Constantly increasing demands for efficient and modern logistics mean that networked vehicle dispatches and goods tracking have become imperative. At the Hannover Messe, ZF Services' connectivity specialist Openmatics is presenting "deTAGtive logistics"; a data platform with which transports can be better monitored and documented.
Connectivity is one of the main themes of the Hannover Messe also being driven by the logistics industry. Even today, Openmatics is making transparent fleet management possible, thus avoiding driving without loads, taking into account driving and rest periods in its route planning and monitoring fuel consumption. With "deTAGtive logistics", ZF Services is once again expanding the multifaceted platform with useful functions.
Documentation and monitoring of sensitive transports
Until now, the status of vehicles was constantly retrievable for dispatchers, with the exception of the cargo itself. Openmatics' "deTAGtive logistics" means ZF Services is able to comprehensively check valuable cargo. In this way, the user-friendly software documents all details of sensitive transports, for instance whether the required temperature range was maintained or whether vibrations may have compromised the cargo.
High-power detectives with a long service life
The core element of the interactive technology are high-power monitoring specialists; the "deTAGtive" tags. Thanks to Bluetooth Smart Technology, battery-powered sensors with a surface area smaller than that of a business card can be easily installed anywhere - without extensive cabling. These can be used on transport containers, pallets and swap bodies for up to five years before they are recycled by Openmatics.
Three different tags are available: The basic TAG 1 variant enables location information and identification, meaning the entire route taken by a pallet can be shown on a map. TAG 2 shows additional information about acceleration and impacts, temperature and light, whereas TAG 3 also measures air humidity. The sensors can be individually configured depending on the cargo. Sensors developed for specific customers are even a possibility, so as to conduct measurements of air pressure or of magnetic fields, for example
The Bluetooth Smart Technology gives the tags a range of up to 30 meters; enough for even the new 25-meter-long gigaliner. In addition, the tags can communicate not only with existing telematics hardware and the Openmatics' stationary TAG finder but also with smartphones and tablets.
The technology base for the innovative application is Microsoft Azure, the cloud computing platform from Microsoft. It’s composed of three components. The Microsoft Azure IoT hub manages the connectivity of the Bluetooth tags, while the Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse is responsible for the incoming data storing. The processing and analysis of information is done by Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics. The results are visualized using web applications.
Intuitive Operation Thanks to Comfortable Application
The user only needs to download the App, which is available for download on Google Play and in the Apple Store, in order to access all functions. Predefined measurement profiles and events can be installed and threshold values set with the app. This allows the retrieval of tag data pertaining to the cargo and the direct transmission of threshold violation alert notices during travel. Thanks to real-time alerts, it is possible to intervene before loss or damage occurs to goods.
Additionally, logisticians can administer tags and the tag finder in real time at their workplace using a web application, meaning that the dispatcher is always fully informed of the entire transport process.
Saving time and costs with increased transparency
The advantages are clear: Lower administration and communication efforts and clear savings of time and costs with transparent logistics processes. Linking up to third-party systems already established in companies is also possible via the program interface.
Telematics platform with a broad range of applications
With Openmatics, ZF Services ensures the systems expertise of ZF Friedrichshafen AG is carried forward consistently into the aftermarket and offers connectivity solutions such as an open telematics platform independent of industries, vehicle manufacturers and component makers. Custom add-ons are a notable advantage of this open platform. The range of services can be expanded with additional apps at will. In addition, third-party suppliers, as is common with smartphone applications, are permitted to develop their own apps and make them available on the platform.