Most businesses are aware of how they can use cloud and Bluetooth technologies, however, when these are combined into a hybrid system, they have the potential to do even greater things. Together, they can create a unified platform that delivers real-time building utilisation, provides easy asset location and improves production.
Passive BLE tags are already used in many sectors as they make inventory management, tracking and process automation much simpler to undertake. However, in order to improve operational processes even more, there is now a demand from businesses to know where items are in real-time and, at the same time, know the working condition of essential equipment.
Bluetooth for accurate tracking
At the heart of this development is HID’s Location Services and Condition Monitoring System, enabled by Bluvsion. This system uses active BLE tags, BEEKs BLE Beacons and BluFi gateways to collect real-time data which is then processed using HID Bluzone Cloud Services. The resulting information gives companies everything they need to make mission-critical decisions. Using this configuration, the cloud-BLE hybrid provides businesses with secure Internet of Things (IoT) applications that drive their business forward.
The use of BLE tags satisfies the growing demand for accurate, real-time visibility of assets as they can track items and report their present and historical locations to within one metre. This improves an organisation’s item management and enables better operational efficiency.
For example, Bluvision enables companies to locate tools or machinery anywhere on its premises – even across multiple sites. From drills to diggers, flywheels to forklift trucks, implementing a remote tracking location system (RTLS) automates inventory management, helps reduce equipment loss, ensures employees are correctly equipped and reduces time wasted looking for misplaced items. It also provides vital information on equipment utilisation.
There is also an important role for this kind of system in health and safety. Site managers, for example, can easily use geo-fences to extend location alerts, thus ensuring better safety in dangerous areas. It makes it possible to track moving vehicles and hazardous materials anywhere on-site.
Building and asset utilisation
Another important feature of this system is its ability to offer insights into building and asset utilisation. Historical movement data, for example, provides helpful trend information which can be used to make predictions about future use and needs. Companies where employees carry BLE enabled identification can also analyse occupancy rates for health and safety compliance. The occupancy data these provide also enable security personnel and emergency services to react more quickly and effectively should an emergency arise.
It’s not just with health and safety where this brings benefits. By providing real-time visibility on employee location, Bluvision gives businesses a greater understanding of how their premises are used. This can help improve workplace efficiency when it comes to things like room and resource usage and, in busy workplaces, can ensure that employee and visitor traffic is directed in the safest and most efficient ways.
Two major improvements all companies strive for, are to increase operational capacity and reduce equipment downtime. The use of Bluvision can help facilitate this by giving companies increased visibility of equipment performance via multiple data points. This enables it to better monitor performance and react quickly if problems arise.
The data produced can also be analysed to give predictive insights into the equipment’s future performance. This data ensures that an organisation knows instantly when a piece of equipment fails and, in some circumstances, it can even predict failure before it happens. This can have a tremendous impact on operational workflows and performance efficiencies, enabling repair and maintenance to take place before a failure occurs, thus, reducing downtime and lost capacity.
Affordable and versatile
Asset and condition tracking systems like Bluvision, which is available from Universal Smart Cards, are less expensive to implement than most companies expect. A full system only requires minimal infrastructure, a WIFI network comprising; BLE tags and/or beacons, BluFi gateways and the HID Bluzone Cloud Service. Easy and quick to install, these provide the seamless infrastructure needed to monitor people and assets across the organisation.
Depending on a company’s needs, different forms of BLE beacons are available and there are many applications that simultaneously support multiple beacon protocols and uses. It is also easy to integrate the HID cloud service into an existing IT system, meaning that capital investment in expensive servers, antennas and other equipment isn’t required.
There is also good news for those concerned about data security. By implementing end-to-end AES encryption, any data transferred within the Bluvision system is completely secure. In addition, strict policies can be set to prevent personal traceability.
BLE and cloud are remarkable technologies in themselves, however, when used together, as they are with Bluvision, they provide businesses with a powerful tool to track people and assets and gather vital information about equipment, resources and personnel. This data can improve efficiencies, speed up processes and make managing the workplace far more effective. It can even make hazardous environments safer places for employees to work.