U.K.-based technology company System Loco has launched a range of asset trackers designed for use in transport pallets. The ‘LocoTrack HGC4’ and ‘RM2Track’ are embedded in composite pallets during the manufacturing process, for use by Pallet as a Service (PaaS) providers.
The devices include both a temperature sensor—to detect environmental conditions—and an accelerometer, allowing them to transmit the location of the pallet only when it starts or stops moving. This reduces the amount of data sent and helps conserve battery life. These sensors are overseen by Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 SoC, using its powerful 64 MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU).
LocoTrack HGC4 and RM2Track employ a combination of location technologies including GNSS, Wi-Fi, Cellular IoT and Bluetooth® LE. Once the location data has been collected, it is transmitted to the Cloud-based LocoAware web platform. From there, owners can easily manage and configure large portfolios of devices and track the location of their pallet fleet.
“As the logistics industry moves from tracking vehicles to pallets to individual packages, our asset trackers provide complete visibility of the location and integrity of goods from in-bound transit, through warehousing and when dispatched to the end customer,” says Daniel Essafi, Chief Operating Officer at System Loco.
“It is also common for millions of these pallets to go missing each year, often ending up in landfill. Our technology helps to prevent this type of waste, allowing for recovery and re-use of pallets, as well as recycling at end-of-life.”
LocoTrack HGC4 and RM2Track are equipped with four AA batteries, providing location reports and temperature data monitoring in the field for several years, up to the lifetime of a composite pallet. This battery life was made possible, in part, by the ultra low power operating characteristics of the nRF52840 SoC, which has been engineered to minimize power consumption with a fully-automatic power management system.
“Our decision to use the nRF52840 SoC was based on its technical superiority, and because it allowed us to eliminate the need for a dedicated processor,” says Essafi. “This would not have been possible without the SoC’s processor performance and memory capacity. We have also enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Nordic.”