Pathfindr develops smart device for IBC monitoring


Asset tracking and monitoring technology company Pathfindr has developed a new device that remotely monitors the location, fluid level and ambient condition of Rigid Intermediate Bulk Containers (RIBCs) and their contents.

Rigid IBCs are a safe and secure storage and transportation solution for hazardous and non-hazardous products, particularly liquids and semi-solids. Used extensively to transport chemicals, lubricants, inks and dyes as well as food, it is estimated that 713 million IBC units were shipped globally in 2022 – a number projected to rise by 40% to 1bn by 2028[1].

The new device, the Pathfindr Smart IBC, has been designed to help companies keep track of their global and local IBC shipments. As the use of IBCs increases, greater visibility and accuracy of stock holding becomes paramount for gaining competitive as well as financial advantage. 

The technology gauges an individual IBC’s fluid level, which can help inform companies over real-time fluid levels, any loss or damage during transit or storage, as well as providing the status of ambient conditions such as temperature and humidity.

Via Pathfindr’s award-winning online platform, users can set delivery and pump-off alerts, to help increase invoicing efficiency [MH1]   and speed, and instantly view all current stock holdings and locations. Alerts can be programmed to provide automatic warnings when an IBC’s fluid levels are low, or their contents are at risk from impact.

Ben Sturgess, founder and Chief Technology Officer at Pathfindr, said: “There is huge growth in the use of rigid IBCs for global shipping of goods,  which are often of high value or cause a major impact on a business if they run out. Additionally, some fluids are extremely dangerous if compromised. Companies often don’t have the systems to keep pace and keep track – that’s where our new smart tech comes in.

“Our devices, which are about to be adopted by one of the world’s largest energy companies, reduce risk and give companies far greater operational visibility. They also provide companies with a real-time reading over how much stock they hold when their product is moving all around the world, as well as what condition it’s in. If the fluid level is too low, or the ambient temperature is too high, there’ll be an instant alert – allowing action to be taken to reduce or fully mitigate any costly losses. Pathfindr’s Smart IBC allows users to become more even efficient, helping their customers as well as the planet.”

Ben Sturgess added: “The Pathfindr ethos is about shining a light on digitally hidden processes in manufacturing and logistics. We apply our simple yet powerful RTLS 4.0 approach to wherever there is unquantified waste or risk – whether in individual sites, or in transit anywhere across the world.”

[1] Future Market Insights, Intermediate Bulk Container (IBCs) Market: Global Industry Analysis 2014-2021 and Opportunity Assessment 2022-2031

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