Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Avnet, TE and Hanhaa partner on shipment tracking

Steve Rogerson
October 15, 2019
 
Arizona-based electronic component distributor Avnet is working with Swiss firm TE Connectivity and UK IoT innovator Hanhaa to track what happens to a shipment as it travels to its destination.
 
Though tracking a package as it winds its way through a supply chain is now standard practice, companies have had little insight into what happens to a shipment as it travels to its end destination.
 
TE Connectivity, a specialist in connectivity and sensors, has collaborated with Hanhaa and Avnet to make advances in improving the ability to identify the location of a package as well as its condition through the 4G and cloud enabled ParceLive service from Hanhaa.
 
"Billions of parcels are transported each year," said Christian Koehler, product manager at TE Connectivity. “However, today's tracking landscape is patchy, unreliable and doesn't give a holistic view of the conditions of specific shipments, or more broadly of systemic inefficiencies or risks in the global supply value chain. We worked with the ParceLive team to ensure the right antennas and sensors were designed in the right locations within the product."
 
Equipped with seven custom-designed TE sensors and antennas for 4G, ParceLive provides live cloud-based dashboards and reports:

  • Location, even from within warehouses;
  • Orientation of the shipment and if it is tilted;
  • Temperature and humidity levels; and
  • Shock by flagging freefall over 0.4s
Shipment breaches are triggered by light sensors when a parcel is opened.
 
Before the partnership with TE, ParceLive's antennas had been inefficient and unable to fulfil the required tasks under real-live conditions, neither had a chance to pass certification, and they were expensive. ParceLive is a battery-driven device of the size of a smart phone, in which multiple antennas need to function efficiently, at low power consumption.
 
TE's engineering expertise, as well as collaboration, helped guarantee required performance, provided scalability for mass production and reduced cost and size of the board.
 
"To improve efficiency, enhance customer service and protect valuable goods, hundreds of leading companies are now quickly adopting ParceLive tracking," said Hanhaa CEO Azhar Hussain. “Particularly the automotive, pharmaceutical and luxury goods industries are rapidly welcoming the new technology into their supply chain. There are already a number of use cases that are transforming how the logistic industry works, and improved insight is helping to combat a range of issues from customs delays to counterfeit goods.”
 
ParceLive use cases include:
  • Monitoring transportation of German sports cars;
  • Mile High Labs monitoring cannabidiol (CBD) shipments;
  • Monitoring artisan ales in transport; and
  • Track IQ monitoring animals in transport.
TE Connectivity is a $14bn technology and manufacturing company. For more than 75 years, its connectivity and sensors have enabled advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications and the home. It has 80,000 employees, including more than 8000 engineers, working alongside its customers in approximately 140 countries.