IoT Tags and Sensors Maximize Supply Chain Visibility
What Are The Types Of Tags And Sensors You Can Use In Your Supply Chain Operations?
RFID, BLE, GPS, UWB, Vision
Sensors and tag technology have advanced significantly since the mid-2000’s. Today’s IoT technology is not only connected to the internet, but can – sometimes – be upgraded over time to ensure you have the latest and greatest features in place to scan and process data related to your assets, materials and finished goods.
Every warehouse, production facility and storage process is unique, so there is no single solution for every need, but Surgere’s teams have seen multiple types of facilities and company operations in addition to hearing about many business challenges and data needs. This experience allows us to specify and recommend a single technology or layered, multi-technology solutions.
Here are the most common types of scanning and tagging IoT technologies we deploy for supply chain and warehouse operations:
RFID has the advantage of lower costs when compared to other technologies in this list. When you have a large volume of assets or materials to track, RFID is often the best solution.
RFID tags work on almost every substrate and material type, and can be specified to account for metallic surfaces, water or liquid assets, and both indoors and outdoors.
Passive RFID will cost less than Active, and it will often depend on how often you need to scan or understand the status of the asset or container as to which solution that Surgere’s team will recommend.
For assets or machinery that is high-value or when you need always-on, real-time, precision tracking, UWB is a great solution. UWB technology is generally best utilized indoors or in the immediate surrounding area outside of a facility. This solution often requires some integration to your company network to function properly.
Bluetooth technology allows for tracking of movement both indoors and out. It relies on a receiver and transmitter that will communicate to understand positioning within a zone or facility so you can monitor and track movement but also understand status and the environment that the asset is exposed to. This is a great solution as it does not necessarily need to tie in to your facilities network for communication to the cloud.
If you use trucks or other transportation methods to move assets and materials from one facility to another, then GPS and 4G/5G technology may be best for you. These devices are completely mobile and work very similarly to your cell phone. This technology is perfect for over-the-road, railway and short-haul tracking, giving you real-time visibility to location and status.
Do You Need to Pick a Single Technology for Your Supply Chain Visibility Needs?
No, that’s the best part. Surgere has done all the legwork for you. Our engineering team tests, validates and understands the functionality of each technology and sensor type so you’ll always get an unbiased, factual view of what each can do and not do.
Additionally, these technologies can all work together to complete an end-to-end view of your supply chain activities and operations. We call it layering of technology or confluence of technology. Because you may need RFID for some things and BLE for others. It’s not one-size-fits-all.
Ready to find your ideal sensor and scanning technology? Contact us and we will let you know what options exist.
How Does Surgere Ensure Sensors and Tags are Installed Properly?
Surgere’s engineering and operations team have developed multiple training resources for your teams to use in addition to full onboarding and in-person training. After the initial installation is complete, we have a documented hypercare process and conduct regular sensor assessments at each facility to ensure each component is functioning as expected and re-training any existing or new team members.
Surgere's IoT Supply Chain Partners
Surgere partners with premium providers for all hardware and scanning technology. We will provide recommendations for each supply chain visibility need, including the pros and cons, scalability and expected longevity of each plan.