The challenge is local and global. The world has a major perishables problem. A full 30 percent of all perishable produce and products never make it all the way from the farm to the table. For Rogue Ales in Newport, Ore., that means that some of their hops can’t be used in the best way possible, which means they can’t produce the best beer possible.
Intel has become a key ingredient in delivering fresh goods through more efficient supply chain tracking tools and management.
For the US and the world, that means less theft, less rotting and better food. For Rogue, that means fresher hops and better beer.
Rogue produces hops meant to be used in brewing “fresh hop” or “wet hop” beers. In other words, the hops are not dried in the field but are shipped quickly for immediate use in breweries. In fact, these hops have to be dropped into a vat of beer within 12 hours of harvest, or they start to go bad.
And fresh hops can be more hazardous than you might expect. If they overheat, the volatile oils with which the brewer infuses them can infiltrate the beer and produce an “off” flavor. Think about how lovely compost smells as it decomposes. Who’d want to drink that?
Enter the Intel Connected Logistics Platform. Rogue learned that this platform is used in the shipping of 1.1 billion units of products to 24 warehouses in 68 countries worldwide. Logistics experts rely on Intel technology because the platform brings clear visibility on each shipment, helping them see exactly where the freight is and what condition it’s in.
Intel’s multifaceted tracking strategy empowers shippers to look at data on each shipment, immediately react to that data, and optimize around that data, helping future shipments arrive on time with minimal losses. All these insights are driven by Edge Intelligence, powered by a quad core processor inside of each gateway, which can deliver data whether it’s connected or not.
Saving the Hops
Using the Intel Connected Logistics Platform, Rogue set out to collect temperature and humidity data on its shipments of hops, at every stage between the hop yard and the brewery. Intel’s sensors tracked each shipment’s location via GPS and noted whether temperature or humidity rose above or below acceptable boundaries.
With the help of nearly real-time data on each step of the transit process, Intel Connected Logistics Platform has given Rogue the power to take diligent care of each shipment of wet hops. After the hop harvest process, each shipment gateway is tagged with three tags per bin – one at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom – to ensure comprehensive tracking from the harvest all the way to the brewing vat.
As a result of Intel’s in-depth tracking, Rogue’s shipments of hops now stay more consistently fresh. The proof is in the hops: Take a taste, and see for yourself.
In recognition of World Water Day, Internet of Business looks at how IoT technologies can help to bring clean water to people in Africa.
According to figures from The Water Project, a non-profit organization bringing clean water to communities across the world, 783 million people – or one in nine of the global population – do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.
To tackle this crisis, many water systems have been installed worldwide, and that work continues, but 65 percent are said to break within the first two years of use as there is no sustainable method of maintaining them.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) advisers recognize that the traditional model relies too heavily on unreliable water committees to collect user fees and carry out maintenance.
Consequently, solar pumps and filtration systems can be left broken for years, particularly in war-torn regions from which development workers have been forced withdraw. Equipment is left unused and can creates tensions within these communities.
World Water Day, as today is designated by the United Nations, is about taking action to tackle this water crisis.
eWATER and IoT for good
eWATER, a company that uses mobile technology for sustainable water maintenance, has found that IoT can have a major impact on the provision of clean water in countries that desperately need it.
eWATER has developed a system that allows users to pay for water at the point of use, and ensure that maintenance is provided long after installation.
Combining mobile money, IoT and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies, eWATER claims to manage the provision of clean, low-cost water, which is accessible 24/7.
In the system, which is currently being used in Gambia, Africa, an eWATERtap is connected to a global network via an IoT node. To access the tap, users must purchase eWATERcredit from an eWATERseller.
Anyone with a smartphone can be an eWATERseller, but typically the job falls to local shopkeepers, who purchase large blocks of water credit through the app.
All the local villagers then have to do is purchase an eWATERtag powered by NFC, through which they can buy credit by tapping their tag against an eWATERseller’s smartphone. This can be as little as 10 pence, depending on that person’s need.
