Bulk Distributor Mar/Apr 16 - Page 5

March/April 2016 Globalstar’s next generation satellite. Only satellite can deliver always-on connectivity with assets. Photo courtesy of Thales Alenia Space GSM and satellite One example of this in action is Spanish technology and fleet tracking solutions specialist FAGOR Electronica, S. Coop, which has adopted a hybrid communications approach for its new trucktracking solution. As soon as a vehicle moves out of GSM range, satellite transmissions automatically take over. More than tracking, FAGOR’s solution optimises engine management, giving fleet managers a picture of how a particular vehicle is running, to foresee problems and to better plan and schedule repairs and maintenance. Similar to how FAGOR’s solution has expanded beyond tracking in the distribution sector, the latest IoT technologies feature integrated sensors that provide businesses with environmental data that impact cargo’s condition and affect the supply chain. One valuable metric is movement, with sensors instantly reporting when an asset – such as a rail car or container – has experienced damage or shock. Petrochemical and oil & gas companies in particular are already seeing the business benefits of IoT to monitor potentially hazardous materials in unpowered environments including rail tank cars and tank containers. For example, global petrochemicals supplier SABIC is equipping its entire European fleet of 500 chemical rail tank cars with the ATEXcertified Ovinto Sat tracking and monitoring technology to reduce risk and optimise its supply chain. The new solution enables SABIC to track each vehicle on its journey in real time and supports SABIC Asset Management in its constant focus on safety. This technology helps SABIC to maximise the value and efficiency of its assets, while partners and customers can reliably know when the materials they require will arrive. Judith Kleinen, category manager land transport & spot shipping supply chain, chemicals at SABIC, explained: “SABIC is a major provider of petrochemicals with customers who use our chemicals and plastics for many different applications. One of the transportation means we use is our fleet of rail tank cars. Keeping track of a large fleet of these cars, dispersed all over Europe, is crucial. “The cars contain all sorts of materials, so it is absolutely critical that we have the ability to track and monitor their status and their contents at all times,” she continued. The ATEX Ovinto Sat solution provides oil, gas and chemical industry customers with details about cargo being transported and its condition, including pressure and temperature, whether it is in the correct location, or has been impacted due to a crash or derailment. Satellite is the preferred option for such communications due to its availability, reliability and low power consumption compared to GSM. “It can be challenging sometimes to get real-time information regarding our rail tank cars. We got in touch with Ovinto who offered a new way to track and trace via the Globalstar satellite network. The fact that the (solution) of Ovinto guaranteed global coverage via satellite, combined with the highest ATEX level makes it unique and for us the best solution,” Kleinen added. If an accident occurs, Ovinto Sat’s continuous satellite connectivity ensures everyone in the supply chain, as well as the emergency services, know the location of the rail car, whether it has been impacted due to a crash, is leaking or whether it is at a safe pressure and temperature. In another example, Identec Solutions helps businesses in the oil & gas industry manage their land-based and offshore assets using a different hybrid mix. One of Identec’s technology breakthroughs is its use of both satellite technology as well as active RFID features. This hybrid multi-frequency capability means that users can take advantage of low power and long range active RFID transmissions as well as reliable satellite transmissions. The system dynamically switches transmission types to deliver uninterrupted tracking visibility. The first ever ATEX-certified, multi-frequency asset tracking solution, it also provides valuable metrics on movement, instantly reporting whether the asset has experienced damage or shock. Hybrid or satellite-only, the flexibility and usability of devices is critical. M2M devices need to be truly customisable so they can be programmed to ensure the right messages get to the right recipients in the most reliable and understandable way possible. The ways in which the Internet of things can be applied is limited only by the imaginations of people who need to monitor ‘things’. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and so we eagerly anticipate discovering new ways in which IoT, enhanced by the reach and reliability of satellite commun