The constant increase in demand for efficient and modern logistics has rendered networked vehicle dispatches and goods tracking essential. ZF Services' connectivity specialist, Openmatics, has developed ‘deTAGtive logistics’; a data platform solution offering improved transport monitoring and documentation.
Connectivity is a major factor driving the logistics industry. Openmatics can already enable transparent fleet management, reducing the instance of zero loads, monitoring fuel consumption and allowing for driving and rest periods within its route planning. ‘deTAGtive logistics’ now expands the existing functions of this multifaceted platform.
Documentation and monitoring of sensitive cargo
Until now, dispatchers were only able to monitor the vehicle status, not that of the actual cargo. Openmatics’ ‘deTAGtive logistics’ from ZF Services allows users to consistently check valuable cargo. User-friendly software monitors and reports in detail the transport of sensitive cargo; from the temperature ranges to the effect of vibration on the goods.
High-power detectives with a long service life
‘deTAGtive’ tags are at the heart of this interactive technology. Thanks to Bluetooth Smart Technology, these high power battery-powered sensors, with a surface area smaller than that of a business card, can be easily installed almost anywhere without the need for extensive cabling. They can be used on transport containers, pallets and swap bodies for up to five years before being recycled by Openmatics.
As a scalable solution, three tags are available. The basic TAG 1 variant enables location information and identification, mapping the entire route taken by a pallet. In addition to this, TAG 2 monitors the effects of acceleration, shock, temperature and light on cargo, while TAG 3 measures humidity. The sensors can be individually configured to suit the cargo. Customized sensors can also be developed to measure air pressure or magnetic field, for example.
Bluetooth Smart Technology allows the tags an operational range of up to 30 meters – adequate for the new 25-meter-long gigaliner. The tags can communicate with existing telematics hardware and the Openmatics’ stationary TAG finder as well as smartphones and tablets.
This innovative solution is built on Microsoft ® Azure technology, the cloud computing platform from Microsoft. It comprises three components. Microsoft Azure IoT hub manages the connectivity of Bluetooth tags while Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse is responsible for the incoming data storage. Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics processes and analyzes the information with visualization created using web applications.
Intuitive operation thanks to user-friendly application
All functions are accessed through an ‘App’, available for download via Google Play of the Apple Store. Predefined measurement profiles and events can be installed and threshold values can be set within the app. This allows the retrieval of tag data relating to the cargo along with direct transmission of threshold violation alerts during travel. The availability of real-time alerts makes intervention possible before goods are lost or damaged. Additionally, logisticians can administer tags and the tag finder in real time at their workplace using a web application, allowing the dispatcher to be fully informed throughout the entire transport process.
Saving time and cost with increased transparency
The advantages are clear with transparent logistics processes: Lower administration and communication resource deliver time and cost savings. The program interface also allows users to check complaints in detail and link up to third-party systems already established within companies.
Telematics platform with a broad range of applications
With Openmatics, ZF Services ensures systems expertise of ZF Friedrichshafen AG is transitioned consistently into the aftermarket. Connectivity solutions, such as an open telematics platform, are offered irrespective of industry, vehicle manufacturer and/or component maker. Custom add-ons are a notable advantage of this open platform. The range of services can be expanded with additional apps as needed, while third-party suppliers, in common with smartphone applications, are permitted to develop their own apps and making them available on the platform.