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Bringing an Internet of Things (IoT) perspective to cold chain logistics
Honeywell, which is embedded in the pharma industry already through manufacturing process automation, facilities management and related areas, is now eyeing the pharma logistics space. The company announced a Connected Freight initiative in May, where it expects to provide services to a range of industries with onboard tracking devices and data gateways for real-time tracking. For pharma specifically, a series of pilots is currently being conducted with Kuehne + Nagel, according to Sameer Agrawal, VP, Supply Chain Solutions at Honeywell.
In essence, Honeywell is hoping to perform activities already common to cold chain supply management—monitoring shipments, delivering reports and providing analytics of those shipments—but in a manner that is more cost-effective and less complex. A combination of sensor tags and communications dataloggers has been developed in conjunction with Intel, the semiconductor manufacturer. These tags can be mated, in a parent-child relationship, with a datalogger, so that a shipment needs fewer dataloggers but still provides comprehensive monitoring and security. Honeywell also hopes to provide a common data gateway so that all parties in a shipment (logistics provider, carriers and the manufacturer) have controlled access to shipment data—and with analytics that determine longterm performance available.
Agrawal says that the current set of pilots will be completed by Q4 this year, and at that point Honeywell will be ready to offer a validated solution to the pharma industry. Another part of Honeywell—Movilizer, a 2016 acquisition now part of Honeywell Sensing and Productivity Solutions—may also bring track-and-trace capabilities to the pharma offering.