Tech

5 Benefits of IoT in Food Processing

5 Benefits of IoT in Food Processing

5 Benefits of IoT in Food Processing

The Internet of Things (IoT) is slowly but surely making its presence felt in the food processing industry. With its number of remarkable applications, IoT in food processing has started to provide food suppliers, processors and retailers; companies like Id Foods, Paper boat, MTR foods  with good opportunities for financial as well as operational augmentation in the food and beverage businesses.

Every functional area in the food industry has been positively impacted by the integration of IoT. For example, IoT in food processing allows food companies to achieve higher levels of traceability, food safety and accountability all throughout the supply chain. Additionally, the IoT network minimizes risk, costs and waste in all stages of the process. This transformation, dubbed “Industry 4.0,” changes the landscape of food processing to become a smarter, more connected supply chain.

Let us have a deeper look into the impact that digitalization and IoT have had upon the food manufacturing industry and consequently, their benefits –

  • Improved Food Safety: By implementing IoT in food processing industry, the risk of an epidemic caused by food illnesses have greatly reduced. Different types of sensors are being used temperature, essential production state and shipping time. Most importantly, the use of real-time temperature tracking sensors allows facilities to remotely monitor food safety data points , thus ensuring the effective management of its cold chain supply. The data also enables the supply chain to function jointly and remain compliant with local and global food safety regulations. Automated Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) checklists used throughout the manufacturing, production and transportation processes empower companies with meaningful data in order to put into practice food safety solutions that are the need of the hour.
  • Increased Operational Efficiency: IoT platforms backed by machine learning algorithms can help ensure a profitable and sustainable growth throughout the supply chain. This kind of technology and its capability to digitally analyze the data collected can give valuable insights into predictive maintenance needs, equipment performance and real-time inventory tracking. For example, IoT devices can capture and store the operating data, pinpoint inefficiencies in the production line and help identify actionable solutions. Remote connectivity of these devices greatly improves the field support and provides visibility in packaging operations. With monitoring the equipment from remote places, one can foresee issues before they occur, thereby saving time and money.
  • Logistics: With the help of GPS systems and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) transmitters, the chain of distribution can be completely monitored from storage to shipping to the sale points or stores. RFID tracking provides visibility into the food supply chain, automates shipping and delivery, and monitors and controls temperature during the process. It enables companies to track the location of the product with GPS. All the data collected can then help the company to understand customer behavior, better respond to market requirements and decrease surpluses. IoT technology can also make it easier for both companies and consumers to track products, thereby amplifying the transparency of the supply chain and acquiring customer loyalty and trust.
  • Production and Storage: Sensors can improve quality control, worker’s activities and real-time analysis for food production. For example, the specks and color throughout flour production or its moisture and protein content can be analyzed by sensors. This can provide real-time optimization of the production process allowing the flexibility to rectify any inaccuracies on the spot.
  • Waste Reduction: A huge amount of human food production is wasted globally each year. This results not only in money loss but also damage to our environment due to the growing GHC emissions in the atmosphere. IoT helps to easily monitor the state of all food products and send real-time information to the handler, thereby decreasing food wastage.

The Industry 4.0 revolution continues to push the food industry to develop more innovative ways to connect the food supply chain to real-time product data. This creates a whole new sphere of possibilities for food manufacturers and retailers who can leverage  IoT technologies to maintain the highest quality standards in production, find and solve inefficiencies in the supply chain, meet and exceed food safety regulations and provide transparency to their customers.

Read our blog on Automation in Manufacturing here

Implementing IoT solutions into your food business could be the most beneficial decision from all aspects. Thingstel’s next-generation sensors, visualization platforms, and customizable analytics modules come with increased intelligence, reliability, and improved accuracy specifications. Our technologies can empower and strengthen your business, providing you with a wide array of solutions ranging from predictive maintenance to remote monitoring to real-time analytics and data visualization. Reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more!

5 Biggest IoT trends of 2021

The 5 Biggest IoT Trends of 2021

The Internet of Things is one of the most prominent tech trends that has emerged in the past decade, the wide-scale networking of devices of every size and shape across the world, all connected and sharing information digitally with one another. 

As with every other aspect, the global coronavirus pandemic has affected the way this trend is developing and impacting us. In a world where social distancing has become the norm, computers, devices, and smartphones are now our major forms of communication – both in our personal and professional lives. 

