Shared across several industrial segments there are several challenges involved when it comes to tracking fast moving objects such as reusable load carriers.
The first issue is that they often exist in large quantities. To produce Return On Investment the cost of ownership must be kept relatively small for each unit. Basically this means that any solution based on GPS tracking can be leaved out. Due to the cost of advanced electronics and connectivity circuitry most solutions are out of the question. Adding to that cost comes cost of maintenance. When we are talking thousands of units any solution must be free from maintenance preferably for the entire lifetime of the load carrier.
Here we find non battery based solutions, such as passive-RFID, to be very suitable. But after being molded into various types of load carriers for years we often find that the cost of implementing stationary RFID-readers is not feasible. Complex distribution chains and short reading distances adds to the drawbacks.
CargoBeacon Industrial asset tags are relatively low at cost and provides up to 10 years of maintenance free operation. By adjusting the output power and using error correcting codes reading distances can be varied from centimetres up to kilometres. For normal use cases, also providing long battery life, reading distances is about 30 meters.
When being handled, either on the road or in an industrial yard, load carriers may change warehouse location several times during a work-day. This means tracking must be provided more or less continuously to provide accurate information about its current location.
CargoBeacon industrial asset tags provide advertisement messages once per second, still with years of battery lifetime, this means you will always know the current location of your load carrier. If you find GPS-tracker with years of battery life - be sure to read the italics. GPS-trackers with years of battery life is often based on positioning once per day or even once per week.
Most of the time - load carriers are just standing still waiting either to be refilled, transported, emptied or cleaned depending on where it is in its use-cycle.
For CargoBeacon tags - no problem. Depending on the use case they may send advertisement information when in rest or not. Even if battery life is not a problem you may want to reduce the advertisements due to interference reasons.
When being handled most load carriers are brought indoors - no matter if it is a filling, emptying or cleaning process. In between these processes they are most often transported outdoors - this may be on the same industrial premises or on the other side of the globe.
With CargoBeacon tags we find that smartphone compatibility is the main advantage that our customers are looking for. Smartphone compatibility means that anyone along the distribution chain can position the load carriers. Of course we also provide easy-to-install mobile and stationary access points that does this automatically.
Depending on the industry we find different types of load carriers that all are relatively low at cost. Normally they may cost from around 50 to 500 EUR with wooden pallets, plastic bins and trays even well below this price range. Theft is normally not a main concern so why do you want to track them?
The main concern is productivity - manual status checks, manual inventory counts and manual searching for lost load carriers are all reasons to digitize their location.
The lack of, or faulty, load carriers may cause disturbances to the production with enormous costs per lost hour of production. In addition - by using CargoBeacon precise location you may understand where load carriers are located with a sub meter accuracy. By closely following and understanding load carriers inside warehouses and manufacturing you may instead optimize the production and get increased throughput. With CargoBeacon APIs we can provide automated spaghetti diagrams and heat-maps helping you to visualize the flow of load carriers.
Indoor tracking with sub meter accuracy is not possible using normal GPS-trackers or RFID based solution. This is just another advantage of using CargoBeacon industrial asset tags.
What load carriers do you use in your business? Get in touch and discuss!