Free Workers from Manual Inventory: A Case Study on Automated Tracking

worker in a warehouse checking his tablet for tracking his assets |

Our client is a medium-sized corporate group that specializes in the manufacture and sale of hydraulic components and systems as well as services related to hydraulics and electronic control technologies. Favendo was tasked with equipping our client’s 800 square meter central distribution center with an asset tracking solution to improve the efficiency of their inventory and logistics processes.  

Prior to the installation of the asset tracking system the client’s personnel would conduct a weekly manual inventory of the goods in the warehouse. This process required 3 employees: a forklift driver to move pallets, an employee to check delivery bills and verify the contents of the containers, and another employee to manually enter the information into the ERP system. Up to 5 minutes per stored asset in the inventory were lost during this process and the inventory was  subjected to risks associated with uneccesary movement. 

Therefore, Favendo’s aim was to implement a system by which the client could automatically check stock levels in real-time via a mobile device or a PC, to reduce search and shipment preparation times by tracking the precise location of inventory items and to prevent or reduce loss of inventory by including a series of alarms that would alert employees of assets leaving authorized areas. 

Sub-meter precision via BLE 

Favendo’s asset tracking solution perfectly covered the customer’s use cases. An infrastructure of Quuppa Q35 locators was installed to provide the required sub-meter accuracy levels via BLE Angle of Arrival. Next the client was equipped with the Favendo Tagger which would automate the process of associating asset tags with inventory items. In our use case: Each pallet received a Bluetooth tag prior to transport to the respective storage location, which was associated with the barcode on the pallet via Favendo Tagger. This was done via PC but is also possible via smartphone.  

The tag and the asset now being linked. The Favendo Viewer web app could then be used to track the location of the asset in real time, also via a smartphone or a PC. Thanks to the time stamp, it is also possible to track how long the pallet has been in the warehouse in total. And The positioning data is also fed to the customer’s ERP via the Favendo API.  

Automatized Tag/Asset De-Matching 

As items are prepared for shipping, Favendo robot can automatically dematch assets from asset tags through the use of predetermined zones. The attached tag can then be physically removed from the asset prior to shipping and be placed in the de-matching zone, which is previously defined with the Favendo Robot. If the tag remains in the de-matching zone for a predetermined duration (e.g., at least 1 minute), the tag and pallet are automatically separated in the system by the Favendo Robot. The tag can then be re-matched with another asset via an employee barcode scanner. The Favendo Robot also prevents the loss of tags and assets by sending notifications if a tag enters an unauthorized area. 

Thanks to automated warehousing, the employees save up to 900 hours a year, which are now available for other tasks. This makes the team more productive overall. There is no longer any risk of damaging packaging during manual searches and stocktaking with the forklift truck. Search times for pallets are significantly shorter. Storage times are tracked and can be read out automatically via the customer’s ERP together with other relevant KPIs. So, if deliveries are not called off by the customer beyond the agreed time the cost of storage can be accurately invoiced.