| Written by Mark Buzinkay

In eight chapters, we talk about the components and parts of RTLS, the diverse technologies usedto create RTLS and how positioning works. But it’s not technology alone. More importantly, we illustrate use cases in theory and reality, ranging from container terminals and smart factories to the mining industry. 

We hope this introduction will stimulate you to continue your investigation into this topic and, eventually, assist you in executing your transition to a semi- or fully-automated process for greater productivity and less waste.

This is part 3 of 3 - if you want to download the entire eBook, scroll down to the end of the article.

RTLS Tech Guide as eBook

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(5) RTLS Scenarios


(5.1) RTLS at choke points

One of the most popular RTLS applications utilizes choke points to track individuals or objects. A choke point is a narrow area that limits the movement of individuals or objects. For example, a choke point can be a doorway or a restricted path. Even if the objects move outside the choke points, RTLS systems can still detect them. This enables the system to collect data properly for analytics and decision-making.

In an RTLS scenario, choke points can be utilised to track and document the movement of people or assets through a given area. RTLS systems that include choke points often employ RFID technology to detect the presence of an individual or object. RFID tags are attached to the object, and the system will see the tags as they pass through the choke points. This data can then be used to automate processes, track movement, and gain insights into the behaviour of individuals or assets.

Choke points not only restrict movement in a facility but also serve as a powerful tool for enhancing security measures. By strategically placing choke points, one can ensure that individuals or objects can only pass through designated routes. This allows for a tighter control over the movement of people and objects in the facility, making it easier to detect and prevent unauthorized access. In conjunction with short-range readers, choke points can also be used to track and locate objects in real-time, without causing any disturbance to individuals passing by.

Readers are used at short-range to read tags and to identify them (like security guarding an entry). The data is transferred to the location engine, marking the tag’s location as the reader’s address. Individuals passing by the reader won’t notice it, but the readers will track the tag. In this way, a real-time location becomes possible.



(5.2) RTLS Zone coverage

Unlike the choke point scenario, you don’t want to know if someone passed a point; you want to know in which area of the building/space he is. It doesn’t have to include the exact position of a person or asset but that it is in a particular area (zone). This is also called symbolic locating.

The basic principle of this idea is relatively simple: As choke points act as entry/exit to a zone, they can also determine the presence of tags within the zone accessed only by monitored choke points. If a tag entered but didn’t leave by a choke point, it must still be in that zone. If it went, it must be in the zone nearby.

Imagine a deep mine of several dozens or even hundreds of kilometres of main tunnels, maintenance areas, rescue chambers, parking areas and many side shafts. As underground mines determine where you can go or assets can be placed, you can simply define zones (areas) like tunnels A, B, C, rescue chambers 1 and 2, and so on. The access to each zone is a choke point – at the beginning and sometimes also at different ends (e.g. when the tunnels are interconnected). In this way, zone locating is created as you only need readers at the defined choke points. Especially in mines, this is cost-saving because you will need only a comparatively few to monitor an entire mine.

There are alternative ways to monitor zones: Precision-locating methods (we will discuss them further below) and technologies that show the unique characteristics of each zone. A typical example is infrared waves. They can’t penetrate walls that are “unique” in a zone. Ulrasound is another example.



(5.3) RTLS precision locating: wide area

Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) serve to precisely locate and track the position of objects within a wide and localised area. In general, the typical scenarios for wide and local area locating are:

For asset tracking and management, RTLS monitors the location of high-value goods. It allows the goods to be tracked in real time and monitored to ensure they are where they are supposed to be. This is especially helpful when goods are shipped to a new location or kept in a secure location where access is restricted.

For personnel safety, RTLS tracks employees in hazardous environments. For example, in industrial workplaces, RTLS can be used to track workers in case of an emergency and to ensure their safety. It also allows workers to signal for help if they are in danger or if they have become ill.

For automated workflow processes, RTLS can trigger alerts and messages when certain conditions are met. For instance, it can be used for automatic inventory control, where shipped goods are automatically checked in and out of a warehouse. This ensures that orders are fulfilled in a fast and accurate manner.

