Have you ever bought something with vanilla ice cream in it (like an ice cream sandwich) and found that its edges are tinged yellow. That is because the ice cream at one point was not kept at the proper temperature.
Obviously this is a job for IoT.
One company that is increasingly being called upon to solve this problem is Morey.
Speaking with Alan Mindlin, Technical Manager at Morey, we talked about how their traditional business of telematics has increasingly been about sensors and information gathering. Much of the new direction is to work with sensors due compliance with regulation on drivers such as Electronic Logging Devices [ELD] and other food chain requirements. Keeping track of cold temperatures is essential to keeping ice cream and other foods fresh.
Now one aspect that is interesting to consider is that most of the requirements that they are receiving from their customers is one way. As a company Morey likes to use the appropriate radio solution for the appropriate application. When it comes to adding sensor data to the reporting mix, they look at how the data is being utilized. For example some data is used in a prescriptive manner on the truck and the interface is local, but most data is being gathered for analytics beyond the moving vehicle. In fact, 80% of Morey’s business is about telematics and mobility. In fact, Morey recently launched its newest telematics devices — the MC-4 and MC-4+ —, which act as edge computing devices to analyze data from a vehicle’s ancillary accessories, such as door sensors, as it’s generated.
Since many times they have cellular connectivity already, many times the additional sensor payload is small enough to be incremental to the traffic already being transmitted. This means that while the data gathering would fit into a Cat M1 or NB-IOT solution the proximity to existing cellular makes more sense.
However there are applications that are taking them into alternative solutions. Construction, Factory Floors, Mining and other asset management systems (including in – building and ankle bracelets) are being served by LPWAN (LoRa), Sigfox, Satellite and the NB-IOT/Cat M1 solutions.
While the 80% telematics folks are historically capable buyers with clear specifications, Alan Mindlin often finds the non – traditional customers have specifications that are not fleshed out yet. Most of these new customers are looking at the point where they want to gather information, but not necessarily directly impact systems. Overall this means that improvements are being made as a result of analytics and impacting Mean Time to Repair [MTTR], less truck rolls and extending the life cycle of systems by identifying specific equipment issues that make wholesale changes less likely.
While Morey is normally a design house for complete device solutions (circuit boards, enclosures, harnesses, etc.) To connect “things”, the trends that they are seeing are that data gathering has yet to equate to down stream communication. In effect, that means that human involvement is for today still likely and very dependent on the value of the upstream data.
That’s fine with me as long as they keep the ice cream cold.