| Written by Mark Buzinkay
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RTLS is a system that automatically identifies and tracks the location of objects or people in real-time, usually within a building or other contained area. Wireless RTLS tags are attached to objects or worn by people, and in most RTLS, fixed reference points receive wireless signals from tags to determine their location.
Some examples of where RTLS can be used include tracking automobiles through an assembly line, locating pallets of merchandise in a warehouse, or finding medical equipment in a hospital.
The physical layer of RTLS technology is often radio frequency (RF) communication. Some systems use optical (usually infrared) or acoustic (usually ultrasound) technology with, or in place of, RF. RTLS tags and fixed reference points can be transmitters, receivers, or both, resulting in numerous possible technology combinations.
RTLS are a form of local positioning system and do not usually refer to GPS or to mobile phone tracking. In addition, location information usually does not include speed, direction, or spatial orientation.
RTLS can be used in a variety of settings to track the location of people or assets. It can be used in logistics to track tools or equipment, in healthcare to track patients or staff, and in security to monitor people or property. RTLS can also be used to improve process efficiency by automatically monitoring and time-stamping the progress of people or assets through a process. Additionally, RTLS can provide wayfinding for guests in a facility. Some benefits of using RTLS include reducing quarantine times after an infectious disease outbreak, more accurate data regarding who has been exposed to a virus, quicker and more automatic accounting for all staff during an emergency evacuation, and reduced hours spent storing manual reports and calling to locate staff and equipment.
Another common use case is for inventory management in warehouses or retail stores. By tracking the location of items, businesses can more easily keep track of their stock and ensure that items are where they are supposed to be. In the manufacturing sector, RTLS can be used to track tools and equipment, document output and streamline processes allowing for greater efficiency and productivity.
Another widespread use case for RTLS tracking technology is people tracking. This can be used for security purposes, such as keeping track of employees in a large building or managing events with many people. By knowing the location of everyone at all times, it is possible to manage crowd control and safety.
Further reading: RFID for asset tracking
With RTLS for precise indoor tracking, you can transform your business into a highly efficient, powerful and streamlined operation. Using technology gives you what you need to gain accurate and actionable data and be more productive, cost-effective and safe.
RTLS tracking technology can eliminate search and idle times (like locating vehicles in the car park) to increase labour productivity, replace scanner & barcode and paper & pencil processes without any need for human interaction, give you control over mobile assets, connect unpowered assets to your ERP system, synchronize the actual production status with the production plan in real-time, and give you valuable insight into KPIs.
There are many benefits to using RTLS tracking technology in your business. Here are just a few:
Regarding tracking inventory, RTLS technology is the clear choice over other methods. Here's why:
When choosing RTLS tracking technology, it is crucial to consider several factors in order to ensure that the system is best suited for your business needs. One of the most important factors is accuracy. The system should be able to track objects and people with precision in order to provide accurate data. Another essential factor to consider is the range of the system. The system should have a wide enough range to cover the entire area that you need to track.
Additionally, the system should be easy to use and set up so that you can get started using it quickly and efficiently. Finally, the cost of the system is also an important consideration. You will want to ensure the system is within your budget while still providing all of the features and benefits you need.
Besides these (general) factors, be sure to consider the following aspects before implementing a real time location system:
RTLS tracking technology is invaluable for businesses of all types and sizes. It can be used for various purposes, such as monitoring inventory levels, managing workplace safety, and streamlining operations. By knowing the precise location of assets at all times, businesses can more efficiently utilize their resources and eliminate wasted time searching for things. Additionally, RTLS can help businesses reduce costs by optimizing workflows and eliminating lost or stolen assets.
If you're looking for a way to improve your business, consider implementing RTLS tracking technology. It can provide a wide range of benefits that will help you increase productivity, safety, and efficiency.
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