For wide area locating, RTLS can be used to track and monitor employees or assets that move between two or more sites. This is ideal for managing multiple remote locations as it can capture location data of the same asset at different places. RTLS also allows for the tracking of assets over a large area, such as in a warehouse or a campus.

Absolute coordinates such as latitude, longitude and altitude determine the exact position of an object. However, the same result is achievable by applying relative coordinates. This method needs a reference point and a direction, and a distance.

Wide area locating uses a well-known service: GPS. Global Positioning System enables navigating services in our daily use. Therefore, locating a tag is only possible outside with a direct line of sight to the sky. Wide area coverage within a building is possible but needs additional assistance (from local precision locating).

Wide area positioning needs GPS for navigation (e.g. in a car), fleet management (e.g. delivery trucks), yard management (e.g. overdue storage of containers) and tracking people (e.g. long-distance hikers). The benefits include accurate positioning, optimised asset management, monitoring and alerting, and rescue and safety of people in potentially harmful situations.

Alternatives to GPS are cellular technologies, WiMAX (similar to WiFi) and TV signals. A-GPS (assisted GPS) uses an assisting server from cellular networks, WiMAX or other data connections. Consequently, it gathers positioning data faster. Locating with the help of cellular networks is widespread and popular due to the high penetration of mobile phones in our societies. Cellular towers receive the signal of a cellular tag and will locate it with the help of multilateration.



(5.4) RTLS precision locating: local area

Industry 4.0 introduces the concept of the intelligent factory, which involves optimizing, automating, and facilitating tasks for workers, but also improving workplace safety by preventing collisions and alerting workers when entering hazardous areas. In the future, these systems can also detect falls and detect the absence of safety equipment. Additionally, RTLSs can help automate inventory and optimize maintenance by analysing usage rates, as well as reduce the costs associated with losing or misplacing equipment.

Radio Frequency (RF)-based Real Time Location System technology has revolutionized many industries and become the go-to solution for precise location and tracking. RTLS solutions provide real-time location accuracy within a local area network with centimetre precision. This allows you to locate objects like assets, devices and even materials with incredible speed and accuracy while providing information about their orientation and trajectory.

RTLS is typically deployed indoors as a mesh network consisting of multiple nodes, each with its own antenna, spread across an area. Depending on the size of your facility, you can use stationary fixed nodes or mobile nodes to ensure all desired locations are covered. The data from these nodes is then transmitted through an RF signal to a receiver located in the area. This receiver can be either a dedicated unit or part of an existing network, such as Bluetooth or WiFi. The receiver then extracts the data from the node signals and converts it into meaningful information about the object’s exact location within a few seconds.

The advantage of RTLS technology over other types of tracking systems lies in its ability to provide incredibly detailed and accurate positioning information within a dedicated local area. With RTLS, it’s possible to locate objects such as vehicles, robots, warehouse pallets, surgical tools, medical devices and more with millimetre precision. This level of accuracy makes it possible to track items throughout complicated processes like manufacturing, assembly lines and even surgery rooms. Furthermore, by combining orientation data with position information, developers can create complete navigation maps in real-time that can be used for autonomous guidance applications that can react quickly to changes in their environment. This also includes geo-fencing.


The underlying technologies of indoor RTLS, as shown above, are:

  • Dead reckoning: Position estimated based on current position fix and estimated speed and direction of movement.
  • WiFi: Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) and Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) are used for position calculation.
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth access points search for nearby tags and report RSSI.
  • Passive RFID: RFID readers use RSSI and trilateration.
  • Active RFID: Tag listens for RFID reader messages, sends signals to them and uses different methods such as Time of Flight, RSSI, Time of Arrival, and Angle of Arrival (TOA) to triangulate a position.
  • UWB: Ultra-wideband relies on UWB tags sending pulses and UWB receivers measuring time and angles.
  • ZigBee: In a ZigBee mesh network, tags join a router and take measurements (TOA, RSSI) from ZigBee routers and transfer them to the location engine.
(5.5) Case Study: LKAB Kiruna, Sweden

This is the year of the current life expectancy of the Kiruna iron ore reserves at level 1365, which recently increased from about 700 to more than 800 million tonnes. After significant exploration efforts, the resources have increased by 10 per cent compared to 2020. Since the start of mining operations in 1890, LKAB has mined more than 2 billion tonnes in all of its sites in Kiruna, Malmberget and Svappavaara. An absurd big number to swallow.

