|Track and trace for industrial tools refers to systems capable of recognizing and reporting the location and status of tools in a facility. Today's factories require exacting work. Track and trace technology can improve production safety, quality, and productivity. Asset tracking is currently done via barcode and a variety of manual steps in most cases. However, new solutions leveraging smart tags, near-field communication (NFC), and RFID are coming to market to globally track all varieties of objects in real time.
CHALLENGES / REQUIREMENTS
- Tracking of handheld tools for optimized use
- Avoid misuse of tools which can result in serious accident or injury
- Precise application of pressure or torque is required in many industries and operator error can cause costly defects
- Production of industrial and consumer goods requires exacting work
- Industrial operations
- Equipment manufacturers
- Cloud platform providers
- Factory systems can detect the location of a tool to within a meter or less
- More precise use of the tools reduces the likelihood of product defects
- Status monitoring and automation can ensure proper tool use to avoid accidents
- Equipment utilization can be improved with better asset visibility
TYPICAL SYSTEM CAPABILITIES
- Real-time tracking of location
- Monitoring of availability and operational status
- Communication to operators via device user interfaces
- Tools are continuously monitored for location, use and idle time
- Data for every tool is provided to the monitoring software, which monitors for optimal use of the tools to avoid accidents and improve precision
- Sensors: Vibration, torque, heat, energy consumption
- Network: WiFi, Wide Area Network (WAN)
- Augmented Intelligence: Prescriptive analytics
- Augmented Behavior: Machine-to-human (M2H) interfaces
|Asset tracking is currently done via barcode and a variety of manual steps in most cases. However, new solutions leveraging smart tags, near-field communication (NFC), and RFID are coming to market to globally track all varieties of objects in real time. The word geo-tagged is now being used by some companies to refer to this class of applications. In a future scenario, a user would be able to use Google Earth to track anything with an RFID tag.
From the factory floor to final delivery, an asset tracking system offers a vital link across your supply chains. It can deliver business-changing insights to help you create operational efficiencies and control costs.
Assets may also be tracked by combining GPS systems with mobile phone and/or satellite technology. GPS asset trackers enable remote tracking globally but rely on an internal battery for power. The rapid improvement in battery technology is making these solutions more cost efficient and opening new use cases. The frequency and precision with which the position of the device must be known dictate the type of GPS asset tracker and battery size.
Asset tracking devices commonly fail due to Faraday cage effects when assets are moved via intermodal containers. However, some modern tracking technology has sufficient signal strength to reach the GPS satellite system through metal barriers, which can then be reported via GPRS to terrestrial networks.
For indoor asset tracking Wi-fi combined with another technology like IR has been used. Bluetooth technology has also been used, and may provide more accuracy even if Bluetooth technology wasn't primarily developed for localisation.
Asset Tracking Software:
Asset tracking software is a type of software that enables tracking the movement of IT devices, equipment and software within an IT environment. It provides an inventory of all technology that makes up an IT environment or infrastructure and can track the location of each asset.
Asset tracking software is used by networks, system and IT administrators as a means to have a quantitative record and physical monitoring overall IT assets. Asset tracking software generally has the ability to scan the entire IT infrastructure for IT assets and compile an organization-wide IT inventory. Some of the tasks performed by asset tracking software include:
- Software inventory management
- Hardware inventory management
- Network inventory management
- Software licenses and vendor contract management
Key vendors: CDW, Wasp Barcode Technologies, WiseTrack