More than just connectivity, IoT solutions are often pieces of a complex puzzle made up of subscriber management, device management, application enablement, billing, support, hardware and much more.
For companies looking to deploy solutions – whether in transportation, utility monitoring, heavy equipment, wireless services or other industries – procuring from multiple vendors becomes a complicated and expensive process. With additional barriers to entry including cost, technological limitations and lack of support, companies are faced with fragmentation that prevents or impedes the process, often resulting in ongoing unnecessary technical challenges and unexpected expenses. With many providers only offering one piece of the IoT stack, companies are increasingly looking for one-stop IoT shopping. Read more ›
But now that you’ve found the right technology, what happens next? What if you are left with more questions and doubts about what to do going forward? Or even worse, the company you trusted is no longer around to support your business or the hardware and software you are counting on to work? What if you are overwhelmed with the constant stream of new technologies, processes and IoT devices with ever evolving features and connectivity options.
The Internet of Something
IoT has quickly became one of the most talked about techy buzzwords in the past 10 years. But just like [dot].com, “The Cloud”, VOIP and an endless list of others, it has already begun to morph into whatever it means to the person talking about it. This is what I believe to be one of the biggest problems facing the world of IoT. It can literally mean what you want it to. I personally define it as “a way to get lots of smart things to give intelligent data to the right place in the right format at the right time”. But IoT will likely mean something completely different to you or other colleagues.
I am old enough to remember the days of the battling VHS and Betamax tapes. Gen Xer’s saw a similar battle with DVD-HD and Blu-ray. Today I see a similar battle with ICT giants fighting to establish a clear standard for the Internet of Things and the smart edge IoT devices in it. This battle may likely never see a clear winner before the next big thing comes along. There are hundreds of communication layers, thousands or RF and wireless connectivity options and millions upon billions of devices communicating across all of these.
There are a few industry leaders recognizing this lack of standardization and are changing the way they view IoT. The CEO of Tile, Mike Farley told Forbes magazine in a 2016 interview that IoT is “a too-hyped trend that’s failing to take off”. Depending on your experience just hearing someone say IoT can mean something exciting and rewarding or mysterious and confusing. If you invested in unreliable devices or a company that has shuttered its doors, it can be disappointing and costly.
If industry leaders are looking at IoT with a different eye, maybe you should too. Until a clear standard is established or at least a clear direction of what businesses and consumers can expect, I suggest it will be more sensible to look at IoT as an idea or a concept rather than a “thing” itself. This can help you see things closer to the ground and get back to solving real world business problems without getting lost in the hype of something. Read more ›
In many ways, the trucking industry is the poster child for Machine-to-Machine and the Internet of Things (IoT), which embrace the connectivity and exchange of data between assets, people and applications for better communication. By integrating trailer tracking technology into daily operations, a genuine way for the trucking sector to optimize resources, operational efficiency and profitability becomes a reality.
GPS tracking allows fleet operators to locate trailers, containers and other assets on the move or while stationary at docks and yards. In addition, a comprehensive asset tracking solution can help carriers remotely monitor a wide range of conditions such as door openings, unscheduled stops, cargo status, idle time, fuel levels and more.
Rapid technology development over the next five years will open up even more options to optimize logistics operations through live data and remote control and within ten years, we believe that M2M will dramatically change how transportation and logistics service providers make decisions. With data generated by telematics devices and IoT sensors, the hardware and solution possibilities are endless. So where do you start?
Here are 5 key things to consider when evaluating a trailer tracking solution:
Quick and Easy Installation:
A trailer telematics solution needs to be designed for quick and easy installation on trailers, containers, railcars and other transport assets. Check that devices can be conveniently configured and upgraded over the air. A solar powered trailer tracking solution is another feature that provides the benefits of hassle-free reporting with no battery changes and maintenance.
Dry van and cold chain monitoring needs to fully integrate with custom and third-party dispatch and in cab systems (i.e. McLeod, TMW, PeopleNet) so comprehensive trailer telematics data and reports can be conveniently accessed from the dispatch system interface.
A trailer tracking solution needs to extend on-the-go functionality to drivers and operators for complete for convenience and ease of use.
Backup Satellite Connectivity:
Optional backup satellite connectivity ensures uninterrupted communications with drivers and transport assets in some of the most remote regions of the world. Satellite becomes a lifeline to drivers in remote areas where cellular is scarce and in the midst of natural disasters and harsh weather conditions that may compromise the cellular infrastructure and service.
A trailer tracking solution needs to accommodate tracking, monitoring and control of dry and refrigerated assets. When choosing telematics technology, consider how the company may grow, expand or diversify in the future and consider those plans in the decision-making process. A comprehensive trailer management system makes it possible for carriers to seamlessly manage and control dry and refrigerated assets from a single platform.