Let us take a deeper look into the biggest trends in IoT taking place this year: 

  • Healthcare companies will invest more in IoT 

From automated home help devices to telemedicine for the disabled and elderly, the way healthcare is delivered henceforth will be transformed by smart IoT wearables, sensors, and connected devices. Devices will be used to minimize contact between surfaces with a high risk of viral contamination, for example, in hospitals, corporate offices, and care homes. The number of ‘virtual doctor appointments’ will continue to increase upward in 2021 and new IoT devices will be developed which will allow the elderly to remain independent in their homes for longer. This will include tools using AI that detect changes in their daily routine so that their caregivers may be alerted in case an emergency intervention is required. 

  • More IoT in retail for safer shopping

The pandemic has disrupted retail in a big way, forcing many brick-and-mortar stores to close down and pushing online retail to the forefront of daily lives. Over the next year, we can expect to see more IoT-integrated innovative models such as Amazon’s fully-automated supermarkets to cut down on non-essential human interactions. Contactless payments and automation in fulfillment centers that dispatch inventory to shops will continue to grow, along with the use of RFID tags to track customers in stores, where the data collected will be used to make decisions on stock placement, and replenishment. Now it will also be used to monitor social distancing in busy areas of stores and supermarkets. 

  • IoT = more productive work-from-home 

Work from home or WFH is now common due to fears of large people congregating in offices. With AI-powered personal assistants like Alexa and Google Home, we can now expect more similar applications designed to make our remote working experience easier and smoother. These include more IoT-automated scheduling, encrypted video calling software, calendar tools, and virtual meeting technologies. IoT has introduced a way where assets can be effectively monitored remotely while letting the automated machinery do their work with alerts to human personnel in case intervention is needed. 

  • IoT in smart cities

The ‘smart city’ concept has started to trend in recent years with IoT technology being used to monitor traffic on roads, waste management, and use of public transport. In 2021, we can expect more resources going towards building digital capabilities within municipal authorities to enable them to better use IoT-automated solutions for safety concerns around public transport, city offices, and recreational spaces. They will enable them to understand usage patterns as well as plan emergency response strategies and safety measures. 

  • IoT in data analytics and edge computing

Along with improved data analytics, edge computing is another powerful IoT trend that will continue to become more relevant as the year progresses, enabling change that will lead to increased speed of adoption and rate of innovation. With edge computing, instead of IoT devices collecting data and sending it to the cloud to be processed for analysis and insight extraction, the work is carried out directly by the devices themselves, resulting in massive savings in bandwidth and cost. New ways of processing will use edge computing techniques to reduce the risk created by sending information back and forth between personal devices and the cloud. This is something essential when it comes to building trust within the public’s mind to use such IoT-integrated solutions and measures. 

The growth of cloud computing, 5G, and faster Wi-Fi access will only continue feeding the growth of IoT as the pandemic forces the need for remote work and data access. Many more IoT trends will continue to emerge as the year unfolds, right from voting to large-scale vaccination drives.

Read our blog on the Evolution of IoT here

The next trend of IoT devices can be found right here! Thingstel’s next-generation devices and configurable platforms with increased intelligence, reliability, and improved accuracy specifications are easy-to-use and come fully calibrated. Our technologies can empower and strengthen your business, providing you with a wide array of solutions ranging from predictive maintenance to remote monitoring to real-time analytics and data visualization. Reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more!

The 5 Components of an IoT ecosystem

The 5 Components of an IoT Ecosystem

We’ve talked a lot about the applications of IoT across a broad variety of industries and verticals, but understanding the basics of how an IoT ecosystem works is one of the first steps towards empowering the efficiency of our products. 

The Internet of Things works across a vast network.  Various components of IoT operate in tandem with each other to form a cohesive system and the devices perform autonomous actions based on the data collected from the connected products. This entire process with its multiple entities come together to form a complex IoT ecosystem. 

Let us break down each of these main components of IoT to understand their function and how they contribute to the ecosystem as a whole: 

  • Sensing and embedding components of IoT: 

This is the first tier of an IoT ecosystem and consists of micro, physical appliances embedded in an IoT device, responsible for data collection and controlling a mechanism.

  • Sensors – Sensors are devices which work together to gather minute data from the environment and detect even the slightest fluctuations in real-time. This small piece of hardware can measure anything depending on its type, ranging from blood pressure to smoke to outside temperature or pressure. Some IoT devices have multiple sensors bundled inside to perform a number of functions or collect a range of data. Examples are our smartphones and smart ACs. Sensors are important to achieve automation based on certain triggers. 
  • Actuators – These are devices which work opposite to sensors; they act. They receive a signal or trigger and generate action in response to it. For example, actuators can control heating and cooling in a smart AC. When sensors sense that a person has left the area, the actuators will be triggered to stop the flow of the air conditioning. 
  •  Connectivity: 

All the devices in an IoT network including sensors, actuators, and the cloud need to be interconnected in order to be able to process the data, decipher it and consequently produce the desired action. This is the second tire component of IoT. 