Do you want to learn more about one of biggest iron ore mines in the world and the usage of RTLS? Then click the image below.

Success Story LKAB Sweden


  • A choke point is a narrow area that limits the movement of individuals or objects.
  • As choke points act as entry/exit to a zone, they can also determine the presence of tags within the zone accessed only by monitored choke points.
  • RTLS can also be used to precisely locate and track the position of objects within a wide and localised area.


(6) How to choose an RTLS solution

Choosing the right RTLS (Real Time Location System) solution is no easy task. With a wealth of factors to consider, from the scope and accuracy of the system to the form factor of the tags and the scalability of the system, it can be a daunting process for those who are not well-versed in the intricacies of RTLS technology. Fortunately, having a good understanding of your objectives and the various criteria for selecting an RTLS system can help you make the best choice for your particular needs. This chapter will provide a comprehensive overview of the key considerations for choosing an RTLS solution, from factors such as accuracy and responsiveness to life expectancy, tolerance, and scalability.


(6.1) RTLS Objectives

 When selecting a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) solution, it is crucial to understand the objectives and how to measure them. The first step is to define what you are trying to accomplish and a timeline for achieving those goals. Once you have a clear picture of your objectives, selecting the right RTLS solution can be straightforward. Some objectives are:

  • Scope of RTLS
  • Accuracy
  • Responsiveness
  • Form factor
  • Life expectancy
  • Scalability
  • Tolerance

An RTLS system's scope is a key factor in determining which system is best suited for a particular application. Factors such as whether the area to be monitored are indoors or outdoors, the area's size, and the location sensors' accuracy must all be considered when selecting an RTLS system. Different solutions may be more suitable than others depending on the size and complexity of the area you are trying to monitor. Factors such as the height of the ceilings, walls, and other obstructions can also play an important role in selecting the right solution.

You also should consider the complexity of the area. Different solutions can be used to monitor different type of environments such as warehouses, factories, hospitals, retail stores, and offices. The complexity of the environment will determine the type of RTLS solution that is best suited for it.

Accuracy is a measure of the difference between the true position and the estimated position, expressed as an accuracy level and precision value. The accuracy level indicates the distance between the two positions, while the precision indicates the likelihood of capturing a measurement at the given accuracy level (learn more about locating vehicles in a car park).

The responsiveness of an RTLS is a key factor in determining its effectiveness, as timeliness is essential in many applications, such as safety-related ones. A delay of even a few seconds can mean the difference between an accurate and inaccurate outcome, as the tracked object may have moved in that time.

An RTLS tag's size also matters (called form factor). Depending on the size of the assets being tracked, the size of the tag may be a key factor in choosing the right RTLS. In some applications, the size of the tag can act as a deterrent to theft, while in other applications, such as shopping cart theft deterrent systems, the RTLS tag is used as part of an electronic-mechanical system that locks one of the wheels when the cart is taken out of a designated area. Sometimes, a tag is just too big to be mounted.

The life of a tag, how often it or its battery needs to be replaced, and whether it gives an indication of its battery life expiry or sudden death are all important factors for any RFID application. Depending on the application, the tag life may vary from short-term (e.g. day badges) to long-term (e.g. submersibles). Therefore, it is vital to select an RTLS with the right tag size and accuracy that also meets the application's demands for tag life expectancy.

 RTLS scalability refers to the maximum number of tags it can locate and the number of tags that can be tracked simultaneously. It is important to have an RTLS that can scale to larger location areas to accommodate larger facilities and the need to track more objects. The system should also be able to balance tags across multiple servers to handle many assets.

