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Digitalisation of production and logistics processes with location

Find out what contribution location makes on the way to a digitalisation solution

Production and logistics companies have to spend a lot of non-value-added time looking for parts, products and assets in and outside their plants. The possibilities offered by digitalisation and Industry 4.0 result in new opportunities and ways to achieve paperless production and logistics. With the help of location technologies and Location Aware Software, for example, non-value-added activities such as search times can be reduced.

Production and logistics companies have to spend a lot of non-value-added time looking for parts, products and assets in and outside their plants. The possibilities offered by digitalisation and Industry 4.0 result in new opportunities and ways to achieve paperless production and logistics. With the help of location technologies and Location Aware Software, for example, non-value-added activities such as search times can be reduced.

Production processes are becoming more complex and changing faster and faster. The industry is facing up to the increasing desire for flexibility in production. This is made more challenging by media disruptions and a lot of paper in manufacturing. As a result, a lot of time is lost because the whereabouts of parts, products and assets in and outside the factories are not transparently documented. In the worst case, orders have to be re-produced or tools have to be purchased unnecessarily often because they cannot be found quickly enough.

For companies, these challenges result in a growing demand for a system that provides information at any time about the location of raw materials, parts, orders, production resources, etc. From the experiences of our private life, in which we know where we are and what is nearby at any time via our smartphones, the question of a location system quickly arises. It can be imagined that not every application needs the same solution, but that different requirements are placed on the location technology.

To address these requirements, a software platform is needed that allows different technologies to be combined and the collected data to be processed in consideration of the context. The combination of the processed data with the information from other business systems in a Location Aware Software creates added operational value.

Technological possibilities

The technological possibilities are as diverse as the number of providers of these technologies. They range from the simplest technological approaches by scanning barcodes or QR codes, to the detection of passages with passive RFID technology or continuous presence detection with active technologies such as Bluetooth, to continuous location in real time (Real Time Locating System, RTLS). For outdoor location, GPS/GNSS is a good choice, even if the accuracy is limited to about 10 metres. Indoors, solutions based on WLAN or BLE can provide positioning within a few metres with low update rates. Technologies such as ultra-wideband (UWB), infrared or ultrasonic provide the technological basis to enable real-time positioning to an accuracy of a few centimetres or better.

Digitise production and logistics processes with location

Many hardware manufacturers also provide their own software. However, more comprehensive functionalities are only available from technology-independent Location Aware Software providers that can integrate a variety of different systems and process the collected data considering the context. How about, for example, a dynamic display of order information on e-Ink displays (eLabel) depending on the process step in which the order is located? Or a location-based evaluation of production processes including optimisation suggestions? The more flexible the Location Aware Software, the more possibilities are open to you from your location infrastructure to digitise the production and logistics processes in your company. We work with you to determine the appropriate requirements for use in your company.

Download our guide for more information and tips*

*Unfortunately, the content is currently only available in German.