  • Protocols – Once data has been collected by the sensors, a communication channel is necessary between the sensors and the cloud. IoT standards and protocols are the ones which transfer data in the online world, they involve an invisible language which allow the physical objects to communicate with each other. Some of the most popular wireless IoT protocols include Bluetooth, WiFi, DDS, MOTT, cellular, etc. 
  • IoT Gateways – Incoming data from the sensors has to pass through gateways to reach the cloud. The function of the gateways is to translate the network protocols allowing seamless communication between all the devices in the network and to ‘preprocess’ data before sending it to the cloud. They also offer security by defending the system against malicious attacks and unauthorized access. 
  • IoT Cloud:

Once the data is in the cloud, it has to be processed. Essentially, the cloud is a high-performance facility where large amounts of data are handled, stored and put through major decisions in just under milliseconds. IoT clouds form the brain of the IoT ecosystem, possessing immense computing power, networking options, storage capabilities, service and analytics components of IoT so that information can be made readily available to the consumers. 

  • IoT Analytics and Data Management: 

IoT analytics makes sense of the vast amounts of analog data, and its main function is to convert raw data into useful insights that are later analyzed or interpreted to drive decision-making. An example can be determining the KPI’s in an application where one is interested to find out irregularities or errors in real-time. It can even be as basic as analyzing if a room’s temperature is within an acceptable range or whether a vehicle is about to crash. Many learnings can be derived from the data to predict trends, plan ahead and make vital business decisions. 

  • User Interface and End-User devices: 

This component of the IoT ecosystem is the visible component that is easily accessible and in control of the IoT user. The user can interact with the system via the device itself or remotely via smartphones, laptops and tablets. Smart home devices like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home allow users to communicate with the “things” in their home. A user-interface needs to be user-friendly with a strong design. 

The IoT ecosystem is a continuously evolving field of study where the components remain the same but the mechanisms often differ depending on the industry, use cases and budget. 

Read our blog on Temperature Monitoring and Vaccines here

Do you need an efficient, reliable and secure IoT ecosystem? Thingstel’s next-generation devices and configurable platforms with increased intelligence, reliability and improved accuracy specifications are easy-to-use and come fully-calibrated. Our technologies can empower and strengthen your business, providing you with a wide array of solutions ranging from predictive maintenance to remote monitoring to real-time analytics and data visualization. Reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more!

Evolution of IoT Over the Years

Evolution of IoT over the years

Evolution of IoT Over the Years

With the rising adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), the modern world is becoming broader and faster in terms of connectivity. As we know, IoT refers to the millions of physical devices that are connected to the internet and provides a platform for every industry to foster innovation and productivity. Although the technology is in its infant stage, the potential it holds for businesses is massive and it represents the next evolution of the connected world where it won’t be remiss to say that – “Interconnectedness is the new normal.”

A Timeline of IoT’s Evolution

The evolution of IoT as it stands today began just a few decades ago with the development of ARPANET, the first connected network and the granddad of today’s ‘Internet’. The history of IoT starts from here and follows a timeline of milestone moments which we will chronicle below:

  • 1982 – A graduate student in Carnegie Mellon University’s computer science department wants to know if his department’s soda vending machine has cold soda bottles but doesn’t want to go all the way there to check as the machine is quite a distance from his classroom. So, with the help of two fellow students and a research engineer, he develops a code that can let anyone on the university ARPANET monitor the status of the vending machine; whether it has soda bottles and whether they are cold or not. The evolution of IoT began here.
  • 1989 – English computer scientist Tim Berners Lee proposes the framework of the World Wide Web and lays the foundation of the Internet.
  • 1990 – MIT’s John Romkey invents a toaster that can be turned on or off via the Internet. It was connected to a computer as there was no Wi-Fi then, but this toaster is considered to be the world’s first IoT device – the first ‘thing’ in the Internet of Things.
  • 1993 – Quentin Stafford-Fraser and Paul Jardetzky from the University of Cambridge build the Trojan Room Coffee Pot in their computer laboratory where an image of its interior is uploaded to the building’s server thrice every minute for people to check the level of coffee when they want a cup.
  • 1999 – Current Executive Director of Auto-ID Labs at MIT, Kevin Ashton, coins the term Internet of Things (IoT) in a presentation he makes at Proctor & Gamble about linking RFIDs in their supply chain to the internet.
  • 2003-2004 – The term IoT starts to be used widely in mainstream publications like The Guardian and Scientific American.
  • 2005 – The United Nations International Telecommunications Union acknowledges the impact of IoT in its report.
  • 2008 – The first IoT conference is held in Zurich, bringing together researchers and practitioners from academia and industry to take part in the sharing of knowledge. In the same year, the US National Intelligence Council recognized IoT as one of the six disruptive civil technologies. The Evolution of IoT gained popularity from this point onwards.
  • 2011 – The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (CIBSG) announces in their white paper that the true birth of IoT was between 2008 and 2009 where the number of things connected to the internet exceeded the number of people connected to it.
  • 2012 and beyond – Companies like Apple and Samsung make waves with their smartphones, there is a proliferation of AI-powered personal assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, we all start to have devices that control individual things in our home, all working in concert with our computers and phones to share data and interact. Today, all our devices work in tandem over the internet

Conclusion

The future seems ripe with a host of endless possibilities which only go to show that the evolution of IoT and the growth of IoT technologies has gone past the point of no return. Technology today not only pushes past barricades we once thought insurmountable but also moves us towards a world where equal access to the internet and its resulting technological marvels will be available to everyone. IoT will continue to evolve in many ways which will amaze and astound us, ultimately creating a truly limitless potential for everyone.

And imagine, all this because some kid craved soda and decided to make his trip to the vending machine easier!

 Thingstel’s next-generation devices and configurable platforms with increased intelligence, reliability and improved accuracy specifications are easy-to-use and come fully-calibrated. Our technologies can empower and strengthen your business, providing you with a wide array of solutions ranging from predictive maintenance to remote monitoring to real-time analytics and data visualization. Reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more!

 

7 Things You Should Know About IoT

7 Things You Should Know About IoT

In today’s world, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the new buzzword that crops up everywhere in conversations around technology and next-gen devices. If you want to jump on the bandwagon and enjoy its benefits, it is important to understand where the term comes from, what it means, and how businesses can make use of it.

Below are seven things about IoT that you should know before you delve into the different ways you can utilize it for your own business, company, or brand.

  1. What is IoT?

The Internet of Things or IoT refers to the network of physical objects around the world that are currently connected to the Internet, essentially “things” that are embedded with software, sensors and other technologies for the purpose of collecting, sharing and exchanging data with other systems and devices over the internet.

  1. What can IoT do?

IoT can make anything “smart” with the power of AI algorithms, data collection and networks, its goal being to extend internet connectivity right from standard devices such as computers and tablets to even ‘dumb’ devices like a toaster. It can be used to vastly improve different aspects of our lives and make it easier.

  1. Why is IoT important?

Aside from being one of the most important technologies of the 21st century, IoT empowers us to connect everyday objects like cars, kitchen appliances, thermostats, and baby monitors to the internet via embedded sensors and devices, offering a transparent channel of seamless communication between people, processes and things. For businesses, IoT can play a huge role in saving time, money and effort by means of low-cost computing, big data, analytics, the cloud and mobile technologies which can do the job of sharing and collecting data with minimal human intervention.

  1. How does IoT work?

There are four fundamental components of an IoT system:

  • Devices/Sensors – These are components that help collect live data from the surrounding environment. It could be a simple temperature monitoring sensor or in the form of a video feed. A device can even have multiple sensors embedded into it which perform functions apart from sensing , such as a mobile phone with its in-built GPS and camera.
  • Connectivity – All the data collected is sent to a cloud which is an infrastructure for connectivity. The sensors are connected to the cloud by various means of communication like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, WAN, etc.
  • Data Processing – Once the data is collected in the cloud, the software processes the data. This process can be checking the temperature or pressure readings or devices or more complex such as identifying objects using computer vision.
  • User Interface – This sends the information to the end-user in a specific way ranging from triggering alarms on mobile phones to sending notifications through emails or text messages. The user can also have an active interface checking the IoT system like a camera installed and a web server required to access its video feed.

It isn’t always a one-way communication; the user can also perform an action in response to the desired effect. For example, if a user detects any change in the temperature of a room, with the help of IoT technology, he or she can adjust the temperature with their mobile phone.

