The era of automation is here, Industry 4.0 implementation is being discussed everywhere. As most factories are older than 25 years, brownfield plants utilize RTLS as a popular way to enjoy the new possibilities. Real-time location systems enable insights that empower unmatched visibility and the ability to see and manage complex set-ups and organizations, improving operational performance.

A real-time location system (RTLS) is a positioning system to accurately track and locate assets and people inside industrial premises. Depending of the surrounding materials, RTLS is capable of achieving centimetre-level accuracy.

As RTLS can be deployed with many technologies such as Wi-Fi, UWB, GPS, ZigBee, Bluetooth, and active RFID, it is imperative to understand their individual strengths like accuracy, anti-interference performance, power usage, data rate, coverage, battery life and cost. For instance, conventional GPS systems won’t provide accurate location information inside industrial premises due to the inability of GPS signals to penetrate through construction materials. GPS devices are also much more costly, complex, and consume more power in comparison to active RFID technology.

Further reading: our “101 RTLS Guide”

Upon fully implementing RTLS, industries will benefit in the following ways:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Live monitoring of all assets and personnel
  • Effective use of assets
  • Intelligent access control
  • Automatic attendance system
  • Productivity tracking of assets
  • Fuel usage pattern of equipment
  • Tracking of people for medical reasons (e.g. social distance and contact tracing)
  • Theft control
  • Collision avoidance between employees and assets

Concluding, a RTLS solution will help to locate, track, and monitor all critical resources to improve processes and optimize workflows with the ability to quickly backtrack and compare data in a BI software.