(Susan Lacefield – Supply Chain Quarterly)
Like many organizations, the German chemical company BASF wants to improve visibility into its supply chain to help it make faster, better decisions. One way it’s trying to do this is by bringing together one of today’s hottest technologies—blockchain, a digital ledger system that provides an immutable record of transactions that can be shared and audited by supply chain partners—with one of the most basic of logistics tools, the pallet.
To be sure, these are no ordinary pallets. Instead, they are “smart pallets,” created by Dutch startup Ahrma Holding BV, that are embedded with active, battery-powered, wireless transponders. The transponders can record and transmit into the cloud the pallet’s position and movement, ambient temperature, and load state, as well as information about any acceleration or impacts that it has sustained, according to Andreas Wollny, senior manager, digital innovation, at the Performance Materials division of BASF. In a sense, the pallets will be a part of BASF’s industrial Internet of Things.
BASF first learned about the smart pallets when the company was contacted by Ahrma about providing a coating that could be used to protect their wood-composite pallets. The chemical company was intrigued by the product and wondered if it could be used in its own supply chain. Click here to read more.