RTLS systems must have a high tolerance for environmental changes in order to produce consistent results. Therefore, high accuracy and good tolerance are equally important for successful operation.

When considering an RTLS solution, you should look at the different technologies and the data they provide. A good RTLS solution should be able to track, store, and display the data associated with locations and activities in real-time. This means looking at both hardware and software solutions and the cost of each.

When considering hardware, look for systems designed to withstand high levels of activity and provide reliable data. But are also protected against elements such as water or dust in harsh environments. Depending on the application, different tags and sensors may be more suitable for the given environment. For example, a manufacturing environment may require more advanced sensors to detect the exact location of specific materials. Consider also the different software packages that are available as well, as these can provide valuable analytics and data.

Finally, security and privacy need to be taken into account when selecting an RTLS solution. Ensure the system is configured to protect the data and limit access to only those with the appropriate clearance. Making sure the system is encrypted and has secure access controls is also essential in keeping the data safe.

Choosing the right RTLS solution for your organization can be a complex process. However, understanding your objectives and considering the various factors outlined above can help to ensure that you make the best choice for your needs. In addition, by taking the time to research the different options, you'll be sure to find a solution that meets your requirements.


(6.2) RTLS Deployment and your needs to do so

When considering an RTLS solution for your facility, a decisive factor to keep in mind is the deployment needs of the system. RTLS systems are available in wired and wireless configurations, each with advantages and disadvantages. Wired deployments typically provide more accuracy and range but require long cable runs and physical access to the device being monitored. In addition, they are more susceptible to signal interference from other nearby networks. Wireless deployments typically provide greater flexibility but have lower accuracy and shorter ranges.

When deciding which type of system is best for your facility, consider your existing infrastructure. If you already have an existing network that can be utilized for monitoring devices or equipment, then a wired system may be best for your needs. However, a wireless system might be a better choice if you do not have this infrastructure in place or would like to avoid the cost of setting it up. Nevertheless, you should consider the technological interdependence of existing installations and a future RTLS solution. Interference (e.g. using the same frequency) may seriously impact both.

It is also important to consider how many devices will be monitored by the system and whether or not any special hardware or software will need to be purchased to accommodate them. Some RTLS systems may require additional components, such as tags or scanners, to operate properly, so make sure you account for these additional costs when selecting. Additionally, depending on the type of data being collected and transmitted by the system, certain functionality may require special software or cloud access in order to ensure it can run optimally.

The facility's size and layout should play a big role when choosing an RTLS solution. Make sure that you understand the coverage area that is needed and select a system that is able to provide enough range so that all areas within your facility can be monitored at once. This will help ensure maximum efficiency when using the system as well as reduce any potential blind spots where signals may be blocked or weakened due to walls or other objects in the environment. Just be aware that some RTLS technologies work better in one environment than another - this includes the amount of metal, water, and even gases in the environment, but also how often an environment changes and more.

Of course, don't forget about deployment, installation effort and maintenance. Each RTLS gets deployed in its own way, and the ease of doing it is a factor when choosing an RTLS solution. Time and effort add to the total bill, especially when it disrupts your running operations. If you need specialists to maintain your system or get experts from another part of the world, this can be costly if it is not covered by your contract. Wiring and other installation needs will contribute greatly to the total project time as some parts must be located precisely and supplied with electrical power. Some RTLS technologies need calibration on the spot to work properly.

Finally, consider any future needs you may have regarding scalability and functionality when selecting an RTLS solution. Make sure that whatever system you choose is capable of expanding with your business should need to grow down the line or if new features become available that would increase its usefulness for your organization’s operation

For more: 14 Things to consider when implementing a Real Time Location System.


(6.3) RTLS Maintenance needs

When it comes to choosing a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) solution, maintenance should be top of mind. As with any type of tracking system, regular maintenance is required to ensure that the system is running optimally. To make sure that your RTLS solution is running smoothly, you’ll need to consider a few key factors.

First, you’ll need to consider the complexity of the chosen RTLS solution. Complex systems will require more maintenance than simpler systems, so it’s important to find a balance between the two. This is nothing surprising. If your system requires extensive maintenance, investing in a system that is easier to maintain in the long run may be worth the extra cost.

