Home Communication Towards maximum efficiency in tracking people and products in an industrial environment
Towards maximum efficiency in tracking people and products in an industrial environment
3 April, 2024

Knowing the location of people, products, or equipment within a building can bring numerous benefits to companies. In this way, it's possible to increase competitiveness by managing resources in real time, implementing more efficient processes, and improving the entire logistics chain.

Nowadays, no one can imagine traveling between two cities without the support of their car's navigation system or their mobile phone. It's essential if you don't want to get lost in an unfamiliar city and, in the latest models with Internet access, to avoid road traffic congestion. The navigation solutions we use to guide us on the street don't work inside a building, as the systems need to be in line of sight with satellites which, in turn, send out radio signals, allowing the receiver to calculate its position. There are several alternatives available for implementing a positioning, tracking, and navigation system indoors.

However, there is not (yet) a universal solution that is perfect for all problems, we know that choosing the best technological solution depends on specific requirements for each use case. Indoor positioning solutions can be useful in many scenarios: to guide a person inside a large hospital, shopping center, or office building; to know the location of a particular piece of equipment; to prevent a person from entering a dangerous area, among others.


From manual control to automatic real-time localization

In industry, indoor positioning solutions can bring numerous competitive advantages. About logistics and inventory control, it becomes feasible to know the real-time location of products and raw materials on the shop floor and to detect and control the entry and exit of products from the company or its different sections. With partner's and suppliers' collaboration, it's possible to track products, especially when they undergo processing at third-party facilities.

Nowadays, it is increasingly common for industries to move from controlling the manufacturing process by recording, often manually, the batches entering and leaving each section of the company, to a system where each pallet is located automatically and in real-time. These solutions make it possible to improve companies' internal logistics. In this way, it is possible to quickly find the employee with the skills to do a particular task and locate specific equipment.

They also make it possible to increase the efficiency of internal processes, taking into account the location of employees and loading equipment and thus designing, in real-time, material collection routes that minimize the effort and distance traveled. Using highly accurate systems, it's even possible to create equipment that moves on its own in companies!

Image: Application of indoor location technologies in industrial equipment

Experience: challenges ahead

Science evolves daily, but currently, it hasn't managed to create a low-cost, simple, and universal solution that can accurately pinpoint the location of something inside a building. We have experience creating solutions for different companies, with very variable application scenarios. We will continue working to improve current systems, develop solutions with new technologies, and achieve greater accuracy in solutions that are cost-effective (low cost) and scalable across large industrial areas.



Filipe Meneses, Development Coordinator of Urban and Mobile Computing Department, at CCG/ZGDV Institute

Adriano Moreira, Scientific Coordinator of Urban and Mobile Computing Department, at CCG/ZGDV Institute