Internet of Things?

The core concept of the Internet of Things is to connect two devices to share communications. Common examples are self-driving cars, fitness devices, and certainly smart warehouses.

How does it work?

The Internet of Things can be complex as a bottling facility taking tankers of refined motor oil and bottling a finished product such as 10/30 weight motor oil retail packaged for the Memorial Day weekend sale at a big box store.

On a consumer level, the grocery store is an example dozens of Internet of Things devices interconnected to provide management with the answer to “What are Hot Selling Items, and What are Not.” Smart grocery carts are wirelessly connected to the back office, and the store is laid out as a longitude and latitude grid.

As the consumer walks through the store, a route path is established over the grid. It is noted if the consumer picked up a sale catalog at the store entrance. It is noted how long the grocery cart is stalled in the isle, in front of which products. The Internet of Things allows a statistical profile to be built of each shopping experience, validated with the cash register check out receipt.

With today’s Internet of Things, the smart home is an example of Internet of Things applications. Examples include Apple HomeKit, Google Home or Google Assistant, Samsung Smart Things, and Amazon Alexa.

In logistics, Internet of Things warehouse management is a perfect example of IoT and Cloud computing. A barge delivers Group I base oil and it is pumped into holding tanks. IoT measures the delivered quantity. The customer, a big box store, has ordered a Memorial Day loss leader item, 5 Quart 10/30 weight motor oil.

Additives are added to the Group I Base Oil, bottles are filled with 5 quarts, and labeled with a serialized barcode label. Four bottles are sealed and boxed for shipment, with a barcode label on the box which contains the serial number range for the four units packed.

The boxes are stacked on a pallet which has a bar code label, which contains all of the case identification numbers. The pallets are stacked on storage racks.

A pick list is issued to the fork lift driver, and each pallet is picked up, scanned, and delivered to the staging area. In the staging area, the trailer order is packed, with multiple SQU’s for delivery to the same site.

When the order is assembled, the pallets are moved onto the waiting trailer, and each pallet is scanned and charged to the trailer and ownership transfers.

In case of a recall, the SQU on the retail product can be traced in moments to the bottling facility, all similar cases, and the location of all product in the retail channel.

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