But if you look at the underlying technology, you'll see that some technologies are more complex than others. That said, it is easier to maintain a state-of-the-art technology than a rarely used one - hiring experts who can manage it will be more difficult.

As you know as a user of software, you need constantly to upgrade your OS or apps to keep pace with tech developments, safety requirements and so on. This is no different with an RTLS. Your solutions must be able to upgrade software in tags, readers, location sensors (satellites) and the location engine. Choosing an RTLS solution with this feature is critical.

You should also consider the hardware associated with the maintenance of your RTLS system. Hardware breaks and must be replaced. The ease of this process needs to be addressed before the installation occurs. The same goes with the battery lifetime - are they rechargeable, or do they have to be exchanged? Different hardware will require different maintenance levels, so be sure to research and find the best option for your unique needs (e.g. cleaning the tags).

Finally, your chosen system should come with reliable customer service and technical support. In case of any issues, it is important to have a team of experts available to help you troubleshoot and resolve them quickly. If you need troubleshooting, you'll need it fast.

Choosing the right RTLS solution is an important decision. Maintenance should be a key factor when making your decision, as it will ultimately affect the success and performance of your system. Consider all factors carefully and choose the best option for your unique needs and budget.


(6.4) How to choose aN RTLS solution: integration in existing system

When considering a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) for your business, one of the key factors to take into account is the amount of integration it requires into your existing system. RTLS solutions come in many forms such as describe above, but most require integration of the technology into existing systems. For example, Wi-Fi systems require integration with a company’s existing Wi-Fi network, while RFID systems may require integration with existing RFID tags. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the chosen RTLS solution is compatible with your current infrastructure (read more about RFID for asset tracking).

Another factor to consider when selecting an RTLS solution is the type of data you need to collect. If you are looking to track the movements of employees or assets, you may need to look for solutions that offer the ability to integrate with existing CCTV systems or other sensors. This will allow you to capture more in-depth information about the movement of the workers and assets.

When selecting an RTLS solution for your business, it is also important to consider data privacy and security. While RTLS solutions often offer secure data collection, it is important to understand the security protocols in place and ensure that your company’s data is safe. Additionally, it is important to consider the data retention policies of the RTLS vendor and ensure that your data is handled properly and securely.

One of the major concerns when integrating RTLS into an existing system is how seamless it can interface with enterprise ressource planning software (such as SAP). The goal is to enrich such ERP systems with real-time data from RTLS. Think about the following:

  • What kind of import/export of data is available from your RTLS system into an ERP?
  • Are there any APIs offered to interact with ERP or other software?

Finally, it is important to consider scalability when selecting an RTLS solution. Scalability is important to ensure that your RTLS solution can be used to tracking large volumes of assets and personnel. It is also important to consider the cost-effectiveness of the solution, as you will need to be able to upgrade as your company grows.

By taking the time to understand the different components of an RTLS solution, you can ensure that you select a solution that is suitable for your business, and offers maximum cost-effectiveness and scalability.


  • When selecting a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) solution, it is crucial to understand the objectives and how to measure them.
  • A decisive factor for a RTLS solution to keep in mind is the deployment needs of the system.
  • As with any type of tracking system, regular maintenance is required to ensure that the system is running optimally.
  • One further key factor to take into account is the amount of integration it requires into your existing system.



When implementing RTLS, you have done much of your necessary homework, such as choosing the right technology, investigating compatibility with existing systems and software, and probably did a proof of concept (PoC). This chapter will discuss a few important things to consider when implementing an RTLS into your process landscape. First, we will start with a PoC.



Before you deploy RTLS, you should be sure that it works. Then, after selecting suitable technologies and vendors and eventually doing a pre-test with them and choosing one, a proof of concept is the next step before full deployment.

One of the critical aspects is the proven record of a solution in a comparable environment like yours. The key includes the stability of the solution, mature troubleshooting and a clear development roadmap. Nevertheless, the selected solution should be tested in depth to see if it works as expected, performs as promised and doesn't affect other parts of the entire system negatively or unexpectedly. Watch out for interference between radio waves of different appliances.