If they do own a smartphone, credit can be bought by anyone using the app, which ensures that anyone can be an eWATERseller and presumably also acts as a useful backup if the main eWATERseller’s technology fails.
To access the tap, villagers use their NFC tag to touch and pay at the tap, which deducts and records the amount of water used, and they have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Currently, 76 percent of Africans are said to own a mobile phone, but “The amount that people pay for a mobile phone in Africa would cover 10 years worth of drinking water purchased through eWATER, ” according to eWATER’s CEO Alison Wedgwood.
To ensure that maintenance on these taps continues after installation, eWATER trains local engineers to maintain the system and upgrade communal taps.
The upgrade includes replacing handpumps or leaky unreliable outlets with a smartcard reader, communications hub and solar powered electronic valve.
Central to this, and where the IoT comes in, is the connection to eWATERcare.
The cloud-based eWATERcare application receives information on functionality, flow rates and sales in real time, allowing unusual behavior to be highlighted and quickly passed to the local maintenance engineer. The engineer can then quickly visit the affected tap to ensure repairs are carried out within 12 hours of a server alert.
The engineer uses the app on their device to check what jobs are required. They can see details of how to do the jobs and also make notes to send back to the cloud server. Once the system is repaired, they mark the job as done, and the water system will confirm it is working.
Connectivity of these taps comes through a network connectivity company called Eseye. Eseye provides what it calls AnyNet and AnyNet Secure Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs).
These SIMs provide zero-touch, highly secure, remote device provisioning with the ability to roam across more than 440 worldwide mobile networks.
Using this technology, water flows, that had only been visible after site visits through collected historic data, can now be viewed in real time, and water flow information can be updated as a customer is still filling their water tank.
100 percent of transaction data can also now be collated, which is crucial in the visibility of cash flow and ensures payment can be made to maintenance companies to repair the taps.
eWATER says that installation of this system means 13,000 people currently have access to clean water 24/7 by ensuring maintenance companies receive up to date information on the state of the taps, so that they can repair them promptly. This is forecast to increase by up to 10 million people over the next five years through the instillation of 100,000 more taps. Water wastage has also decreased by roughly 99 percent.
“We pride ourselves on ensuring we never lose a single revenue transaction. By collecting 100 percent of water revenue means we help local communities keep their water resources maintained forever. Eseye and its global IoT network ensures eWATER always sends and receives data when we need it, and at a cost effective price,” Rob Hygate, eWATER.
“Eseye’s partnership with eWATER demonstrates again how IoT, when harnessed to highly innovative projects, is a power for good. In this instance, cellular security and data features enable the essential service and also, crucially, open investment routes that lead to more, new and better opportunities for health and wellbeing. eWATER’s exceptional work impacts on the most remote and disadvantaged communities. We are thrilled to see IoT changing lives and once again astonished at the power of the product,” Paul Marshall, Eseye.
Siemens is a German company based in Berlin with offices around the world. It is Europe’s largest engineering company. Employing around 362,000 people and with a worldwide profit of about 71.9 euros in 2014, the company is well known around the world, and the Siemens name is famous for its quality. The company has four main divisions: cities & infrastructure, industry, energy, and healthcare. While industry and healthcare are its two biggest areas, energy is beginning to be a large money-earning area for the company, too.
Siemens and energy
Siemens’ energy department is focusing on such things as sustainable and green energy, automation, and digitization of energy sources. It produces a large number of energy-saving products for many different industries. The company is responding to a known demand among the public for green energy sources and energy-saving devices. In fact, it is playing a leading role in marketing green energy and manufacturing green energy equipment. Siemens has always been a company that invents new things and stays on top of market trends. The way the company responds to what people demand is the main reason the company is so successful. Its ability to take those things people want and improve on them with new technologies and inventions is another reason people trust the Siemens name around the world.
