IoT preserves efficacy of vaccines against Covid-19

Bosch is implementing an Internet of Things solution that tracks the conditions of cold chain loads, in real time, from the manufacturing site to the point of consumption

Edson Perin

The distribution of vaccines against Covid-19 is among the critical points that start in production and, subsequently, in packaging. The correct logistics, respecting the time and temperatures required by all vaccines, each with its individual characteristics, ensures that this cold chain maintains the drugs with their properties and efficiencies. The Division for Technologies and Services Bosch Service Solutions, from Bosch Group, is making the Intelligent Cold Chain Monitoring available for vaccines against Covid-19, a solution that tracks cargo conditions in real time during the logistics process, from the manufacturing site to the tip.

The technology has been available in Brazil since the beginning of 2020 and meets the new regulations of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), which establishes requirements on good practices for the distribution, storage and transport of medicines. Based on the Internet of Things (IoT) concept, the technology has sensors that are installed and programmed in order to transmit data to a gateway, which then sends the collected parameters to the cloud. With this data, an intelligent platform shows information in real time to the agents of the central monitoring and operational control.

Alexandre Boldrin Ferreira, executive of the Bosch Service Solutions division, says that the Cold Chain Intelligent Monitoring solution is based on three pillars: sensors, software and services. “The sensors are installed in strategic locations inside the vehicle and are connected to an intermediate device called a gateway, which sends the collected data in real time to a cloud”, explains Ferreira. “With the data generated, an intelligent platform processes and crosses the variables and transforms them into important graphs and indicators so that the agents of the central monitoring and operational control, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, can execute protocols interventions previously aligned with each client.”

Thus, says the executive, agents can fully monitor each process and its variables, allowing decisions to be made quickly in the face of indications of irregular events, such as variations in temperature and humidity, unplanned stops, change of routes, excessive time for boarding or disembarking. “It is also worth noting that the standard of security and data protection is extremely high and, therefore, all electronic records are stored safely and efficiently.”

In addition to temperature and humidity variables, the solution reveals situations and points of improvement that, on a daily basis, cause customer resources to be wasted. “In many cases, we identified the performance of repetitive, non-standard tasks that involve many people and areas, consuming the time of professionals who could be allocated and concentrated in more strategic activities of the business”, points out Ferreira.

Customized analyzes, which are delivered to each customer, can allow the review of processes and, consequently, provide cost reduction and increase in productivity and competitiveness. The implementation provides three types of solution, according to Ferreira. Data loggers or recorders are devices installed in vehicles that perform the recording of temperature variables, however they depend on the execution of manual tasks by the customer, such as: installation and constant removal for each shipment. The data needs to be downloaded and analyzed after delivery of the products. “This way, the customer will only have the information at a very late moment, because depending on the criticality of the tour, the referred shipment may have been compromised”.

The sensors that transmit the data involve a solution that allows temperature variables to be monitored by the customer, through access to software. “In this case, although the solution is more efficient than ordinary loggers, the customer needs to internalize and carry out many inherent activities, which are not few”, says Ferreira. “In some cases, even hiring people exclusively for monitoring, making the process as a whole very expensive”.

Intelligent monitoring, on the other hand, is a service offered by Bosch and covers all stages of the process. “Thus, the customer does not need to rely on budget, task allocation and dedicated people, since the process is coordinated by Bosch, including the management of the installation and calibrations, monitoring and management of alarms and protocols, in addition to the provision of intelligent reports that present to the customer the points of weakness of the processes and indicate improvements”, he informs.

According to Ferreira, the customer is exempt from costs and activities inherent to the monitoring process. “This gives you the possibility to focus your efforts and staff on more strategic and business-focused activities. As a whole, there are many cost reduction opportunities that the Bosch solution can provide to customers.”

Companies are accustomed, as Ferreira says, to more traditional models, such as the use of a data logger and the incorporation of all inherent tasks. “In addition, due to the status quo, it is very common for companies to have some difficulty in comparing the available solutions based on the cost-benefit that new technologies can offer.”

Alexandre Boldrin
Ferreira, Bosch

The Bosch monitoring system serves to detect changes in temperature when they are about to happen or happening, this automates this process, allows intervention in the face of signs of irregular events, such as temperature and humidity excursions. Thus, it allows visibility of cargo conditions in real time, ensures product quality to the end and reduces the costs of those who lose a lot of high value-added merchandise during the logistical process due to these excursions. It is possible to integrate the Bosch solution with the customer’s ERP, through technical analysis and integration objectives.

Bosch Service Solutions works as a business division of the Bosch Group that operates globally in the market for the development of complex solutions using IoT in the areas of customer experience, mobility and monitoring services. It has been present in Brazil for more than 10 years and, in a global scope, it operates in 16 countries with 26 offices and around 10,000 employees serving more than a thousand external clients in 35 languages. The main sectors of activity include the automotive, tourism, entertainment, transport, telecommunications and others.



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