Where in the manufacturing industry is tracking of particular interest?
Ensun, a platform that specializes in searching and finding suitable technology providers, is right at the source when it comes to finding out which areas are particularly relevant in the manufacturing industry at the moment. At ensun, the launch of the Apple Airtags in particular has led to a boom in tracking – not only in the private sector, but also in industry.
As a solution provider on the ensun platform, Favendo also gets very individual insights into the demand for tracking solutions in the industry. That’s why we talked about the benefits of tracking in the manufacturing industry from our respective points of view, and what issues or pain points are particularly relevant right now.
In the past time, ensun, as a platform for technology scouting, got a very special impression of where tracking is needed in the industry. Especially in production and logistics, a high demand can be seen: For example, the technology can be used to find spare parts, workpieces or tools faster and to track materials or products in production. It is the same with theft protection – rare and expensive tools or the like can be prevented from disappearing.
The technology can also be quite helpful in container and bin management. Imagine you pack your product indoors (e.g. precision tubes) in containers and then ship them to your customers. On the one hand, you want to know which products are already packed and where exactly they are located on your premises. On the other hand, you are probably also interested in where the container is once it has left your facility. Here, a combination of indoor and outdoor (GPS) tracking creates more transparency.
In addition, and along with Covid-19, high-precision people tracking became more and more in demand to be able to ensure the safety distance between employees. But this is not only relevant in the office and during Covid-19, but also on the shop floor. However, this is by no means for work monitoring, but rather for the safety of employees working alone or just generally for process optimization.
At this point, Favendo, as a solution provider, was brought in to provide another expert point of view. As specialists for Real Time Location Services, we have an even deeper insight into where the demand for tracking in the manufacturing industry is particularly high.
In addition to the above, walking and driving path optimization is a very common emerging issue. By means of tracking, routes can be recorded, evaluated and then efficiently optimized. For this purpose, position data, for example via BLE or GPS, is calculated and displayed via a map (e.g. GoogleMaps or Open Street Maps) in a front-end application or can be integrated into an existing system (e.g. CRM /SAP) via an API. Linking the location data with the data from the database then enables an evaluation that allows conclusions to be drawn about optimization potential. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
In addition, it is important to note with regard to high-precision people tracking that a distinction is made between “tracking” and “tracing”. Tracking is used to determine an exact position, while tracing is suitable for detecting and tracking contacts (e.g. between two Bluetooth chips). However, tracing alone cannot tell you where the contact took place or its quality (back to back, face to face, shaking hands, etc.).
What are the future prospects for tracking in the industry?
Favendo and ensun clearly agree: Tracking will become more and more relevant and will be used more often as soon as companies realize how much an asset tracking solution of this kind is worthwhile. Of course, at the beginning, time and money have to be spent to adapt the software to the individual requirements or to install the hardware. Once this step has been taken, the resources mentioned above will be saved.
Tracking can also be used for quality management. For example, complex work processes or even minimal robot arm movements can be tracked and thus checked for accuracy.
In connection with tracking, drone technology and 3D tracking could also be increasingly used in the future. Both require high-precision technology such as ultra-wideband (UWB), which ensures very high measurement accuracy. Especially in warehouses with high racks, this is enormously helpful. In this way, objects can be located with positional accuracy.
However, since tracking systems always work in conjunction with anchor points, it should not be ignored that the integration of a tracking system is also associated with infrastructure costs. Even if this effort is relativized in comparison to the benefit.
We want to thank ensun for the inspiring discussion and the glimpse behind the scenes of a platform for technology scouting!
Favendo is the trusted partner for outstanding Real Time Location Services. Our team delivers reliable and efficient solutions for manufacturing and logistics companies, public buildings and facility management, and cruise ships. To provide our customers with a solution that meets their needs one hundred percent, we partner with Quuppa and Abeeway.
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