A proof of concept (or pre-pilot test) is the phase in which you invite vendors to prove that their solutions work in your environment for your application. This phase will evaluate the feasibility of a specific RTLS and the vendor's experience. Furthermore, it indicates the costs involved with the future solution selection.

A proof of concept needs

  • A clearly defined scope: Where and how will RTLS be used?
  • Realistic scenarios: Which assets have to be tracked and when?
  • A detailed test plan: Which use cases do you need to check?
  • Performance indicators: How do you evaluate your tests?



RTLS (Real-Time Locating Systems) have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to track and monitor the locations of people and objects in real-time. However, implementing an RTLS system can be challenging due to the complexity of the technology and the amount of data that must be collected and analysed.

One of the biggest challenges of implementing an RTLS system is the complexity of the technology. RTLS requires various types of hardware and software to be installed and maintained, and it can be difficult to set up the system correctly and make sure the sensors are functioning properly. In addition, there is a significant amount of data that must be collected and analysed in order to benefit from an RTLS system, which can create challenges for organizations that don’t have the necessary resources or personnel to manage the data.

Finally, the accuracy of an RTLS system can be a challenge. Although RTLS technology is generally accurate, it is still possible for there to be errors in the data, which can lead to inaccurate results. Additionally, environmental factors such as interference from other wireless signals can impact the accuracy of the system.



In most cases, system rollouts are two-phased: the pilot and the full rollout. Conducting the pilot before the rollout is a low-risk approach, especially when you substitute a solution within a running system. 

The goal of the pilot phase is to prove that the selected RTLS can deliver the predefined tasks, identify any problems and enable optimization before the rollout. Every environment is particular. Therefore, a pilot will reveal aspects of adapting the RTLS to the existing environment. 

Before the pilot, you should identify the tasks and resources that are necessary for this first phase of the rollout: 

  • Computers, servers, and other hardware
  • Locations sensors (satellites)
  • Tags
  • Assets and people who will use/wear tags
  • Physical installations which will be needed (e.g. poles, walls)
  • Required network changes and access controls
  • roject management, intra-project communication and RTLS messaging
  • Change management in the affected business area

With this in mind, consider the following aspects of your pilot:

  • Project scope: Be sure to have limited the pilot in scope but not in functionality. 
  • Users: Selected users should have the skills and knowledge to use RTLS. Training may be necessary. Ensure everyone involved has the necessary time and resources for the pilot phase.
  • Tag installation: Installing the location sensors is essential, but remember to reserve time to attach tags to the selected assets and register them in the system.
  • Support: You will need technical support, and if you don't need it (highly unlikely), you didn't lose anything. When problems appear, knowledgeable support from your supplier is gold. But also involve your own support to get used to the system and potential support cases.
  • Training: Your pilot scope will include training, as users of different roles (end users, admins, support) will need to know the RTLS. A training plan is a wise idea.

Once your rollout plan is ready and everything is set, you can start the pilot. Eventually, a successful pilot will lead to a full rollout. 


  • A proof of concept (or pre-pilot test) is the phase in which you invite vendors to prove that their solutions work in your environment for your application.
  • RTLS requires various types of hardware and software to be installed and maintained, and it can be difficult to set up the system correctly and make sure the sensors are functioning properly, delivering the accuracy and reliability needed for operations.
  • In most cases, system rollouts are two-phased: the pilot and the full rollout. Conducting the pilot before the rollout is a low-risk approach, especially when you substitute a solution within a running system.



It is crucial to understand how to monitor RTLS performance and security in order to ensure that the system is always performing optimally. This chapter will discuss how to monitor performance, security, and health of an RTLS system in order to maximize its efficiency and accuracy. By taking the time to properly monitor an RTLS system, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your system.



Real-time location system (RTLS) technologies have revolutionized the way people track objects and people. But as with any technology, it’s important to know how to monitor performance and security of your RTLS system.