  1. What are the applications of IoT?

IoT is used across various industries; some of its most common applications are:

  • Smart thermostats – Helps you control temperature and save resources by tracking usage patterns
  • Connected cars – Helps car companies handle parking, billing, insurance, etc. automatically.
  • Parking sensors – Helps users look for real-time parking spaces on their mobile phones
  • Activity trackers – Helps users capture heart rate patterns, activity levels, skin temperature, and calorie expenditure on their wrists.
  • Smart home – Enables connectivity inside homes including smoke detectors, alarms, lights bulbs, door locks etc.
  • Smart Health – Helps in real-time health monitoring and patient care.
  • Smart supply chain – Helps in real-time tracking of goods during transport and exchange of inventory information.
  • Smart city – Use cases include handling waste management, traffic management, water distribution etc.
  • Smart factories – Sensor technology can create a highly digitized and connected environment inside a manufacturing factory where equipment and machinery can improve automation and self-optimization of processes. The benefits of IoT here extend beyond just the physical production of goods to functions like supply chain logistics, planning, and product development.
  1. How can IoT be used in agriculture and farming?

In IoT-based smart farming, a system is built for automating the irrigating system and monitoring the crop yield with sensors (light, temperature, humidity, soil moisture etc.) so that farmers can monitor the conditions of their field from anywhere. This is a highly efficient method of farming when compared to the conventional approach through which farmers can collect meaningful data and increase competitiveness and sustainability in their productions. New agricultural applications in precision farming and smart farming through IoT will enable the industry to lower costs, increase operational efficiency, improve yield quality and reduce waste. These range from smart greenhouses to livestock monitoring to agricultural drones. Moreover, these applications not only target large-scale farming operations but can also act as switches to uplift growing trends in farming such as organic farming, family farming, hydroponics etc.

  1. What are the advantages of IoT?
  • Advantages
  • Technical optimization
  • Reduced Waste
  • Improved Data Collection
  • Improved Customer Engagement

The Internet of Things has already started transforming our lives, the way we work, the cities and homes we live in, travel, and interaction with people worldwide. The possibilities are endless, especially for the process industry, security monitoring and waste management.

Read our blog on the Biggest IoT trends here

Want to integrate IoT into your own business? Thingstel’s next-generation devices and configurable platforms with increased intelligence, reliability and improved accuracy specifications are easy-to-use and come fully-calibrated. Our technologies can empower and strengthen your business, providing you with a wide array of solutions ranging from predictive maintenance to remote monitoring to real-time analytics and data visualization. Reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more!

IoT in Distilleries

IoT in Distilleries

IoT in Distilleries

IoT (Internet of Things) is fast seeping into every corner of the food and beverage industry, transforming it from being reactive to proactive to predictive. However, with greater choice and variety of alcoholic beverages for consumers comes greater challenges for the manufacturers. In view of this, more and more alcohol companies are turning to IoT solutions and sensor technologies to overcome their indoor range challenges and improve the fermentation conditions in their alcohol production facilities.

Why is condition monitoring important for IoT in distilleries?

In a typical distillery or brewery, the risk significantly increases at night and over the weekends when manual monitoring of the facility and the steps of the fermentation process stops. During fermentation, yeast consumes sugar which decreases the density of the liquid and increases alcohol content. Variations in factors such as temperature or humidity during this process (which can take anywhere between a few days to weeks) can negatively impact the final taste. Hence, continuous monitoring of conditions is a good use of technology to raise alarms and ensure that a consistent product is obtained in the end.

How can IoT help Distilleries in condition monitoring?

  • To start with, digital technology can help in the production and supply chain processes, directly having an impact on product quality and cost management. For example, in beer brewing, hop is an extremely volatile ingredient that has to be incorporated into the brewing process within 12 hours of being harvested. IoT sensors can gather data on the temperature and humidity of the hops, ensuring that they are in peak condition while being incorporated.
  • Indoor range issues can be solved with the help of Bluetooth routers that have the ability to penetrate steel brewing tanks and connect with low-energy sensors that float within the tanks, rather than affixed to their sides.
  • Another area where alcohol manufacturers can utilize IoT solutions is in the creation of automated production processes spanning over departments such as product design, QA, packaging and logistics. IoT combined with big data analytics gives greater control over the manufacturing process, reduces costs and downtime, and enables predictive maintenance. The entire workflow can be optimized by having IoT sensors in Distilleries to carry out functions such as
  • Monitor the brewing/distilling processes (including specific gravity, airflow, etc.) and allow interaction with data in real-time so as to increase productivity and eliminate losses.
  • Record temperature variations on packaging machines thereby reducing downtime on the production line.
  • Measure and analyze pressure on the line so as to maintain an optimum pressure to prevent spillage and blowout from the bottles.
  • IoT can be incorporated across the entire key supply chain, even during transport and distribution where sensors can use GPS to track a shipment’s location or report on when it reaches the store. Breweries and distilleries face huge losses each year due to a number of accidents, from theft to kegs being refilled with fraudulent alcohol and sold as the official ones, to damage caused by poor handling to high maintenance costs. Asset tracking via IoT-sensors enables one to see where the problem occurs, whether at the filling, distribution, delivery, collection, or return stage and immediately respond to it, making the necessary corrections and saving costs.

