The Internet of Things is opening up to the masses, at least where logistics is concerned. After celebrating the world premiere of the Low-Cost Tracker at the last CeMAT in Hannover, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), Deutsche Telekom and the European Pallet Association (EPAL) have now released their first 500 smart pallets. The Low-Cost Trackers - which were developed in the Telekom Open IoT Lab at the Fraunhofer IML and incorporated into EPAL pallets - can transmit their position, movements, impacts and changes in temperature. On top of that, a robust and waterproof sensor records major deviations from the usual parameters such as sharp jolts or extreme temperature fluctuations - and autonomously reports the captured data to a private portal via an integrated cellular radio connection.
“"We have developed the Low-Cost Tracker specifically with EPAL in mind as one of our first customers. In Europe alone, the association has more than 500 million pallets in circulation, which offers huge potential for digitizing the supply chain," says Ingo Hofacker, responsible for IoT business at Deutsche Telekom. Ingo Mönke, Chairman of EPAL's German branch agrees, adding: "These smart pallets herald a new era for EPAL. What convinced us to come on board was the potential to unlock innovation by using data that wasn't previously available. With such information at our fingertips, we can offer our customers reliable added value and establish a robust business model." Thanks to their durable and compact design, the 5G-compatible trackers can be fitted into virtually any load carrier. Their batteries last up to ten years and for this period users pay a one-off data flat rate of ten euros.
Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) (44227 Dortmund, Germany)