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Companies Testing IoT System When Goods Are 'On the Road'

A waste-management firm and a high-value goods logistics provider are piloting a solution from Barcoding Inc., using CalAmp sensor devices and tags as well as software to capture and manage data about goods—even when they are in transit—via a combination of cellular, Wi-Fi, BLE and other technologies.
By Claire Swedberg

The software stores the historical data, provides analytics and then, through integration, can forward this information to Barcoding's AAT software, which displays that data and can alert the company's management. Users, Newman says, "can create a whole set of perimeters around the cargo and create a history of environmental conditions," for instance, as well as its real-time location.

CalAmp's SC1004 and iOn Tagscan also leverage the BLE functionality to create a parent-child relationship for tagged containers, pallets and products moving through a supply chain. For instance, a "parent" SC1004 tag can be affixed inside a container, and the iOn Tags can be attached to pallets or cartons of goods loaded within that container. In that way, the parent SC1004 can forward data to the server, including the ID numbers of its child tags and the locations and conditions reported by each. If an item were removed from the container, the child iOn Tag would no longer be detected.

The CalAmp software forwards data to the AAT software, which can be provided via Barcoding's portal known as RFID RealView. Thus, if an unexpected or unauthorized event were to occur, the AAT software could forward an alert to the appropriate party.

The CalAmp software also enables users to set up dedicated transit paths known as shipping lanes, Newman says. Those lanes represent a set of rules indicating where a particular product is intended to go, where it may stop and for how long. If a violation occurs, such as a tag transmission report from a location that deviates from the path, or an unscheduled delay, an alert can be issued.

Barcoding Inc. has already been offering its AAT solution with RFID to enable its customers to track the locations of goods when they are in warehouses, storage yards or stock rooms. Typically, RFID readers are deployed at these locations to bring data not only about the IDs of tagged goods at a specific location, but, in some cases, the conditions surrounding them, such as temperature and humidity levels. But in recent months, the company began working on a way to expand its solution to cover the in-transit portion of a business's supply chain, when RFID readers aren't feasible.

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