A real-time location system (RTLS) is an indoor/outdoor positioning system gaining popularity in industries to improve efficiency, productivity, and safety. Using RTLS enables accurately tracking and locating assets and people inside industrial premises. Depending on the surrounding materials, RTLS is capable of performing centimetre-level accuracy.

An RTLS solution can be realized with many technologies such as Wi-Fi, UWB, GPS, ZigBee, Bluetooth, and active RFID. All have their advantages and strengths and can be compared in different aspects like accuracy, anti-interference performance, power usage, data rate, coverage, battery life and cost. For instance, due to the inability of GPS signals to penetrate through construction materials, conventional GPS systems won’t provide accurate location information inside industrial premises. GPS devices are also much more costly, complex, and consume more power than active RFID technology.

Real-time location systems can provide several benefits, including:

– Improved safety: RTLS can track the location of people or objects in real-time, which can help improve safety in hazardous environments.

– Increased efficiency: RTLS can be used to track the location of assets and personnel, which can help to optimise production processes and reduce wasted time and resources.

– Greater transparency: RTLS can provide visibility into the location of people and assets, which can help to improve decision-making and communication.

There are several things to consider when you are in the selection stage of an RTLS solution. One of the first things that need to be done is to look at your manufacturing processes and environment and ask yourself some questions such as:

–      Is the vendor of the system familiar with my production processes?

–      What type of items/assets am I trying to locate?

–      Have I already pictured what a digital landscape could look like?

–      How many items/assets does the system have to manage?

–      Am I only looking at tracking items/assets, or do I also want state information?

–      Do I already have transport orders in a digitized format?

The recommendation is always to use a vendor that is capable of guiding you through and speaks the ‘industrial language’ to help answer questions like the ones above and are able to propose the best possible RTLS solution for your needs and how it can fit into your existing manufacturing processes.

In our latest whitepaper, we discuss a typical RTLS project and guide you through the following questions:

  • Which processes do I have?
  • Which requirements do I have to consider?
  • What options do I have?
  • How to choose the best option for my needs?

Learn more about these essential steps and download our whitepaper “RTLS Tags for Better Plant Efficiency” for free.