Small, solid, robust: The »Sensing Puck« tracking tool – the latest invention from the »Modular Open Source IoT-Devices« development project – is characterized by the fact that it can be easily integrated into existing process chains. Like all developments in the Silicon Economy, the blueprints for the low-cost device are available as open source. 

With the »Sensing Puck«, shipping units can be tracked along the supply chain from goods in to goods out without any time or information gaps. The most striking feature of the device is its external shape: It was designed to be solid and robust on the one hand but also to be so flexible that it can be used with various charging systems. The puck shape – consisting of a base plate with space for the power supply and circuit board as well as a fully enclosing cover – allows a wide variety of fastening options on pallets, containers, etc. »Such IoT devices, which are individually adapted to the processes and conditions, are important components enabling companies to offer their customers additional smart services«, Silicon Economy expert Dr Sören Kerner of Fraunhofer IML explains the »Sensing Puck’s« advantages. The durable hard cover also ensures the longevity of the device.

But the inner values of the device are also impressive:

  • A wide variety of sensors can be used in the hard cover. Depending on the sensitivity of the transported goods, it is possible to measure temperature and humidity with short response times. 
  • Moreover, it is possible to detect positions, so that, for example, tilting can be detected and acceleration profiles can be recorded and analyzed. 
  • Communication takes place in an energy-efficient manner via established WLAN and mobile networks – both within and outside the company. 
  • The integrated processor enables safe and energy-saving ultra low power operation. The power supply is provided by standard commercially available batteries, which can be easily and inexpensively replaced by unscrewing the hard cover.
  • Furthermore, no switches or buttons, which could be susceptible to errors or damage, are integrated in the device: Activation and deactivation is carried out simply via a »double tap« on the hard cover. 

Higher quality, smart services

Using the »Sensing Puck« during transport leads to higher product quality levels for the customer, as the frequency of deliveries involving complaints or deliveries with unacceptable deviations is reduced thanks to the monitoring of the physical condition. In this way, measures can already be initiated during the interim processes. This full documentation means quality control when the shipment is received is also accelerated. As a result, companies can offer additional smart services to their customers as well as alternative forms of billing. 

The »Sensing Puck« is currently available as a demonstrator. In order to be able to measure and evaluate the possible effects in real operating environments, it is now to be developed further and used in a small prototype series parallel to existing processes during real world operations. 

>> Click here for the »Modular Open Source IoT-Devices« project profile.