Overall, digital technology can be used to take the traditional, long-established industry of alcohol production to the next level by enabling it with smarter solutions that yield high-quality beverages in tune with customer tastes and trends.

Want to become the next big beverage brand? Thingstel’s IoT-enabled devices and configurable platforms with increased intelligence, reliability and improved accuracy specifications are easy-to-use and come fully-calibrated. Our technologies can empower and strengthen your business, providing you with a wide array of solutions ranging from predictive maintenance to remote monitoring to real-time analytics and data visualization. Reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more!

 

 

IoT in Cannabis Farming

IoT in cannabis Farming

IoT in Cannabis Farming

India is slowly but surely on its way to legalizing medical marijuana with the country’s first medical cannabis clinic opened in Bangalore on 1st February 2020. It is only a matter of time before a whole new tech vertical – “cannatech” starts to explode where the cannabis industry will look for cutting-edge technologies to intervene in the agricultural and business aspects of their market.

Growers, manufacturers and retailers in the cannabis farming business face a number of hurdles including high taxes, refusal or reluctance from banks, and competition from the black market. Needless to say, they require an efficient and streamlined operation to keep the budget and focus on their product. This is where IoT (Internet of Things) can come into play.

How can IoT be linked to the cannabis farming business?

As more and more players start Cannabis Farming, they will use technology to ease their labor, make it more feasible and improve crop outputs. Technology will also be needed in shops to cope up with the legal demand and improve the customer shopping experience. IoT companies can step in here to fill the gaps and optimize every process from crop management to distribution.

Applications of IoT in cannabis farming:

  1. Marijuana cultivation

The cultivation of marijuana is always extremely sensitive and difficult as a number of factors can lead to their death. As only female flowers produce the cannabinoid compound which is needed for the manufacturing process, the formation of male flowers used for hemp is also a hurdle. Along with maintaining these delicate conditions, growers will also be under additional pressure to produce high yield as legal demand increases.

To handle this pressure, IoT is being employed for better management of the crops. For example, agricultural sensors can create a connected cannabis farming system where the environment can be manipulated for cannabis growth.

With the help of IoT, growers can

  • fix thermostats
  • add temperature controls
  • incorporate humidity sensors and
  • set up scheduled watering and light cycles to ensure the best conditions for the growth of the plant.

Benefit: IoT technology enables cannabis farmers to access smart measurement tools (wireless mesh networks, sensors, automated greenhouses, smart irrigation systems, etc.) and manipulate conditions of growth via smartphones, tablets and computers. The data from these operations can be recorded and used further to build up predictive analysis for future crop yields.

  1. Operation of Seed-to-Sale system

Due to the high sensitivity of Cannabis Farming, some legalization laws stipulate a regulation known as a seed-to-sale system to track the distribution procedure step by step. IoT can play a huge role hereby,

  • being used for tracking IDs including barcodes, RFID tags and other metrics for identification of germinating plants.
  • used for further tracking of the entire growth harvesting, drying and wholesale process
  • giving growers and retailers access to information on each plant/product by a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.
  • allowing the growers to identify issues such as misuse or abuse of the plant during the varied steps of the procedure i.e. introducing transparency to the supply chain.

Benefit: A central, connected controlled environment using IoT is the best way for manufacturers to streamline and automate a variety of tasks across the supply chain, from management to distribution to transport and also those related to food documentation and safety which, if done manually, would otherwise incur a huge financial cost. Using sensors and other IoT-related devices, facilities can create a comprehensive data environment that is dynamic and accessible from anywhere.

The cannabis farming business or “cannatech” is all set to expand into a major next-gen tech-vertical and there is no doubt that IoT will be along for the ride!

Thingstel’s next-generation controlled environment has temperature sensors with increased intelligence, reliability and improved accuracy specifications are easy-to-use and come fully-calibrated with a temperature-compensated digital output. You can always reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more! 

