Have you ever heard of beacon or BLE?
It is a small device that emits signals using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Currently, they are widely used in sectors such as retail, healthcare and education, especially in the United States. However, beacons in the industry are rapidly gaining ground and are already beginning to represent a real revolution in the sector.
Through these BLE signals, it is possible to obtain several useful information for the production process such as humidity, vibration, temperature, drop, among others. But we will focus on one of the main ones that beacons support: determining the precise location of a certain monitored object, in real time!
As it involves large areas, the factories have always been concerned with issues such as traceability. It was in this sense that the labels emerged. RFID, but the limited range, metal interference and high investment cost make this technology unfeasible in many cases.
On the other hand, beacons can be a great way out for the industry to move towards 4.0 concepts, as it is a solution that is easier to install and that suffers less interference from the environment in the emission of signals.
Its operation is very simple: just spread receptor sensors in strategic locations of the plant and couple the beacons in resources that must be monitored. But after all, what can we map and why do this tracking?
By using a badge with this technology on employees, it is possible to know in real time where each employee is and understand the movement of the team during the day. This gives the manager an incredible possibility to industrial process optimization, as it can:
1) Track potential compliance or safety issues (e.g. identifying whether whoever is involved in a specific task is a worker who has been trained for it)
2) Automate records to understand responsibilities (which worker contacted which batch of product using which tool)
3) Manage and optimize the workforce (improvement in routes, optimization of travel and time spent in each area of the factory and relocation of people)
4) Use the system itself as a point: understand what time a particular employee started and ended the shift and prevent him from staying in the place beyond what is allowed by current regulations, also guaranteeing labor compliance involved in article 66 of the CLT
Another crucial point of this monitoring is the guarantee of safety of the work, since we were able to measure the degree of exposure of an employee to risks of hazardous / unhealthy conditions and even mo of life!
In addition to the inventory, every factory has equipment and tools with high added value.
Depending on the size of the patio, it is normal to miss or not understand very well the availability of such items on the floor plan. There are cases of companies having difficulties finding forklifts or understanding the level of use of overhead cranes, for example.
By installing a beacon on these mobile devices, you prevent them from taking an unwanted route and identify the location if they do. In addition to the location itself, a world of possibilities for optimizing processes and the use of this equipment opens up!
You can attach beacons to items you produce. Whether in the product itself, in pallets, lots or boxes, the device will be able to determine the location of this asset in the factory. In this way, the company avoids:
1) Losing the product or taking a long time to find it: Imagine that you work in an automaker and need to send the customer a specific car among hundreds of similar ones at the factory. If you don’t know exactly where the product is, it will take time to find it and the order may be delayed.
2) Theft and breakdowns: If you have items or raw materials of high added value and they disappear at the factory without further explanation, a solution with beacons can save you, identifying the location of these products in real time.
Challenges for using beacons in industry
Beacons have the potential to become popular in Brazilian industries and guide the Production Planning and Control, in addition to all productive processes involving people, however, few professionals know this technology.
The first challenge, therefore, is to prove its value and show the market that RFID is not the only option for traceability and, by the way, is one of the least efficient and cost-effective options for application in handling processes. free in the environment.
For the future, we can expect the algorithms to be more and more refined and the level of precision of the signals emitted by the beacons to be even more precise. For example, today the algorithms of Novidá are already able to locate a beacon sensor with up to 1.5 meters of accuracy (one of the most accurate algorithms in the world).
The idea is that beacons, like any other IoT device, are only part of the great revolution we call Industry 4.0, but a fundamental part: They will be the reliable, constant and real-time data generators of whatever they are measuring!
Technology within your reach
Anyone who thinks that this technology is still far from becoming a reality or is exclusive to large factories is wrong. Beacons have relatively low costs and different types of companies can take advantage of this innovation.
Today the market is well matured in hardware solutions and most companies that rely on these new technologies tend to provide a service, without transferring the burden of hardware costs to the end customer!
How can Novidá help you?
With a focus on reducing costs and revolutionizing the operation of our customers, we have developed a solution focused on understanding and improving operational processes focused on people and their operational activities, alone in their operation or in command of equipment
Through a set of proprietary technologies that involve Indoor and outdoor geolocation (RTLS), Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, we deliver to our customers a holistic understanding of these processes, allowing reliable data measurement and full control – in real time – of several critical indicators about their operation
. we have already generated consistent impacts on our customers’ operations, in the order of millions of reais per year, with an average ROI of 14x the amount invested!
Want to know more about our work? Click here and check it out!