Locationing has become part of our everyday life. When was the last time anyone picked up a map in a car? You would go to your GPS which would not only know where you are now but also the best route to where you want to go including any potential obstacles on your route e.g. traffic issues.
So surely, we can use the same locationing technology within the factory or warehouse both for staff and inventory? Well yes and no. GPS accuracy is typically about 16 feet or 5 meters which is not the level of position that is needed. Also, GPS tends not to work at all well inside as it needs multiple satellite signals to gain an accurate location and the structure of many buildings do not allow the propagation of these signals. However, the basic principles and advantages can apply even if different technology is required.
When looking at locationing within four walls we need to determine what we are trying to track, where we are tracking it and the degree of precision that we need.
Let’s take a simple example of the tracing of a gurney through a hospital. The only degree of precision we need to know is, which room the gurney is in. Therefore, there is a limited number of places it can go and a very restricted way it can travel i.e. through doorways. So, by adding an RFID tag to the gurney and an RFID antenna at each door we can accurately trace the gurney (and potentially any patient on it).
Now let’s take a more complex example. We need to trace a tool around the shop floor of a large manufacturing site. In this case, the route the item can travel is not defined and can move in an infinite number of directions. Also, the accuracy we would typically be looking for is much greater. In this case, we would need a specialist tag and receivers tied to a digital map of the area to accurately locate it – in a way similar to GPS.
The above techniques help us to remove any form of human interaction (and potential errors) with the tracking and tracing of materials throughout the warehouse and shop floor.
Speak to us today to discuss your specific use case and how we can automate your data capture using the latest locationing technology.