The IoT-supported asset trackingmarket will account for 95% of all enterprise and industrial solutions by 2025 according to a GlobeNewswire report.
Indeed, with the Internet of Things, the field of geolocation, and more particularly that of asset tracking, has experienced a real technological leap that benefits all companies, regardless of their sector of activity. This method of tracking a company’s physical assets, such as a fleet of vehicles or industrial equipment, is now considered essential to the efficient operation of an organization. So how can asset tracking and IoT geolocation concretely improve performance and reduce maintenance costs for a company? Let’s discover together the basics of asset tracking, what kind of technology can be used and how asset tracking IoT can benefit any industry.
Asset tracking and IoT geolocation: a complementarityperformance indicator
Definitionsenjes and objectives
According to the definition of the CNIL, “geolocation is a process that makes it possible to position an object, a vehicle or a person on a map using its geographical coordinates. Originating in the 1970s and until then reserved almost exclusively for military use, it was democratized in 1995 with the introduction of GPS (Global Positioning System) in the transport sector. Today, there are billions of geolocation users.
Thanks to their miniaturization, the development of high and low speed cellular networks and the intensification of globalized exchanges, asset geolocation has gradually emerged as an affordable and mature IoT service. Asset tracking is in fact a concrete application of geolocation, which consists of geolocating all types of resources crucial to the functioning of an organization’s activity: tools, equipment, raw materials, human resources, vehicle fleet, etc.
There are three main issues in asset tracking:
- Improve processes
- Reduce equipment loss and theft
- Ensuring the safety of employees
All of this, while serving the main objectives inherent to the company:
- Improving performance
- Reduce maintenance costs
- Reducing the carbon footprint of assets under management
To meet these challenges, asset tracking must therefore be associated with effective technology.
The challenges and the technology used to address them
In order to choose the right technology, you must first of all define the use that will be made of it. Indeed, the cases of use are very diverse between tracing a cash truck on the road or a pallet truck in a factory. Here are 3 key points to consider before choosing your technology:
- IoT geolocation accuracy
Is it a matter of geolocating an object at a distance of ten meters or rather a piece of equipment located at a few centimeters?
Depending on the need for precision and the environment (indoor or outdoor) the choice of technology will be different. For example, to locate a logistic machine in a warehouse, an accuracy of 5 meters will often be sufficient.
Some tags for example, can be equipped with an LED and a Buzzer that can be activated remotely. This will allow sound and visual alerts to be triggered to warn users of approaching vehicles, but also to refine the location in the last few metres.
The BLUE PUCK BUZZ+ Mesh by Ela Innovation
2. Battery life
When it comes to automation and IoT, having a sufficiently self-sufficient battery is essential. One feature that makes a difference is a battery smart management.
Indeed, to guarantee a competitive acquisition cost and to ensure the sustainability of the solution, it is necessary to choose beacons offering a good autonomy. A feature like smart battery management can make a difference and help optimize the life of the beacons. This functionality is based on two emission phases:
- In motion
When the equipment to be located is in motion: the beacon will then refresh its position very regularly. (of the order of a second).
- At a standstill
When the equipment has been static for more than a few seconds: the beacon goes into “sleep mode” and will therefore refresh its position less often.
In both cases, the transmission period can be set, allowing the localisation frequency to be adapted to each use. When we know that location is very energy consuming, this smart management feature is an efficient solution to optimize the battery of an asset.
3. Its ability to adapt to a harsh industrial environment
The industrial environment can sometimes be described as harsh. It is therefore important to choose a technology that is capable of adapting to them. By being adapted to severe industrial environments, this technology will combine robustness and longevity. This adaptability makes it ideal for locating industrial equipment and isolated workers.
Once the technology has been chosen, it will be necessary to be able to read and interpret the data collected in order to be proactive in the measures applied to the company. The new IoT solutions will allow, in addition to improving the tracking and optimizing the routes, to provide information on the entire shipment.
Asset tracking and IoT geolocation: how to choose the right solution?
The software solution for data processing
In addition to improving tracking, the equipment location solution will provide information on various factors such as shock, humidity and temperature. Thanks to advanced and customized features, it is also possible to build dashboards and alert scenarios.
This type of solution allows business departments to analyse and control the activity of their connected equipment, independently and continuously. Real-time and remote monitoring that meets many challenges such as:
- performance optimization
- equipment maintenance
- the automation of certain tasks that were previously manual
A SoDATA#Viz solution to geolocate transported goods: pallet, container…
An IoT data reporting platform is an essential brick in an asset tracking project as it provides a complete view to easily analyze the activity. But an IoT solution also means an IoT network. How to choose it?
The IoT network
Initially, geolocation was based solely on the satellite network. Today, other modes of connectivity and other uses have profoundly expanded the applications of geolocation. The IoT network is going to depend mainly on the usage:
- Indoor Geolocation
The more the space is delimited (hospital, factory), the more proximity solutions will be privileged such as Bluetooth, Wifi or other localisation technologies. A concrete use case is the locationbased on received signal strength (RSSI) in Mesh network.
The latter will rely on a mesh network of fixed and mobile beacons/tags. The idea is to install them at regular intervals and equip people or objects. Since this indoor tracking solution requires no wiring, its total cost of ownership is one of the most competitive on the market.
2. Outdoor Geolocation
The more extensive the mobility (fleet of vehicles, construction equipment), the more suitable the cellular with an M2M SIM card will be.
It is important to note that the massive development of SaaS (Software As a Service) and On Premise solutions has strongly contributed to the digitalization of organizations. Connected solutions allow managers to activate, supervise and provision all types of connected objects, with just a few clicks and in complete autonomy.
Whatever the connectivity, the data is automatically redirected to a open and interoperable solution data management system.
USoM2M#IoT solution solution to manage a fleet of multi-connected objects in real times
Choosing the right solution and network will bring several benefits for the company:
- Better management of the equipment fleet
- Automatic inventory of the equipment pool in real time and continuously
- IoT geolocation
- Remote monitoring
- Time saving
- Audible and customizable alerts
- Predictive maintenance
With the Internet of Things, it becomes possible to connect all kinds of objects to one or more networks in order to know their position and status. The choice of the right technology, combined with an IoT solution with the right connectivity are the key elements for an efficient asset tracking that will allow the company to improve its performance and reduce its maintenance costs.
For example, asset tracking solutions, which allow companies to track goods from shipment to final destination, will see a 27% increase in use over the next five years according to a Deloitte study.
In an ultra-connected world where the factory of the future is already the factory of today, Asset Tracking and IoT appear as real allies. Together, they can improve processes, enhance safety, increase profitability, reduce costs and create new value-added services for all companies in the sector. Although it is not the priority when starting a business, asset tracking is quickly becoming an essential solution for managing inventory in real time, knowing how often an asset is used and evaluating its contribution to economic results. All these cumulative contributions are there to feed one and the same objective: to improve the performance of the company.