Performance should be monitored regularly to ensure that your equipment is functioning correctly and providing accurate data. This includes verifying tags are correctly reading and logging data and that the data is correctly analyzed and presented. You should also make sure that the tags and sensors are properly calibrated to avoid any interference or inaccurate readings.

In addition, you should be aware of any potential security risks posed by your RTLS system. Unauthorized access to the system can allow malicious users to track objects and people without permission, or worse yet, manipulate the data being collected. To prevent this, you should have an effective security mechanism to monitor user access and activity on the RTLS network. This can include regular audits, encryption of data stored in the system, and even setting up user authentication and permissioning systems to ensure only authorized users can access the system.

To ensure your RTLS system is performing up to standard, you should also have a testing program in place. This can include automated testing, manual testing, and even user-experience testing to see how users interact with the system. This will help identify any issues or anomalies that could affect the accuracy of your system.



One of the most important aspects of ensuring that your RTLS system is performing at peak performance is monitoring its health. Luckily, the process for doing so is relatively straightforward. For starters, make sure to keep an eye on the system’s software and hardware components for any updates or changes. It’s also important to monitor the quality of the network connection and communication within the system, as well as any errors or failures in communication between nodes.

This includes:

  • Location sensors: failures can include malfunctions of hardware, defects in software (firmware), and changes in the orientation or position of a sensor (moving or obscuring). If your location sensors run on battery power, battery life is a critical aspect to monitor.
  • Middleware and application software: Check the resources used by applications for optimal performance and the technical "up and running availability" of your middleware and applications.
  • Server: This complex system of hardware, virtual machines, and the OS must be highly available. Server-centric monitoring is a must to deliver high performance of your applications and services. This task includes CPU use, memory use, networking errors, database access and performance, and file system limits.

You should also verify that all tags and readers are operating properly and at expected performance levels, since this can have an impact on the accuracy of your location data. You also need to monitor the remaining battery life of each tag. It’s also important to keep an eye out for any changes in environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, or interference from other radio sources that could affect the system’s performance. Finally, you should test various RTLS applications periodically to make sure they’re still functioning correctly, using business metrics for testing and comparing, like response time and latency.

By keeping a close eye on these parameters, you can ensure that your RTLS system continues to perform at peak levels for years to come. This will help minimize downtime and eliminate unnecessary costs associated with replacing parts or troubleshooting issues after they arise. By investing some time into this routine maintenance, you can be sure that your RTLS system will always be providing you with accurate location data when you need it most.


  • Performance should be monitored regularly to ensure that your equipment is functioning correctly and providing accurate data.
  • Unauthorized access to the system can allow malicious users to track objects and people without permission, or worse yet, manipulate the data being collected.
  • Admins should check the health of the system, which includes updates and changes to the software and hardware, monitoring the quality of the network connection and the remaining battery life of tags, and testing RTLS applications.


RTLS outlook

Now, you are up and running. Or maybe you plan it, but you have an idea of how to do that, in theory. RTLS projects are promising for your factory' productivity but also challenging, as we have seen. One of the most underrated aspects of a successful RTLS project is a deep understanding of your processes. If you monitor and automate a "bad"-designed process, you will not improve it but worsen it. This is tricky because it is hard to detect. And it will ruin your ROI calculation, the first and foremost reason you invested time, money, and other resources in such a project.

Understanding this it becomes clear that you must first identify and fully understand the processes, interfaces and critical aspects of your operations. In Kaizen and Lean Management, one of the methods applied in daily process improvement is the Gemba Walk. The Gemba Walk is a walkthrough along the production "where it happens". It is crucial for us Process Managers, Plant Directors and CEOs to see the process steps live in front of us, hear the voice of the workers and employees and eventually recognize the need for total visibility to help to overcome substantial and built-in flaws. RTLS is a potential tool to make a process digitally visible and to deliver the solution in one place.

If you're interested in a local Gemba Walk with us to show you the methodology and also to discover the first potential at your site, please get in touch with us. Let us know what you try to achieve or what challenges you face.



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