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Taking remote reefer monitoring systemS to the next level with NB-IoT

Anna Sutter
Posted by Anna Sutter on Mar 26, 2020 11:14:00 AM

With 5G standards for more efficient and effective communication on global rise, IDENTEC SOLUTIONS opens up new fields of application in industry and transport logistics through Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT). Find out more about how IDENTEC SOLUTIONS' remote reefer monitoring system works as a bespoke, scalable solution for all sizes of business.

With their focus set on the development of Narrow Band Industrial Internet of Things (NB-IoT) solutions as well as the consistent development of new fields of application for the said IDENTEC SOLUTIONS has its sights firmly set on the future and on sustainable growth.

The new 5G standard for more efficient and powerful communication is gaining ground all across the globe. The expansion of the network is to be pushed forward strongly until 2023. This is just one of the reasons why IDENTEC SOLUTIONS is shaping up to develop 5G-compatible solutions for its various Industry 4.0 applications.

CEO Urban Siller: “We will further strengthen this focus in the coming years in order to expand our market position. A number of companies are engaged in research in this direction. We are the first with a ready-to-use solution, making us pioneers in our sector.”

New perspectives in remote reefer monitoring thanks to 5G

The in-house developed solutions for wireless identification, positioning and status detection of persons, materials and objects are largely aimed at niche markets with very harsh environmental conditions. The industries supplied range from oil rigs, mines and container ports, right to manufacturing plants for mass production. The new 5G communication standard using NB-IoT opens up important perspectives, particularly in these harsh, sometimes remote areas of application where extensive connectivity plays a crucial role.

“The new radio technology is designed for M2M (machine-to-machine) communication and offers the opportunity of very energy-efficient communication via the existing mobile radio infrastructure. Moreover, it promises a good building penetration. This is where we see the greatest advantages for the digitization of industry and logistics,” explains the software engineer Martin Sobotka from IDENTEC SOLUTIONS.

Are there risks from radiation exposure?

With around 10 gigabits per second, the 5G mobile radio standard has a significantly higher bandwidth than its predecessor 4G, which is particularly useful for home applications such as data streaming. Bandwidth, however, plays a subordinate role in industrial use of 5G.

“We use standards such as CAT-NB1 (alias NB-IoT) or CAT-M1. These standards stand for a slow but constant data transmission at low frequency and thus contrast with high-frequency home applications such as data streaming. These two standards are part of 5G and are already globally available,” explains Urban Siller, CEO of IDENTEC SOLUTIONS AG.

Is High-tech reefer monitoring available for small fleet too?

In a first step, the company will continue to improve on its very successful Reefer Runner solution for the automated real-time tracking of reefer containers. A prototype is already being used for inland marine transport on the Rhine between Basel and Rotterdam.

Thanks to the real-time monitoring of the reefer containers, the transport of cheese and fish from the Netherlands to Switzerland, for example, as well as pharmaceutical products and chocolate from Switzerland to the Netherlands can be guaranteed without interruption of the cooling chain ¬ regardless of the manufacturer type of the container. This eliminates the need for manual inspection ¬ which not only increases efficiency but also minimizes the risk for the carrier.

“What used to be a major investment in terms of local wireless infrastructure can now be offered as a cloud application without local infrastructure and without local software installation. Customers can thus monitor their refrigerated containers conveniently via devices such as PCs, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. This primarily benefits smaller companies. The range of potential use cases for this solution is wide. The use in road and rail transportation for example is conceivable, to only name a few,” concludes Sobotka.

The first 5G-compatible solutions will be delivered in autumn 2020.

Find out more about Reefer Runner


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