We’re now able to process over 18 million messages per day, and are tracking and monitoring over 180,000 unique vessels per day. Maritime and terrestrial customers alike are now receiving up to 10 times more satellite passes and up to 14 times more views per day, which is well ahead of our competitors.
With several recent wins in both the government and commercial sectors, ORBCOMM has reaffirmed its position as the industry’s preferred provider of satellite AIS data:
Last year also saw an increasing number of examples of new and innovative uses for AIS data, beyond traditional vessel location and collision avoidance. Here are a just a few that we covered: Read more ›
Last year was a transformative time in terms of technology, devices and connectivity for our Internet of Things (IoT) solution providers, and started on the heels of the historic launch of our new OG2 satellites, which have helped us provide unmatched coverage for an even broader set of M2M and IoT applications.
Soon after the launch, we released the completely interchangeable OG2 and OGi satellite modems.The modems provide customers with plug-n-play satellite connectivity using the ORBCOMM VHF or Inmarsat L-band networks. The versatile modems are nearly 50% smaller than a credit card and feature an identical footprint, connectors, power input, programming environment, communication interface and protocols.
On the devices front, 2016 saw the release of several innovative new products, including the cellular-only version of our popular IDP-782 terminal (originally available in dual-mode), ideal for vehicle tracking, driver monitoring and other applications. For heavy equipment, ORBCOMM launched the new PT 7000—a ruggedized, two-way heavy equipment tracking and monitoring device. And we’re picking up 2017 right where we left off by announcing that the latest version of our solar-powered GT 1100 is the first LTE-enabled, dual-mode device approved for use on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks.
Furthering our strategy of expanding our geographic reach, last year we increased our footprint in the fast-growing African IoT market. With the acquisition of Skygistics, a long time distribution partner of ORBCOMM subsidiary SkyWave, we gained an established sales base and distribution network of over 250 customers across 22 African nations.
Besides our global footprint, ORBCOMM is also unique in its depth and breadth of IoT connectivity offerings. ORBCOMM’s unique partnerships give us access to a wide selection of wireless SIM card options and cost-effective cellular connectivity for a variety of OEM, IoT and M2M applications.
The applications for off-the-shelf, ‘plug & play’ remote monitoring systems are broad, limited only by the range of sensors they can integrate, and construction and communications capacities. Here are 5 real world situations where this new technology has already proven its value.
The release of dangerous substances through normal mining operation is fairly routine – from flaring, venting and purging, from fugitive gases from loading operations, drilling fluids, cuttings and well treatment chemicals, wash and drainage water, spills and leakage, cooling water and more. Smart continuous environmental monitoring is now possible, ensuring that neighbouring areas are not contaminated, and government regulations are routinely met.
In recent years, many new projects have focused on discovery and extraction of coal seam gas, tight gas and shale gas. In many parts of the world, coal seam gas mining is a most controversial form of mining, and those that carry it out are well aware of the risk of closure or damage to reputation of a mishap.
Regulations mandate strict conditions for companies involved in coal seam gas extraction, to ensure that no coal seam gas-extracted wastewater contaminates the soil. This makes close monitoring of wastewater levels critical, given the large quantities of waste water generated by the fracking process.
3. Asset monitoring
These range from land-based and maritime assets such as wetlands, to harbours, rivers, to airports and off-shore oil rigs, to mobile assets such as cargo on ships or barges.
Cargo may be of high value and therefore attract theft, or it may be dangerous goods, substances and articles that pose a threat to people, property and the environment due to chemical or physical properties. These can be monitored for temperature changes or vibration or leakage.
4. Environmental monitoring
Uses vary from preparation of environmental impact assessments to tracking the impact of human activities on the natural environment. This type of monitoring is often deployed in or near nature conservation areas, which are remote and inaccessible and where regular monitoring is essential for establishing trends in environmental parameters or threats to its health.
5. Watchdog monitoring
Advanced remote monitoring systems are also deployed to monitor critical communications devices that companies rely on in remote areas. These include existing satellite-based monitoring systems or satellite terminals used routinely by organisations, which do not have their own independent power sources. When they’re equipped with solar and battery power, watchdog monitoring systems can detect and report if the power supply is unstable or fails, and thus enables the organisation to respond quickly.
Excerpted from the “Remote Monitoring Best Practice Guide” by Pacific Data Systems, a leader in smart monitoring and control systems based in Brisbane, Australia. The company’s SatVue remote monitoring system combines a rugged, compact ORBCOMM device with smart monitoring technology and reliable satellite communications for environmental monitoring of remote sites. For more information, visit www.satvue.com.au.
