Asset Tracking and Yard Management

 

WISER’s asset tracking and micro-location system gives customers an always-current picture of key inventory, including tracking individual vehicles across large lots or parking decks. This allows customers to find the exact, real-time locations of vehicles wherever they might be onsite.

 
A parking yard full of trucks and trailers.

THE PROBLEM: SEARCHING MANUALLY FOR LOST VEHICLES

Whether at a warehouse, a factory, or a distribution center, yard management depends of timely access to the right vehicle. Finding the right vehicle is often challenging, however, even with GPS devices reporting each vehicle's location.

Because GPS is typically only accurate within several meters, a GPS signal won't give parking-position accuracy. Also, GPS doesn't work underground and rarely works anywhere inside a parking deck.

Vehicle accessibility is also a problem. Making every vehicle accessible for a quick departure would require drivers to park with space to spare. But to maximize storage space, it's common for vehicles to be entirely surrounded during the parking process.

Every lost or inaccessible vehicle introduces delays in starting and finishing a job. First, drivers need to find the correct truck or trailer from among dozens or hundreds of similar models. Next, drivers often need to move neighboring trucks or trailers to gain access.

It's also possible that multiple drivers will need to work together to make a particular vehicle accessible in a hurry. This precludes those drivers from beginning other jobs in the meantime. Searching and shuffling positions can also congest the lanes of traffic for vehicles entering or exiting the lot for other jobs--and drivers walking the yard pose additional safety problems as other vehicles enter or leave the area.

All these challenges translate into lost time on the job, reduced numbers of jobs completed, and unneeded hassle for yard managers and drivers alike.

THE SOLUTION: WISER’S ASSET TRACKING SYSTEM

WISER simplifies the process with the following basic configuration.

Yard managers position WISER Antenna Nodes across the yard to establish WISER’s wireless mesh. Within this mesh, WISER's software can locate and track individual Tracker Tags with sub-meter accuracy. One of these tags is placed on each vehicle to be tracked. These tags operate around-the-clock, transmitting the real-time locations of each vehicle. Vehicle locations now register autonomously all the time, including the instant that a vehicle moves.

WISER’s asset tracking system is much more accurate than conventional real-time location systems (RTLS) or tracking solutions like GPS. Delivering inch-level accuracy in most settings, WISER can locate a truck or trailer more than precisely enough to identify a specific parking spot. Also, this system doesn’t require manual record updates or visual checks on individual spots.

This solution operates indoors, outdoors, and underground, wherever a WISER mesh is established. It also consumes much less power than conventional systems. For instance, tags pinging once per second can last for several years without battery changes or upgrades.

THE RESULTS: HIGHER EFFICIENCY, LOWER COSTS

WISER's approach to yard management gives an always-current picture of where vehicles are and how long they've been there. This eliminates the need for manual data entry when vehicles return or leave for an assignment. It also generates a redundant log of available vehicles, updating in real time.

This solution heightens both security and efficiency. For instance, dispatchers can detect immediately if an unauthorized vehicle changes position or leaves the yard. Trucks can be guided to the correct loading dock with real-time updates. If end-users also track pallets or storage containers being loaded and shipped, it's possible to tell immediately if an asset is put on the wrong vehicle, rather than having to wait until unloading to discover the error.

Even if retrieving the correct vehicle still delays a task, this system can register the delay without the driver having to manually check in. No matter how yard managers use it, WISER's ultra-wideband (UWB) solution gives a granular, real-time edge in yard management solutions. This lets dispatchers and drivers alike make their decisions with a clear understanding of the yard before them at all times.