Read our blog on Predictive Maintenance here

 

Pharma Manufacturing and IoT

Pharma Manufacturing and IoT

Pharma Manufacturing and IoT

Continuous innovation for a company not only means in its product but also in the digitization of its data and processes across the value chain. The emergence of IoT (Internet of Things) and its applications has started to provide the pharmaceutical industry with a plethora of new opportunities including improved control during drug manufacturing, predictive maintenance of equipment and a smart supply chain. In particular, IoT trackers and sensors can enable optimal conditions for handling sensitive chemicals and biomaterials, ensuring correct machine operation and even better patient access.

Let us see below three use cases of IoT in the pharma manufacturing industry:

1.Facilitating a controlled environment during manufacturing

Incorrect environmental conditions can be fatal for Pharma manufacturing. Pharma IoT comes into place here to ensure transparency by enabling sensors to monitor real-time environmental parameters such as:

  • Light
  • Radiation
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • CO2 Level

The sensors then relay the necessary information on a dashboard allowing the lab technicians to take stock of the situation and instantly take measures to rectify if needed. Along with a climate control system, automatic adjustments can be made in response to this data. Another big advantage of using IoT for a controlled environment is that it gives alerts of any toxic substance leakage allowing the staff to ensure safe evacuations.

2.Introducing predictive maintenance for equipment

One of the major failures of Pharma manufacturing is related to its equipment. A number of reasons exist for an equipment’s inability to perform which include mechanical damage, chemical deterioration, unstable environment, heavy voltage and improper maintenance. IoT sensors can connect all the machinery pieces across the facilities and collectively update the status of various components such as:

  • Sterilizers
  • Vacuum pumps
  • pH probes
  • Pressure gauges
  • Heat exchangers

The information collected can be used to avoid critical issues, plan repairs and maintenance, ensure the safety of the workplace and lessen downtime. A full overview of equipment utilization can also be drawn serving as a basis for future upgrades to reduce waste and optimize performance.

3.Enabling a smart supply chain management

Once a drug is manufactured, it starts to move down the supply chain, from shipping to transit to delivery in hospitals and pharmacies. During this journey, sudden temperature changes, vehicle accidents and delays can negatively impact both the patient and the company.

Global giants like Pfizer, need their vaccines to be maintained at a certain temperature for them to maintain their integrity and constant monitoring of this temperature is required to have efficient management of the supply to patients.

IoT can help ensure an undisturbed supply chain by providing visibility into all real-time processes, allowing for immediate actions and saving valuable time. While packing, each drug package can be marked with smart labels for location monitoring during transit. In turn, sensors can be embedded in the vehicles and containers to give continuous updates on the temperature, pressure, and humidity so that carriers can be instantly alerted in case of any discrepancies. Thus, a smart supply chain will enable timely measures in order to avoid drug discard due to transportation and storage issues. Sensors can be used even further down the supply chain to check whether the patients are following the treatment by reminding them to take the drug or giving alerts to their caregiver. The possibilities of a smart supply chain are endless.

As pharma manufacturing companies cannot risk equipment malfunctions and drug discard due to suboptimal conditions, they require a 24/7 real-time monitoring system that can be fulfilled by IoT in a number of cost-saving and innovative ways.

Thingstel’s next-generation temperature sensors with increased intelligence, reliability and improved accuracy specifications are easy-to-use and come fully-calibrated with a temperature-compensated digital output. You can always reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more!

Temperature Monitoring and Vaccines

Temperature-Monitoring and Vaccines

Vaccines are the need of the hour today in a world that is teetering under the coronavirus pandemic.
Indeed, the race to develop, distribute and administer vaccinations around the globe is currently
progressing at a lightning pace, especially when the possibility to prevent further deaths, revive dying
economies, and reclaim normal lifestyles hang in the balance. However, their success mainly depends on
proper storage and handling. Here is where temperature-monitoring comes into place.

What is temperature-monitoring and why is it important for the storage of vaccines?

Temperature-monitoring systems capture temperature data of an area via a probe or sensor. Vaccines
are fragile and must be stored properly from the time they are manufactured until the time they are
administered in a certain temperature range which varies according to their type. Exposure to
temperature fluctuations or multiple temperature excursions can damage the vaccines and adversely
affect their potency, resulting in huge financial losses and the risk of patient contamination. To safeguard
them and ensure their safe delivery, a robust temperature-monitoring system is an absolute
requirement.

Why is it a huge challenge?

