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IoT and Industry 4.0 within RFID Systems and Asset Tracking

Industry 4.0 has brought forward countless new forms of technologies with the Internet of Things (IoT) being at the forefront. This includes RFID asset tracking innovations that can be found within a whole range of scenarios such as manufacturing industries, warehouse organisation, and means of tracking tool usage through systems such as our G1 Unmanned Store. Dipole are one of the largest manufacturers for RFID products and they list the following as some of the greatest Industry 4.0 benefits from RFID implementation. These include: a reduction in errors and costs, an increased level of efficiency, the ability/option to create new business models, and the opportunity to integrate operations within real time (1). All of these are contributing towards achieving the main goals of Industry 4.0, to increase productivity and efficiency by employing smart manufacturing into more processes, alongside increasing the connectivity between machines. The goal to work at a consistently greater degree of accuracy through the use of smart machines and new technologies is one that Codegate produced asset tracking solutions can greatly help to achieve. Whether this be through means of collecting location based data, or tracking how and when assets are used, or down to the large data sets collected and stored by Lime, our in house asset management software. With the goals of Industry 4.0 in mind, users could take the data collected by Lime and utilise machine learning to study the information provided by Lime, or they could collect the location based data to be used within a digital twin.

At Codegate members of our senior personnel have been involved with automatic data collection since before barcodes were widely used. We use RFID readers to gather location based data for assets then use this data to feed into Lime. These RFID readers are being implemented into smart factories such as leading suppliers Factory of the Future initiatives, so that parts and assets can be tracked as they move around the factory. The information gathered within Lime can be used alongside other applications with the option for Lime to operate as a middleware service. There are many benefits to installing asset tracking means into your operations, providing companies the opportunity of further achieving the goals and principles of Industry 4.0. Using our RFID system, managers can easily monitor exactly how many resources they have and the number of production parts currently within the site and can create predictions for when they need to order more resources based off of future work schedules. If production of certain parts slows down, the manager can see through our web portal they have enough of one resource to last them longer than normal and can also see how many new parts they have produced, therefore, they can delay ordering any more of that resource. This will give companies the ability to operate at a higher level of efficiency and flexibility than previously possible.

Perhaps your company is looking to install more automated systems to become one step closer to smart manufacturing and want to be able to keep track of some of your most valuable assets. At Codegate, we have found that many companies over purchase equipment at a typical rate of 30% extra with some cases showing a 50% extra spending, simply through not knowing the full extents of their current inventory. This can be attributed down to small mistakes such as items getting lost or poorly documented leading to accidental additional purchases. With our services users can view and locate all of their current assets and reduce their spending on purchasing new assets when already owned, underutilized assets can do the job perfectly. With how much new equipment built for Industry 4.0 costs, an overspend of 30% could easily become a major financial setback. The tracking can work through Passive RFID UHF, BLE, UWB technologies, or some of the other newest innovations within the industry. These innovations will help improve how asset tracking can be performed from the levels of accuracy produced to the ease of access and opportunities available.

One of our more prominent technological advancements is our G1 Unmanned Store, designed for assets and tool usage tracking. The old system of having employees sign in and out tools when they are using them is prone to errors and nearly always leads to loss of equipment with a lack of accountability. Our G1 Unmanned Store provides an automated solution through using RFID technologies to track tools and assets usage on the basis of performing multiple full inventory checks per customer visit to determine what assets have entered or left the store. The automated capabilities of the G1 Unmanned Store can help you take your business one step closer to smart manufacturing. A standard G1 Unmanned Store works through installing an RFID reader into a shipping container with a door that utilizes a user fob system to allow access. Once access has been granted any changes made to the stores inventory will be logged under the users fob ID that was used to enter the store. This information is then fed into the G1 store web page where management and users can view it and track the usability of each individual item to determine if certain assets are in higher or lower demand. The G1 Unmanned Store also benefits from providing environmental bonuses through the ability to operate off of solar panels and wind turbines, helping lead towards the environmental sustainability goals of Industry 4.0. Through our G1 web portal you can view the CO2 and gross savings from implementing these environmentally friendly measures alongside several other insightful measures.

The future of how RFID technologies will be used within Industry 4.0 is full of opportunities that we here at Codegate are looking forward to getting involved with. These could be tracking products that have been produced using additive manufacturing from the workstation, following it through its factory lifecycle, all the way to the shipping bay. Another example is having asset location data and movement patterns being fed into big data sources where artificial intelligence and digital twins can be used to create more optimal solutions.

If you have any questions/inquiries regarding how RFID technologies and asset tracking could be utilised within your workplace then please feel free to get in contact with us. If you also wish to receive email notifications of future blog posts then subscribe to our mailing list using the menu below.


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