Technology is at the forefront of improving efficiency for businesses in the modern world. While business owners and company managers have to deal with an increasing number of tasks in the workplace, technology helps them achieve better results with little effort.
RTLS (real-time location system) is a technology gaining popularity in the business world because of the convenience it brings. It facilitates the location, identification, and monitoring of something in real-time. In typical RTLS implementations, wireless tags attached to objects or worn by humans send wireless signals to certain reference points to determine their location.
Active RTLS facilitates the real-time tracking of assets, while passive RTLS tracks item-level ownership with minimal hardware. The evolving demand for monitoring assets in the commercial markets has led to the popularity of RTLS technology to improve interactions and competitiveness and enhance overall efficiency. Here are the common industries RTLS is used for.
Retail and eCommerce
Retail and eCommerce are some of the sectors taking advantage of RTLS technology. In physical retail stores, the technology simplifies and shortens the buying process. For instance, an intelligent shopping basket where items are placed and the machine scans and adds them to the order. That means people don’t need to manually scan the products during the purchase process minimizing the human workforce.
RTLS is also valuable in self-service stores, which are increasingly popular in cities. Technicians build sensors into the warehouse, helping the system determine the appropriate spots to place the items. Therefore, people don’t need to manually enter goods into the system when adding them to the warehouse because the sensors take care of that.
Logistics and industrial systems
RTLS is a frequently used technology in industrial systems and logistics because it enables the identification and location tracking of assets within warehouses. It provides an overview of the whole supply chain process, including product flow and the ability to locate the product at any given moment. Therefore RTLS technology plays a crucial role in production, storage, and distribution systems.
The functioning of RTLS in warehouses or factories enables efficient production and supply chain management. For instance, managers and supervisors can access real-time information about the location of a certain product simplifying the management process.
RTLS also enhances inventory management in manufacturing companies and warehouses, allowing them to achieve efficient workflows. For instance, real-time alerts can help maintenance teams ensure equipment is in good condition.
RTLS is also helpful in prison systems. It can serve as the basis for creating wearables that vulnerable prisoners can wear so that the supervisors can keep track of their location in real-time. Many prison systems do this via a magnetic strip that allows them to identify the person’s location with 100% accuracy enhancing surveillance and security in prison.
The right RTLS system can help prisons monitor prisoners and secure their locations. This is very helpful in house arrest cases where movement restrictions of the inmates are involved.
Moreover, using an RTLS system in a prison system can provide real-time alerts to supervisors preventing the formation of jail groups to improve the security of staff and detainees. A supervisor can determine which detainees tend to move together to anticipate potential incidents and take action based on movement patterns.
A healthcare RTLS system can help hospital professionals track medical equipment, pharmaceutical products, available hospital beds, and other assets in real-time to ensure proper utilization. The same system can track people, including healthcare professionals and patients, to ensure security and boost productivity.
Using the RTLS technology, supervisors in charge of inventory in different hospital facilities can view stock levels of assets and equipment in real-time, boosting efficiency. Rather than searching for items manually during medical emergencies, staff can glance at a screen and know where everything is, making a massive difference in a life and death situation.
Automotive and assembly
RTLS is also important for enhancing business processes in the automotive industry. RTLS can provide 3D locations of cars and tools in real-time, eliminating the need for barcode scanning throughout the entire assembling process.
Real-time tracking of cars during assembly and production enables efficient management of their positions. RTLS can also set alerts for vehicles that have not moved for a prolonged period or those that fail to meet certain performance standards. This is important for addressing issues before they worsen or impact other workstations.
RTLS can also help manufacturers avoid delays by prioritizing certain orders and keeping track of inventory throughout their facilities.
RTLS is useful in many other industries, including mining and construction, travel and transport, leisure and tourism, etc. It helps companies achieve automation to improve operational processes like inventory management, security, workflow, and minimize human errors. It speeds up an organization’s ability to deliver services and enhances productivity.