If we take the current Covid-19 pandemic into account, the scale of vaccine distribution itself is one of
the enormous proportions – companies will not only have to make millions of doses but also maintain them
at regulated cold temperatures all through their journeys from the factory to hospitals to drug distribution
centers. A decade ago, temperature-monitoring of vaccines was done manually, a time-consuming
the process with a high risk of error especially when one would need to open the storage unit for a
temperature check and inevitably alter the integrity of the vaccine inside. But with today’s technological
advancements, this challenge can be mitigated through several innovative ways including the internet-
connected temperature-monitoring systems.

What is the advantage of IoT temperature-monitoring sensors?

Automated IoT sensors can sit inside a freezer or a transport unit and continuously monitor the
temperature, negating the need to physically open the unit for a check.
The temperature data can be continuously transmitted to pharmaceutical companies and storage
handlers, allowing them to make note of any event that compromises the integrity of the
product and instantly make corrections from afar.

The temperature records can be backed-up and downloaded for posterity, available at a click of
a button, thereby doing away with the traditional pen, paper, and clipboard method, saving a
a whole lot of time.

IoT temperature-monitoring systems are no doubt a goldmine for meeting the current challenges of
efficient vaccine distribution and will only continue to expand its industry as more and more vaccines get
developed in the future.

Thingstel’s next-generation temperature sensors with increased intelligence, reliability, and improved
accuracy specifications are easy-to-use and come fully-calibrated with a temperature-compensated
digital output. You can always reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know
more!

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Insect Farming

Insect Farming

Insect farming is an admittedly old, but attractive business opportunity given the current issues of food insecurity and unsustainability. And we know how to make it even better.

What is insect farming?

Insect farming is the processes involved in the production of commodities from insects, which includes the rearing and breeding of insects, much like livestock because of which it is also called as “mini livestock” or “micro livestock”.This has proven to be an eco-friendly and sustainable practice with various long term benefits!

Benefits of insect farming

In the ongoing pandemic, topics of Climate change, food security and sustainability are becoming issues of increasing concern and insect farming promises a solution to some of it.

Economic benefits

Compared to livestock, insect rearing has several advantages. Firstly they require less land, with a larger number of insects being able to fit in the space compared to traditional livestock. Secondly, they require less water and feed compared to traditional livestock since some insect varieties take the water they require directly from the feed. Some even consume agricultural and food waste or culinary by-products, creating an environmentally effective cycle of income.

Sustainable

Insect farming is also considered to be more environmentally friendly than livestock which is considered to be the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases and one of the leading causes of anthropogenic-induced climate change. Insects are even advocated as a major sustainable food source for the future by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Food security & nutritionally efficiency

With a growing world population, increasingly demanding consumers, and a limited amount of agricultural land, there is an urgent need to find alternatives to traditional meat products and alternative protein sources and Insects have risen as a viable alternative! Insects Also have a better nutrition profile than conventional livestock. They contain proteins, lipids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates and vitamins, with significant levels of micronutrients such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and so on.

What are the challenges?

Insect farming is usually labour intensive.

The main challenge involves the intensive insect rearing itself. A fair balance between mechanization, automation, and manual labour must be found but most of the insect farming methods utilized now are labour-intensive. Only a few stages are automated, which makes huge staff necessary when scaling up.

Insect farming requires constant monitoring.

Insect farming requires close monitoring of temperature and other critical parameters for efficient control and maintenance which requires increased manpower and work times.  

This is where Thingstel comes in! 

Thingstel helps overcome certain challenges, reducing manual labour, thus the risk of human error with smooth, and cost-efficient automation tools like its wide range of sensors, such as temperature sensor, Humidity sensor, light sensor and pressure sensor are valuable for the process through which valuable input can be obtained. Thingstel also provides predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring for effective and efficient Insect faring.

We are pros when it comes to assisting Black soldier fly farming. Black soldier flies could potentially redefine the future of many industries being among the fastest detritus feeders: they obtain their food by consuming decomposing plant and animal parts and are valued for their ability to break down decaying or dead materials extremely fast.

They thus help recycle nutrients and even aid the Earth’s biogeochemical and energy flow cycles. 

Bottom line

Global food and feed are growing rapidly while agriculture land is decreasing and livestock expansions are showing adverse long-term implications for the environment. Hence in the current scenario, insect farming appears as an increasingly attractive response to the need of sustainable food and feed production as Insects represent an abundant food source that can be reared using organic side-streams, thus enhancing circularity and sustainability, while alleviating food insecurity.

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