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Wireless Solution for Cold Chain Logistics Monitoring System

15/06/2012

Project Introduction

Delivering fresh food and beverages to consumers is a popular business, making the logistics of delivering chilled food a multi-million dollar industry. By using refrigerator trucks, logistics companies can transport goods everywhere. However, it is also a challenge to ensure that goods are stored in optimal conditions during transportation as well as being delivered punctually. Therefore, the logistics companies need to build the effective system to help them to closely monitor the goods and trucks.

System Requirements

Traditional cold storage tracking systems monitor the temperature of the refrigerated container with an electronic recorder. Although the temperature recorder keeps track of the temperature, it only allows the data to be downloaded when the product arrives at its destination. Due to the issue of temperature control, the process needs to be controlled in real time so the ideal solution is to use an in-vehicle system with sensors to closely monitor the goods and trucks.

Additionally, in a competitive market, logistics companies need an integrated and simplified solution to build up their management system. A wireless application model turns into the best approach to implement the monitoring of devices which implementation much easier. Meanwhile, I/O modules integrated with sensors can simplify installation. And for some occasions, the monitoring devices have to provide the higher specifications to meet the harsh environment.

Project Implementation

Product Description
TREK-753 7" Mobile Data Terminal with Touchscreen for fleet management
WebAccess HMI/SCADA Software
ADAM-2520Z Wireless Sensor Network Modbus RTU Gateway
ADAM-2031Z Wireless Sensor Network Temperature & Humidity Sensor Node

System Diagram:

System Description

With advanced technology, Advantech provides the solution for cold chain application to not only manage fleet but also monitor the refrigerated container when the truck is on the road. The ADAM-2031Z is an end device in a wireless sensor network with an integrated temperature and humidity sensor and can be directly placed in the refrigerator to measure the temperature without wiring installation. The ADAM-2031Z also wirelessly transmits the sensor data to a TREK-753 Fleet Management Terminal via an ADAM-2520Z Modbus RTU Gateway.

Because various goods in the supply chain are required to be kept at a constant temperature and some sensitive products have to be stored well below zero, the ADAM-2031Z has an operating temperature range of between -40°C to 85°C. It also features low power consumption, with power provided by two AA-size lithium batteries enabling it to be used for a long period of time without changing the batteries.

The TREK-753 is an all-in-one 7" mobile data terminal with touchscreen. Its compact and rugged industrial design is perfect for use in vehicles where space, vibration, transient power, and temperature fluctuations will damage most computer equipment. Furthermore, Advantech WebAccess enables the control room to immediately understand the status of goods andtrucks via this HMI/SCADA software.

Conclusion

Advantech’s wireless solution combines the TREK and ADAM-2000 series to satisfy both fleet control and refrigerated container monitoring requirements. The wireless framework has greatly simplified the implementation because there is no need to worry about wiring. Through the built-in temperature sensor, the ADAM-2520Z can measure the refrigerators temperature and send the data to the control center in real time. According to the data retrieved from the ADAM modules, Advantech WebAccess can help the logistics companies to easily build a cloud service.