Siemens is also connected to the Internet of Things, which is full of new smart devices. You’ve probably seen many ads for these types of things in the past year, and there is a good chance at least some of them were the result of Siemens marketing and technology. Smart devices are also in demand for businesses, in addition to personal use. The Siemens way of making energy-efficient and high-quality smart devices gives it a leading role in the energy marketplace.
Siemens and the Internet of Things
Siemens uses wind energy technology in many of its products and services in all of its company divisions. As an example, many companies have connected wind farms and are leaders in the wind energy industry. Siemens uses this wind energy in its cloud computing department. This means cloud computing obtained through Siemens is powered by renewable, green energy that is safe for the planet. Using a renewable energy source lets Siemens be competitive with other companies in the energy industry, such as General Electric, which also uses renewable energy sources for its electronic products and services.
Thanks to its use of cutting-edge wind energy, Siemens’ renewable energy department grew by more than 50% last year, and made up 11.3% of the company’s profits. Because of the use of wind energy, Siemens now offers cloud computing services that businesses can use to manage manufacturing equipment bought from Siemens at a distance, and they can get more accurate billing from that equipment based on its actual usage with precise recording of this information.
Siemens and energy in the future
Siemens is on the cutting-edge of the future of renewable energy solutions in both products and services. Using partnerships with companies like SAP, it is able to introduce new things to the market that are clean and good for the environment and that operate in a way that uses the least amount of energy possible. This saves money for both Siemens and its customers. Siemens can be expected to continue to be a leader in the field of renewable and green energy going forward. This will give the company what it needs to expand its energy department and improve its profits while becoming even more of an international household name.
Seasonal cues are a great way to promote good behaviour. When spring comes, for example, we clean our homes and put our material world to rights ready for a fresh start. But what about non-material things? Shouldn’t we spring clean those too? As times change, and the importance of materialistic items is overtaken by the valuable insights data gives us, it is vital we protect, clean and maintain it all year round.
As data becomes more readily available, assisting us in making important decisions, we need to keep our behaviour in check to prevent over cluttering and out-dated systems as they lead to several issues, including security breaches, poor formats, and slow machines.
Spring clean your machine
Align spring cleaning your home with cleaning your devices by running updates. This will keep all IoT devices working smoothly and glitch free. Your devices should already have anti-virus software, but you should make an asserted effort to manually scan every few weeks. Not only will these two actions improve the quality of how the devices run and connect; they will reduce chance of infections or unwanted malware.
De-clutter your database
Much like your annual household spring clean, it is important to manually de-clutter your database as this will protect digital files. Identifying what data exists, where it sits, whether it should be there at all and what needs removing is the first and biggest hurdle. Delete or archive emails to keep your inbox tidier, empty your trash folders and remove duplicate files to keep your mind clearer.
However, simply deleting data isn’t always enough to prevent hackers accessing your private information – you need to wipe data from your hard drive to prevent this, particularly if you throw out your PC.
Unused or ‘dark data’, can become expensive if you need to buy more storage. Also, it can waste a lot of time, sieving through data to find a file. It costs the average business billions of dollars each year. So, keep your personal data clean and tidy to prevent this each spring.
Time for a rethink
Our lives are so heavily integrated with connected devices and the internet that there should be a greater focus on prioritising security. Whilst we continue to be lax, hackers become smarter. As more devices continue to be connected through IoT, heightened security breaches are inevitable. However, this can be prevented – through updating your password regularly and to a high specification. Apps can formulate unique passwords and will help you keep track, or using pen and paper works just as well. The data you produce is unique and important, so keep it safe.
Although it can feel like a big chore, just remember how good you feel after your house is de-cluttered. Spend a few hours spring cleaning your data to keep it safe and working properly. Give data the attention it deserves, and keep up those good behavioral practices all year round.
For more on how IBM can help your business can keep its data safe, visit our website.