  • Measurement and supervision services (e.g. humidity, temperature, gasses)
  • Identification services
  • Gatewaying services
  • Database services
  • Data processing services
  • Time service

Low cost sensors for logistics applications are a proof that great and effective ideas don’t need to be always expensive. In fact, in supply chain industry where the price volatility is high, it makes sense to invest in the technologies which are easy on pockets and great on ROI. Therefore, Dreamorbit is empowering a number of logistics business owners in adopting similar innovative solutions with the innovative and simplified solutions. To know more, check out for a free consultation where we can discuss more of bespoke logistics technology solutions for your business.  

About DreamOrbit:

DreamOrbit is a Logistics and Supply Chain Technology Development company. We have been creating meaningful and reliable software products for the industry which is “Always on the go” for the past half decade. We are highly motivated team aimed at innovation. Our philosophy is to “keep challenging the potential within”.  With the support of our happy customers and dedicated team, we strive to provide best possible solutions to industry problems. Visit our website to know more about DreamOrbit.

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