Many enterprises see digital transformation as a double-edged sword. Various stakeholders have high expectations of the company, but companies often lack a concrete approach to implementing digital transformation.
This blog post presents approaches to using infsoft products and technologies in four different areas.
Logistic – Capabilities
Effective and error-free warehouse logistics are essential for warehouses and their entire supply chain. However, incorrectly stored products or an inconsistent order frequency are not unusual and cause unnecessary costs and delays. In addition, many classic methods for inventorying stock cause a high organizational effort or differences. A solution approach is automated inventory management with E-Ink Display Beacons, which can be used for localization purposes in addition to the automatic inventory.
E-Ink Display Beacons are attached to containers with components or products. These can be labeled individually, depending on their purpose. For example, a QR code is shown on the displays, which can be scanned when picking up goods. An ERP system registers the removed quantity, and the current remaining stock is shown on display. This is realized by using the infsoft Locator Node hardware and infsoft Automation. Furthermore, it is possible to place orders automatically. With the help of the tracking function of E-Ink Display Beacons, specific goods can be located. For this task, infsoft Locator Nodes receive Bluetooth signals of the beacons and send them to the infsoft LocAware platform®, where the data can be intelligently processed, and the container’s position or the goods’ position can be identified. The different goods and their position can be displayed on a digital map.
With the help of infsoft Tracking, it is possible to continuously track load carriers such as containers, pallets, or boxes. It optimizes and controls logistical processes and can also be used to prevent theft. It is even possible to check if load carriers are loaded on the correct truck and if it has already reached its destination.
BLE Tags are attached to the load carriers and communicate with infsoft Locator Nodes connected to the relevant trucks. For indoor tracking, the infsoft Locator Nodes are installed in the building. As in the previous example, the recorded position data is transferred to the infsoft LocAware platform®. Employees can afterward access a wide variety of data and view the location of the load carriers or vehicles on a map. infsoft Tracking also allows linking additional attributes such as inventory numbers. Logistics partners can be easily integrated via an interface to ERP systems. Similarly, the position of the trucks can be determined to analyze routes or route instructions.
Production – Capabilities
A purely sequential work structure can cause waiting times between individual activities. Consequently, labour costs increase, and the company’s competitiveness decreases. Using a geo-based Logic Engine solution increases the efficiency of operations and ensures a consistent optimal workload of all available resources. As a logical consequence of such an implementation, there are lower personnel costs and significant time savings, increasing competitiveness.
Machines and plants are equipped with BLE Tags, which communicate with infsoft Locator Nodes installed in the production areas. Data is exchanged via the infsoft LocAware platform®. It is possible to run target/actual comparisons; for example, automatic transport orders to the following free working device or a buffer zone can be generated if a specified target process time is exceeded or not reached. The workload on specific work equipment can be controlled and optimized if there are in general target/actual differences between particular work steps. This can be done with infsoft Machine Learning.
Parts are transported along a production line on workpiece carriers and pass through several different work steps. It is essential that the information on the part dwell times at the relevant workstations is reliably determined. Using a tracking solution based on Ultra-wideband (UWB), the positions of the workpiece carriers along the production line can be determined with an accuracy of up to 10 centimeters. At the same time, the system automatically captures when a workpiece carrier passes into or out of a specific area (geofencing).
The workpiece carriers are provided with UWB Tags, and the production halls are equipped with infsoft Locator Nodes. The infsoft Locator Node receives the signals sent by the UWB Tag and passes them on to the infsoft LocAware platform®. Based on this data, the position of the workpiece carrier is determined by the measured radiated light between the tag and the receivers. The location of those can be tracked with infsoft Tracking, and geo-based triggers can be defined with infsoft Automation, so if they enter a particular area, a specified action takes place. Alternatively, BLE Tags can be used here as a more cost-effective and easier option, although the position identification can only be accurate to about 1 to 3 meters.
Work Safety – Capabilities
Employees often face physically exhausting activities in large industrial complexes with many potential risks. It is crucial to ensure that environmental conditions such as temperature, air quality, and lighting are safe and healthful. The solution is a condition monitoring system that permanently monitors and controls these environmental conditions. Combined with employee tracking in the event of danger, occupational safety, and health management can be optimally guaranteed.
infsoft Locator Nodes and infsoft Sensor Beacons are installed on the industrial site. The Sensor Beacons measure the illumination level and CO2 level and send the data via Bluetooth to the infsoft Locator Nodes. The data is processed using the infsoft LocAware platform®. The status information is linked to conditions, so automatic adjustments are made if specific values are exceeded. For employee tracking, each employee is equipped with a beacon that communicates with the infsoft Locator Nodes and the infsoft LocAware platform®, as in the use case above. In an emergency, the position can be determined and displayed to the security staff in an app.
Certain buildings require strict access restrictions. For security and confidentiality reasons, access must be strictly controlled. Access control via a smartphone and an app is a secure and efficient solution. Rooms, that an employee is authorized to enter, can be opened with a click on the smartphone. This technology can be extended to external employees, such as cleaners or mechanics.
Individual access authorizations are stored in an app for each employee and managed from a central source. When the employee with activated Bluetooth permission wants to enter the room, the door can be opened with one click. It is also possible to set the door to open automatically. Linking to employee schedules and a room booking system can be done optionally. Using an app can simplify the visitor process significantly, as the login and logout of visitor ID cards by the access control system via an app are no longer necessary.
Office – Capabilities
Many company sites are often spacious, and the routes are not always clearly recognizable. This situation is particularly challenging for new employees or applicants, as they are already in a stressful situation. The solution is a smartphone app that allows employees or even applicants to navigate to their relevant destinations quickly and easily. The current location and the suggested route are shown on a digital map, and other appropriate POIs (Point of Interest) can also be presented and selected.
Outside, the position is determined through GPS. Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons are installed inside the buildings, especially at entrances. Smartphones receive signals that are frequently sent by the beacons. Triggers and activities are defined with the help of infsoft Automation. For example, automatic push notifications can be sent to an app user when a destination is reached. A seamless outdoor and indoor transition is ensured by automatically switching from GPS to beacon navigation.
Office areas are more and more often not used effectively, which has a negative impact on the company’s expenses. It is possible to use an occupancy tracking system to optimize the occupancy of workspaces and use existing space effectively. For example, an app can show users occupied and free workstations. The employee can then book the selected workstation. In addition, workstation occupancy can be extended to a holistic occupancy analysis, where floor-specific occupancy information is provided.
BLE Beacons with embedded highly sensitive motion sensors are installed on office chairs, and infsoft Locator Beacons are installed in the area to be monitored. The sensor registers whether a seat is free or occupied within a certain period and forwards the incoming Bluetooth signals from the beacons to the infsoft Locator Node. The Locator Node transfers the information to the infsoft LocAware platform®, where the data is intelligently processed. This allows real-time occupancy information to be created on a facility map and visual heat maps with the help of infsoft Analytics. Sensor systems like VergeSense also support intelligent object recognition. While sensors on office chairs only detect occupancy when someone is sitting on that chair, sensor systems can also notify an occupancy status when no person is physically present at the workstation. For example, if a water bottle or jacket is recognized at a workplace, it will also be indicated as occupied, even if there is no employee.
Contact us, if you are interested in digital transformation support for your enterprise!