Advantages of implementing real-time asset tracking in industrial environments

By: | July 10th, 2024

Photo by xyzcharlize on Unsplash

Industrial assets encompass a wide range of property, from small hand tools to vehicles, large machines, and equipment. Ensuring their productivity and smooth operation is achieved through daily real-time monitoring. Asset tracking in industrial settings monitors the exact location, condition, and movement of assets within the enterprise. With the data obtained, management can more effectively oversee workflows, enhance productivity, and optimize business processes. This article explores the advantages of industrial asset tracking and the technologies used for this purpose.

What is Asset Tracking Software? 

Asset tracking software is a modern tool used across various economic sectors. It allows enterprises to gain detailed real-time information about equipment, which can then be used to reduce costs, minimize the risk of asset loss, and improve operational efficiency.

When implementing the system, special sensors are installed at different locations within the enterprise. These sensors track tags placed on equipment and then transmit their location data to a server. The software processes this information, generates reports, and displays the tracked object on a digital map.

The platform is widely used across many industrial sectors to track:

  • Forklifts
  • Cargo containers
  • Equipment
  • Vehicles
  • Various materials
  • Work-in-progress products

Depending on the technology used, the accuracy of location tracking can range from a few centimeters to 3 to 5 meters.

Advantages of Asset Tracking in Industrial Enterprises

The ability to monitor enterprise assets in real time is the main advantage of this technology. Using the system, management, and staff are always aware of where the equipment is and can control its movement at any given moment. There are several other benefits of asset tracking, which are detailed below.

Quality Control 

Quality control is essential to the production process, ensuring that products meet current standards. The tracking function involves monitoring the movement of materials and components at each production stage. The data provided by the system can then be used to identify and address issues that arise during product manufacturing.

Improving Production Efficiency 

Knowing the location and usage of assets allows enterprises to enhance production efficiency. Sometimes, the platform can even prevent errors resulting in significant costs. Production optimization is achieved in several ways:

  • Adhering to WIP (Work In Progress) limits, which reduces production cycle time
  • Identifying bottlenecks in the production process and making necessary adjustments
  • Enhancing equipment efficiency by ensuring its productivity and quality

Compliance with Standards and Practices

During product manufacturing, enterprises must adhere to specific norms and requirements. Asset tracking ensures compliance with accepted practices and minimizes the risk of regulatory violations at all stages of production—from manufacturing parts to assembly and maintenance.

Ensuring Safety 

Manufacturing is among the most safety-critical processes in the industrial sector. Injuries at the workplace can lead to health loss or even fatalities, making it crucial for enterprises to improve their process safety. Asset tracking provides staff with real-time information about their environment, helping to prevent emergencies and allowing safety services to respond more swiftly to incidents.

Reducing Production Costs 

Asset tracking helps enterprises save money by extending the lifespan of equipment. Accurate information about the last service enables more effective planning and execution of subsequent maintenance, preventing equipment breakdowns and costly repairs.

Locating Missing Assets and Preventing Theft 

The loss of expensive tools and equipment always results in additional costs for the enterprise. The system helps solve this problem by facilitating asset searches within the premises and preventing property theft.

Automating Asset Tracking 

Using the technology allows for the effective automation of discrete production tasks. The installation of tags and labels ensures that the correct inventory is used on production lines and that finished products are recovered when sent to storage.

Digitizing Maintenance and Work Organization 

Asset monitoring plays a significant role in digitizing work processes and maintenance. Automatic data collection helps companies optimize and automate maintenance, promptly detect potential issues, and plan maintenance before real problems arise.

Managing Transit Storage 

Transit storage management systems are closely linked with asset tracking. The combination of technologies allows for precise tracking of vehicle movement indoors or outdoors, offering several additional benefits:

  • Reducing time spent searching for vehicles within the premises
  • Increasing the speed of vehicle movement
  • Minimizing errors in maintenance planning
  • Quickly and efficiently responding to changes in operating conditions, such as worsening weather or equipment malfunctions.

Generating New Optimization Ideas 

Tracking systems help companies better understand their business processes. They allow for monitoring moving objects and obtaining information about the enterprise’s operation in the form of a “digital twin,” through which performance can be evaluated and areas for process improvement identified.

Integrating with Other Business Systems 

Tracking platforms easily integrate with other business systems. They can be used in conjunction with the following types of software:

  • ERP systems
  • Warehouse management systems
  • MES systems
  • Maintenance management systems

Technologies for Asset Tracking 

When implementing a platform into the infrastructure of an industrial enterprise, various wireless technologies can be used. The most effective ones include UWB, RFID, GPS, Bluetooth® LE, NFC, and Wi-Fi. Among these, tracking in factories using RFID and Bluetooth® LE provides high accuracy and reliability, ensuring assets are efficiently monitored and managed within enclosed environments.


UWB technology is particularly well-suited for asset tracking applications due to its high accuracy in positional and proximity measurements. The wide bandwidth and short-pulse nature of UWB signals enable precise real-time location tracking of objects, even in complex indoor environments with obstacles and obstructions.


Radio-Frequency Identification works through electromagnetic fields. The system consists of scanning antennas, transponders, and receivers that pick up tag signals. The transponder is attached to the tracked object and carries data about the asset, which can be read or updated.


The Global Positioning System provides asset tracking using satellite data. By integrating GPS data into the asset tracking platform, a company can obtain information about an object’s exact location, route, and movement speed. The system does not work well indoors, so it is typically used at large enterprises to monitor equipment in open spaces.


Bluetooth® LE is a low-energy version of classic Bluetooth. The technology involves using beacons that send out radio signals with unique identifiers. Readers capture these pulses and send them to a server, where they are processed to determine the object’s current location. The technology is highly accurate (about 1 meter) and can effectively control assets in enclosed industrial environments.


 NFC works by allowing two devices to “communicate” when close to each other (within a few centimeters). This technology is used to manage and track assets located at short distances, such as access control systems.


This technology uses existing infrastructure, so it does not require high implementation costs. The location of objects is determined by calculating the signal strength from tags relative to multiple access points. Wi-Fi is the most relevant technology in areas where GPS signals are unavailable or too weak.

In conclusion, asset tracking in industrial settings provides enterprises with unprecedented capabilities for monitoring valuable property. Using the system in real time enhances equipment and vehicle safety, reduces operating costs, and extends the lifespan of machinery. Improved visibility and comprehensive analytics enable companies to manage their resources better and strategically plan in an active and rapidly evolving market.


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