Next generation logistics monitoring system enters live test

Vital deliveries of medicine and vaccines are monitored to make sure they are not compromised during transport

Both medicine and vaccines are often required to be transported at certain temperatures. If the temperature drops, even temporarily during transport, the medicine and vaccines may be ineffective, useless, or outright dangerous.

Full integration of core processes

Since mid-March, two of TWS Logistics’ vehicles have been equipped with wireless sensors. This is not new in the industry, but by utilizing Svep’s capabilities on both hardware design and its own IoT cloud platform, a flexible infrastructure has been created to accommodate for different requirements both for end-to-end monitoring and integration with other systems.

“While most vehicles for this type of transport have some kind of temperature monitoring, we set out to create a system that focused on supporting the logistics operations on a day-to-day basis while ensuring quality of services and the ability to take corrective measures”,says Mikael Bergqvist, CEO of Svep Design Center, and continues:
“Instead of focusing on the vehicles, we have created a system that can follow individual packages, and integrate effectively with the customers’ transport management or ERP systems.”

Based on Svep’s experience from healthcare, the system maintains strict control with respect to data security. 
The system is created in cooperation with the Norwegian company Nanopower which supplies wireless sensors with extremely low power consumption. Frequently changing batteries of sensors in a couple of Swedish trucks, is of course no problem.
But for an industrial-scale system, the number of batteries and the interval of which they must be replaced, determines how many sensors can be effectively installed and managed.


How it works

The system consists of small battery powered Bluetooth monitoring devices which communicate with a cellular gateway.
All collected data, shipment information, and access control is managed by the Svep IoT cloud solution.

The Bluetooth devices include the Nanopower low power solution for a 5-year battery life. The units continuously monitor temperature and movements/impacts. These devices can either be fixed in vehicles or attached to single shipments for end-to-end tracking. The form factor is small enough for integration with crates and different forms of reusable load carriers. The devices can both communicate with available gateways along the way or maintain the history in its internal memory.

Cellular gateways, either in vehicles or other places, collects data from the BLE devices and uploads these to the cloud via cellular connection. Power supply is either a battery or a wired solution depending on application and positioning. The wireless communication is optimized for hundreds of units within a small area, communicating over available gateways in the most power efficient manner possible.

Data is finally collected in the Svep IoT cloud solution which is well proven for other applications requiring both complex access control and sensitive data. The system is set up with a user-friendly interface and can easily be customized. More importantly though is the availability and focus on integration with other systems within the customer organization. The system can be set to monitor a wider range of other parameters including position, impacts, humidity etc. and by that support a wide range of applications and processes.

A team of different strengths

The system is developed as a joint effort between Svep Design Center AB and Nanopower AS, building on each other’s’ strengths for the different parts of the system

Nanopower AS is an extreme low-power expert, specializing in development and production of battery powered devices for industrial applications that require long battery life.

TWS Logistics AB is a Swedish logistics and transport company operating both long haul transport and distribution, with focus on medicine transport. TWS’ goal is to provide exceptional added value to their customers by being a technology leader.

Svep Design Center AB is a recognized IoT developer in Sweden, with deep technical expertise in both hardware and IoT platform development and operations. Svep creates concepts, builds prototypes, test key functions and defines the optimal solution for integrating electronics, hardware, firmware and mechanical parts.

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