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Deutsche Telekom intros NB-IoT-connected bins for sensitive documents

Deutsche Telekom has teamed up with logistics company Rhenus and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (Fraunhofer IML) to develop an NB-IoT connected smart bins for disposing of sensitive documents.

An NB-IoT sensor in the containers issues a signal to Deutsche Telekom’s cloud-based IoT management plaform, marketed as its Cloud of Things, when they are full, and their contents are scheduled for disposal.

Deutsche Telekom explained: “If a critical filling level is reached, the responsible dispatcher receives an alarm. This enables collections to be planned more economically. The company avoids unnecessary driving and saves fuel. At the same time, it makes a major contribution to the environment.”

The propagation characteristics of NB-IoT mean signals will penetrate buildings and cellars, noted Deuitsche Telekom.

The containers have been designed at the trio’s joint enterprise lab in Dortmund, in Germany, as the first product from their collaboration. Rhenus is testing 1,000 containers. An initial run of 100,000 will be launched at the end of 2019.

The prerequisite at the Dortmund lab was for inexpensive and durable technology to record and control the bin-levels. The measuring sensor is located in the metal container; the data is transmitted from outside, said Deutsche Telekom.

Rami Avidan, responsible for IoT at Deutsche Telekom’s corporate customer arm T-Systems, said: “The sensor data allows to plan collection and disposal with pinpoint accuracy. Our IoT platform makes the data available in a user-friendly way. This makes it easier to map and control processes. Companies can reduce costs with foresight.”

Stephan Peters, board member at Rhenus, said: “Digitalisation is an integral part of our logistics processes. We can only leverage the potential of ‘Logistics 4.0’ with innovative solutions such as those developed here together with our partners Fraunhofer and Deutsche Telekom. The newly developed level sensor contributes to this by optimising business processes for the benefit of our customers.”

Michael ten Hompel, managing director at Fraunhofer IML, said: “NB-IoT becomes mass-ready. We have developed an ultra-low-power sensor for disposal and launched it for ‘transport logistic’. It is 5G-compatible and an important building block on the way to fully digitised process chains.”

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