Switzerland installs IoT system to monitor salt silos and optimize winter de-icing
Swiss salt producer Swiss Saltworks (Schweizer Salinen / Salines Suisses) has deployed an LTE-based IoT monitoring system, gauging salt levels and temperatures, to help it deliver salt to the right locations during the winter season. The solution, supplied by Swiss engineering firm and system integrator Comtac, takes live read-outs from regional salt silos in order to schedule de-icing salt distribution across the country.
It has so far been installed in 20 silos; the plan is to rollout to over 200 silos nationwide. The solution uses a radar sensor to collect data about salt levels; the sensor is integrated into an LTE modem from Switzerland-based IoT u-blox, and the data is carried via the module maker’s Thingstream platform over a public LTE network. The data is sent to Swiss Saltworks head office in Pratteln in the canton of Basel-Landschaft.
A statement said: “The solution ensures roads and streets are kept open for business throughout the harsh and prolonged winter periods.” Swiss Saltworks delivers around 7,000 tonnes of de-icing salt per day around Switzerland during the winter season. The company, owned by the 26 Swiss cantons and the Principality of Liechtenstein, handles salt mining and distribution for the whole country. The Comtac solution
Oliver Berger, business development manager for export and special projects at Saltworks, said: “By IoT enabling our mobile Taufix salt silos across Switzerland we are now in a position to make real time decisions on where and when to replenish stock. Beyond the obvious logistical efficiencies and ensuring that we keep streets and roads open for business, there is also a significant environmental uplift as we are able to cut down on erroneous deliveries.”
Stefan Zimmerman, managing director at Comtac, said: “With Comtac’s IoT sensing system we are able to bring both logistical and environmental benefits to Saltworks and their customers. This is just one example of how we are helping clients use data to manage their businesses more efficiently and we look forward to deploying our solutions in more innovative ways in the future.”