2016 was a great year for our container and ports solutions business, which started on the heels of our exciting acquisition of WAM, a specialist in advanced Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for refrigerated containers and other intermodal assets.
Another important OEM relationship is with CIMC of China, the world’s largest manufacturer of shipping containers, which is using ORBCOMM’s OG2 satellite service and modem technology to develop a dual-mode telematics solution for dry containers. R&D work has progressed during 2016 and we have supplied both OGi and OG2 modem chipsets as CIMC builds out its connected container offering.
Cargo theft cost the global supply chain an estimated $22.6 billion in 2015, while illicit trade in drugs, people, wildlife, contraband and counterfeit goods by criminal and terrorist groups is said to be costing the world economy trillions of dollars a year. IoT and M2M technology have a big role to play in combatting cargo crime worldwide, both for detection and prevention.
As such, last year we also launched our CargoWatch® Secure application, providing end-to-end cargo shipment security and condition monitoring. Coupled with our trip-based cargo security devices, the CWS platform allows multiple parties – from shippers, logistics companies and freight forwarders, to port and DC operators, fleet owners, customs/tax and other government agencies – to detect, manage and correct supply chain breaches. (Read ORBCOMM’s full 2016 Year in Review here)
The New CargoWatch® Secure Cargo Security Solution
We’re picking up 2017 right where we left off Read more ›
If you’re in the business of producing, distributing or transporting perishable foods in the United States, you won’t want to miss our live webinar hosted by ORBCOMM and TMW on February 16. Learn how the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will affect your business, get some valuable insight from industry experts about getting ready for FSMA and see how ORBCOMM-TMW cold chain telematics can help you comply.
This session will be presented by Christoph Kalinski, VP Food Safety and Pharmaceutical Solutions at ORBCOMM, Chris Corlee, Pre-Sales Engineer and TMS Integration Specialist at ORBCOMM and Brian Larwig, VP & GM Appian and Business Intelligence at TMW Systems.
Thursday, February 16, 2017, 2 PM EST
Chris Kalinski Vice President,
Food Safety and Pharmaceutical Solutions ORBCOMM
Chris Corlee Pre-Sales Engineer,
TMS Integration Specialist ORBCOMM
Brian Larwig Vice President and General Manager
Appian and Business Intelligence TMW
TMW Systems’ integration with ORBCOMM’s asset tracking solutions provides carriers a centralized view of the location of their assets as well as the ability to monitor critical cargo temperatures and sensor readings, receive alarm events and prevent spoilage claims. To learn more, visit www.orbcomm.com/tmw.
2016 was another big year in the rapid development of the Internet of Things, and it was another year of great innovation and growth here at ORBCOMM. Building on our roots as a pioneering M2M connectivity company, we continue to transform our company into a leading end-to-end IoT solution provider. With our expanding portfolio of devices, applications and connectivity, we’re changing the way enterprises track, monitor, protect and control assets around the world in multiple industries.
This year, we made significant strides in the delivery of innovative sector-specific products and services across our business units. We’ve engaged in new platform developments with industry partners. And we’ve made it easier for enterprises, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), solution providers and value-added resellers (VARs) to deliver IoT solutions. Here are some highlights from our key business areas.
Advanced trailer and reefer telematics helps customers improve utilization, reduce fuel costs and capex, protect cargo and more.
Tougher rules to safeguard food and pharmaceutical supply chains are a global phenomenon, and this year we also launched upgraded temperature compliance solutions for our refrigerated transport customers in the US and Europe. Our European temperature recorders are the first in the industry to receive GAMP5 certification for compliance to temperature monitoring regulations along the supply chain for pharmaceutical products.
ORBCOMM’s temperature recorders provide proof of an uninterrupted cold chain
The year also saw the latest release of our application for cargo security and condition monitoring. Coupled with our security devices, the application allows shippers, logistics companies, freight forwarders, port and distribution centre operators, fleet owners, customs/tax and other government agencies to detect and correct supply chain breaches.
In the container and ports solutions business, another important OEM relationship we announced is with CIMC of China, the world’s largest manufacturer of shipping containers, which is using ORBCOMM’s satellite service and modem technology to develop a dual-mode “smart container” solution for the intermodal industry.
Throughout 2016, we’ve expanded our presence in the global container supply chain as well. We’re proud to be part of Maersk Line’s ground-breaking Remote Container Management solution for its global reefer container fleet.
Heavy Equipment OEM We entered into a new agreement with Terex Materials Processing, part of the global equipment giant Terex Corp, to deliver a customized end-to-end telematics solution to track and monitor their mobile crushing, screening and recycling machines.
