“The IoT must provide legal proof of who is responsible for packaging and when”

Start-up founder Goodflow uses artificial intelligence and radio technologies so sensors can be held accountable in the event of an incident in the supply chain.

JDN. Play a new role in IoT accountability in asset monitoring. Can you explain the concept?

Ronan LeRoy. In Europe, the use of industrial single-use cardboard packaging generates more than one billion tonnes of CO2 every year. To reduce these CO2 emissions by three, we should move from disposable to reusable packaging. But the latter represent only 20% of the products on the market, the use is not yet established. The reason: Too many reusable packaging is lost or broken when it is returned to companies that have industrial packaging fleets. Its use represents a cost of several hundred million euros, mainly because players have to defend themselves from the risk of tearing and buy four to five times more than necessary. They therefore feel the return on investment is too low. This doesn’t encourage manufacturers to get started.

Therefore, the IoT must go beyond providing a location and provide a notion of legal proof of who is responsible for the packaging and when. This is the only way to make logistical cycles more reliable among all stakeholders, and thus to assign responsibilities in case of shock, for example. This is the crux of the matter: what really interests producers is knowing who is responsible for their package, and therefore has to pay in case of problems.

How does your solution work?

It is a recyclable polypropylene packaging equipped with an IoT sensor that works in 4G to report the desired information in real time and permanently, without having to put the sensor on standby. The lifespan is over ten years because the obstacle to the IoT within companies is the autonomy of objects, manufacturers do not want to replace the batteries. To guarantee this autonomy, we do not use the GPS, greedy for energy, to indicate the position: we have integrated into the sensor, which listens to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks at the same time, artificial intelligence to detect the position of the object. to determine. Packages also work in a mesh network with each other.

Specifically, the pack will search for the driver’s smartphone, a Wi-Fi network or any other connected object to indicate its location. This allows you to determine the location, whether it has been standing still for several days, whether a jolt has occurred between two locations, etc. Depending on the function, the customer knows which service provider he is with. The sensor thus assigns responsibilities. Since blockchain consumes a lot of energy, we don’t want to use it to guarantee the authenticity of information.

With our solution, there is no infrastructure to install, the sensor is integrated into the package, which removes a barrier for customers. We have developed the solution in eco-design so that packaging equipped with an IoT sensor has less impact than disposable packaging. The cost of using reusable industrial packaging with the GoodFlow system and subscription is three times lower than the cost of using disposable cardboard.

What are your implementation prospects?

Goodflow files patents (a first was validated by the INPI, ed). Together with Inria in Lille, IMT Nord Europe, IMT Atlantique, the Atlanpole incubator and Irisa in Lannion, we develop technological blocks that do not exist. These innovations allow us to conduct POCs with logistics operators of companies that have fleets of reusable industrial packaging in the automotive sector. (Goodflow works in particular with Renault in Vélizy, ed) and chemicals, which will be moved to the distribution of more than 5,000 connected objects in each of these two customers. The goal is to have 25,000 IoT devices installed within two years.

So what are your projects before the end of the year?

In 2021, GoodFloow won Ademe’s Perfecto Call for Projects, which monitors, monitors and monitors our developments to certify that our system will have significantly less impact than the solution it replaces over its lifetime. We also want to allow the solution to adapt to any packaging in any environment: be it a roll of metal, a mesh container, etc.

Therefore, a new research and development program will be launched from 2023 to 2026. In parallel with the filing of patents, we are developing a consulting offer to help manufacturers in the field of eco-design and emission reduction. We would like to launch this business in the first quarter, March 2023. The goal would be to make Goodflow a company with a mission. In 2023 Goodflow will also raise funds. The emergence of CSR and CO2 reduction policies will stimulate the development of the Internet of Things. But for this we need to create value in a different way, so that technology is at the service of ecology and has a real impact of CSR. This is the only way companies will switch to reusable packaging.

Ronan le Roy has made a career in the car. Faced with the low penetration of reusable packaging in the supply chain, in January 2019 he decided to found his own Goodflow start-up in Nantes. The latter aims to automate the monitoring and management of reusable packaging to simplify and make the transition easier and a more reliable sustainable supply chain.

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