IoT Production Monitoring and Management for Supply Chains

January 15, 2024

The supply chain represented by airplanes, ships and trucks.

One major setback for companies during COVID-19 lockdowns was supply chain disruption. Freight delays inundated manufacturers. Labor shortages and bottlenecks at ports and warehouses halted production lines. The disruption affected manufacturers, customers and, of course, the entire economy.

Today, on-time performance has improved, although supply chain challenges still impact companies. The pandemic uncovered several weaknesses.

The supply chain has too many complexities that older, manual systems can’t monitor. It isn’t easy to track all the parties involved in delivering materials and goods along the chain.

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Telit Cinterion Bluetooth wireless technology beacon devices.

However, the Internet of Things (IoT)-connected sensors can fill this gap. They enable supply chains to track products and equipment at all levels in the chain.

One device example is an IoT beacon sensor with embedded Bluetooth® wireless technology. Paired with an IoT gateway enabled by Bluetooth technology, these low-cost, battery-powered small-footprint devices bring endpoint data to the cloud at scale.

Real-time visibility, using the power of edge data, prevents losing track of shipments. This visibility is especially critical when tracking the location and condition of sensitive assets with tight control requirements for variables (e.g., vibration or temperature).

Let’s look at the benefits of IoT in production.

Benefits of IoT for Production Management: 4 Layers of IoT

Production management plays a vital role in the IoT world. There are major differences from non-IoT production, as IoT is more of an integrated system than a product.

These are four basic integrated layers of IoT:

1. The Device Layer (Hardware)

This layer includes devices, such as an asset tracker or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). They are equipped with sensors to monitor conditions and collect data.

2. Network Layer (Communications in the Cloud)

This layer transfers data to the cloud using:

Then it processes and analyzes the data to check for proper requirements.

3. Applications Layer (Software)

This level accepts the data and then delivers the service and data to the end user. The user can adjust or automate actions to meet requirements.

4. Security Layer

Ensuring the devices and data they send are secure at each layer is critical. Security identifies and monitors risks from the point of entry to the spread of breaches and threats. This can encompass built-in hardware on the device and software security measures.

Security can include hiding or removing manufacturer names and model numbers from easy visibility by hackers. Security plays a vital role in customer confidence.

It looks complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Forming the right partnerships will help orchestrate the process smoothly.

IoT Monitoring Use Case: Connectivity and Cold Chain

COVID-19 vaccine vials.

Beyond provides global pharmaceutical and biological cold chain solutions to organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. Beyond Cold Chain™ enables remote monitoring of vaccines and temperature control for freezers and refrigerators.

Maintaining and monitoring cold chains are big challenges. In 2020, the pandemic and lockdowns interrupted immunization programs for preventable diseases. Twenty-four countries delayed their programs, putting over 117 million children at risk. Most of these countries were in Asia, Africa and South America.

Beyond realized it needed to build effective systems at scale to meet demands and manage the cold chain. Reliable, secure global connectivity was critical.

So, Beyond partnered with Telit Cinterion to design the most advanced IoT-enabled cold chain monitoring platform available. Our scalable IoT connectivity gave the company global visibility and control down to the individual IoT SIM.

Our cellular LPWA module portfolio enabled Beyond to reduce costs. It also extended battery life with Power Saving Mode (PSM) and extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX).

These future-proof solutions positioned Beyond to assist with cold chain monitoring for COVID-19 vaccines. Today, they are the leading vaccine cold chain monitoring service provider in 112 countries.

Telit Cinterion’s Expertise in Custom IoT Solutions: 3 Key Benefits

At Telit Cinterion, our approach is design once, use anywhere. You can design your solution once and drop in variants without redesigning it.

For instance, the IoT supply chain will become even faster with expanded 5G private networks. Therefore, we want to ensure your systems are easily scalable to take your investments into the future.

IoT management with a holistic partner, like Telit Cinterion, can provide three key benefits:

1. End-to-End Solutions for IoT Management

We can provide complete end-to-end solutions to solve business problems.

2. Future-Proof Investments

Our in-house experts are available for each IoT layer. We provide the latest technologies to scale your investments well into the future.

3. Focus on the Simplicity

We ensure seamless solution design and management so you can get on with your business. Learn how you can optimize and simplify your go-to-market digital production strategy. Speak with our IoT experts to create your ready-to-launch IoT production management solution.