We also rolled out our new solution for the heavy equipment sector that gives OEMs, dealers and end-users in construction, mining, rail and utilities complete visibility of equipment fleets, enabling improved maintenance and management. This business continues to grow and expand as we evolve our solution portfolio to address new market requirements and demands.
Wireless IoT Services ORBCOMM is unique in its depth and breadth of IoT connectivity offerings. Our suite of solutions for wireless Internet failover and connectivity for IoT deployments such as ATMs, vehicles and digital signage is a fast-growing segment of our business and shows no signs of slowing down next year.
ORBCOMM business continuity solutions keep machines and processes connected, branches linked and transactions flowing.
Growth through Acquisition Furthering our strategy of expanding our geographic reach, technical capabilities and distribution into incremental vertical markets through acquisition, this year we increased our footprint in Africa, one of the fastest-growing IoT markets. In May, we completed the acquisition of Skygistics, a long-time distribution partner. Now called ORBCOMM Africa, the division brings an established sales base and distribution network of over 250 customers across 22 African nations.
OG2 Satellites December marked the anniversary of the launch of ORBCOMM’s final 11 OG2 satellites. It was a milestone event for ORBCOMM, capping a 10-year journey from initial financing to the spectacular launch. The last of the new satellites entered commercial service in March, completing the full OG2 constellation deployment.
One year later, the OG2 satellite fleet is processing over 65% of our network’s Machine-to-Machine (M2M) traffic. In June the ORBCOMM network processed a record 1.3 million messages in a single day. Our customers around the world are pleased with the improved performance and availability of our enhanced satellite constellation, which will continue to improve as we add additional new services.
Satellite AIS The new OG2 satellites have continued to improve our Automatic Identification System (AIS) service, our vessel identification and collision avoidance system. We’re now able to process over 18 million messages per day, a 35% increase from last year, and are tracking over 180,000 vessels per day, up 33%. Customers are receiving up to 10 times more satellite passes and up to 14 times more views per day, which is well ahead of our competitors. With several recent wins in both the government and commercial sectors, ORBCOMM has reaffirmed its position as the industry’s preferred provider of satellite AIS data.
Looking Ahead to 2017 Looking forward, there is virtually no part of industry that IoT won’t touch, opening up endless possibilities for ORBCOMM’s IoT solution portfolio. In 2017, ORBCOMM will continue to be at the forefront of IoT solution delivery, enabling real-time visibility, remote control and rich data analytics to solve complex logistics, manufacturing, services, transportation and supply chain challenges across the globe. With nearly 100 engineering and design projects in development , we end the year as we began – making a strong impact on the global IoT industry through continued innovation and growth.
Remote monitoring of heavy equipment can deliver many benefits including reducing machine downtime and maintenance costs. However, many fleet managers opt against remote monitoring systems to help with their maintenance programs, partly because of the volumes of data that can be created and having to access multiple portals for mixed fleets. Nevertheless, the industry is working on resolving some of these issues.
Earlier this year, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) recently released a new version of its API which is intended to make it easier to transfer telematics information in mixed equipment fleets to end user business enterprise systems. This will allow fleet managers to analyze data from mixed equipment fleets and be able to extract the nuggets of information that will reduce the amount of maintenance that needs to be performed on equipment. FleetEdge, ORBCOMM’s industry-standard telematics application designed specifically for heavy equipment managers, is now compatible with the AEMP telematics standard, allowing OEMs to integrate data from different types of equipment into FleetEdge.
ORBCOMM’s FleetEdge is now even more powerful with the new maintenance module, which allows users to register equipment and create and evaluate their own maintenance intervals, to determine when a specific machine is due for servicing. Users are also able to add parts that need to be replaced, and create/file logs to keep track of all maintenance that was done and when for a specific asset. This gives fleet owners actionable data on maintenance and equipment performance based on utilization and operating hours.
We’ve also upgraded the FleetEdge mobile app so that users have a more complete view of equipment utilization, geofence activity and sensor data, brought to life with improved charts and graphs, right from your mobile device.
Use FleetEdge to track engine hours, get position/mileage/fuel reports, sensor alerts, use geofences, fault codes, and help prevent unauthorized use and theft.
FleetEdge integrates with the powerful dual-mode PT 7000 device, part of a comprehensive telematics solution that includes sensors, connectivity and web-based interface which provides tracking and location data, operational status as well as analytic, predictive and diagnostic tools for every asset in your fleet.
The PT 7000 is a ruggedized, cellular or dual-mode construction equipment tracking and monitoring device, enabling complete visibility and more efficient operation of heavy equipment by providing access to real-time data and analytics.
ORBCOMM is a single source provider of multi-network connectivity, leading edge devices and powerful applications for industries including transportation and distribution, heavy equipment, oil and gas, maritime and government.