Industrial BLE Tags For IoT Asset And Inventory Tracking

Use Bluetooth low energy (BLE) for smart asset and inventory management. BLE tags (Bluetooth beacons) allow you to track assets and inventory with a smartphone using fast bulk scanning. Use Bluetooth gateways for a completely automated asset tracking that does not require human participation.

What Are BLE Tags And BLE Beacons

Bluetooth low energy tags (BLE beacon tags), and how you can use them for the smart asset and inventory tracking.

BLE asset tags are Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons. BLE beacons broadcast data that nearby Bluetooth devices can pick up and interpret. In the case of the asset and inventory tracking a BLE beacon tag broadcasts an ID number that uniquely identifies an asset or inventory item. The devices that listen to the BLE beacon tags can be smartphones, Bluetooth IoT gateways and / or edge IoT devices. Listening devices can do some data processing in place, and then send asset and inventory data to the backend cloud software for processing, storage and reporting.

BLE tags power and battery life. BLE tags are powered by the small coin-size batteries. The bluetooth low energy protocol was specifically designed to preserve energy, so the batteries in the BLE tags can last for several years. Some BLE tags have replaceable batteries. Many BLE tags manufacturers provide an option to configure BLE beacon parameters, such as transmission signal strength and broadcast interval. Using these beacon configuration options you can select your own trade offs between BLE beacon responsiveness (broadcast interval), distance (beacon signal strength) and a BLE tag battery life.

BLE tags range. On average, BLE asset tags have a range (a distance at which a signal can be picked up by the Bluetooth receiver) between 50 and 100 meters in the open space. Any walls or obstructions reduce this distance. The distance at which a BLE tag signal can be picked up depends on both a tag and a Bluetooth receiver. Smartphones usually have lower scanning range. Bluetooth gateways, on the other hand, may have up to a kilometer scanning range in the open space.

Industrial BLE tags. Industrial BLE tags are rugged, waterproof devices that are suitable for construction tools and equipment in outdoor conditions. Industrial asset tags IP rating is between IP65 and IP67 (can withstand dust, forein particles, and water jets from low pressure to high pressure). IP67 rated BLE tags can be completely submerged into the water for the short time period.

BLE tags size and weight. Physically BLE asset tag is a small lightweight plastic tag, round, square, or rectangular. The tag size may range between one and two inches, and thickness is around half an inch or less. BLE tags are suitable for putting on the small equipment, tools, and other assets, as well as on or inside inventory bins, totes, or boxes. You can attach a BLE tag to the asset with a zip tie or screws. Some BLE tags have an adhesive surface that allows you to stick a tag to the asset. You can also put BLE tags on or inside boxes or bins for tracking small inventory items.


A Smart Asset And Inventory Tracking System With BLE Tags

QR Inventory is a complete IoT asset and inventory tracking system. It includes BLE asset tags, a mobile application for the smartphones or Bluetooth gateways, and a cloud inventory management software for data processing.

Bluetooth low energy is becoming a less expensive and more robust alternative to RFID for the asset and inventory tracking. You need three components for the smart IoT asset and inventory tracking using Bluetooth low energy:

  • BLE tags (BLE beacons). BLE tags for asset and inventory tracking are Bluetooth low energy beacons that broadcast asset or inventory identification number. Each trackable item (asset, inventory, a pallet or skid) should have a BLE beacon tag attached to it. The BLE tags do not have to be visible or in line of sight - tags can be inside the cases or packaging, if applicable.
  • Bluetooth receiver / gateway. A Bluetooth gateway listens for the BLE beacon signals, and transfers asset data to the backend cloud software for processing. A smartphone can play the role of the Bluetooth gateway, or you can have a dedicated stationary Bluetooth gateway. If you want to use a smartphone as a Bluetooth gateway, a company employee will need to process asset transactions by scanning BLE tags. Unlike barcode or QR code scanning, all assets or inventory that you need to move between locations can be added to the transaction with one click of a button in the mobile application - no scanning of the individual assets or inventory items is required. If you are using Bluetooth gateways the asset tracking is happening automatically without any human participation. A Bluetooth gateway collects data from the BLE beacons and forwards them to the backend cloud software in real time.
  • Asset management cloud software. A cloud software that receives asset and inventory data from the Bluetooth gateway or a smartphone, processes data and produces real time and historic reports.


These are the most commonly used BLE tags that you can purchase with the QR Inventory smart asset tracking system. These BLE tags are rugged, waterproof, and can be used both indoors and outdoors on the construction equipment, tools, warehouse inventory and pallets. If you need different type of BLE tags for the special use cases, please contact us.



 

A Rugged Waterproof BLE Asset Tag With Replaceable Battery (BLE Beacon / iBeacon Format)



A rugged weatherproof BLE tag suitable for use on the construction tools, equipment and machinery in outdoor conditions. Use screws or a zip tie to attach it to the assets. Low power consumption, battery lasts up to four years and is replaceable. The beacon signal transmission range is up to 100 meters in the open space.

  • Dimensions: 40 mm x 64 mm x 18 mm
  • Weight: 25 g
  • Temperature range: from minus 40 to plus 70 degrees celsius
  • Battery: replaceable, lasts up to 4 years
  • Beacon signal transmission range: up to 100 m in open space
  • Beacon parameters configuration: maximum signal range and beacon broadcast interval can be configured to provide the best range / interval / battery life tradeoff for the client's use case
  • Waterproof level: IP65 (protected from dust and foreign particles, protected from rain, snow, condensation, low pressure water jets).
  • Sensors: optionally can include temperature sensor for the automatic reporting of the asset temperature conditions, and / or accelerometer sensor for detecting unusual equipment vibration patterns.

IP67 Waterproof BLE Asset Tag (BLE Beacon / iBeacon Format)



A waterproof BLE tag suitable for the indoor and outdoor use. This BLE tag is well suited for the inventory, assets, equipment, warehouse pallets, or for tracking employees. Protected from the rain, snow, condensation and flooding - can tolerate being submerged into the water for up to 30 minutes at the shallow depth. Use zip tie to attach it to the equipment, tools, assets or inventory, place inside the inventory packaging, or attach to the employees' tags using a key chain. Low power consumption, battery lasts up to three years. Battery is not replaceable. The beacon signal can be read at the distance of up to 80 meters in the open space.

  • Dimensions: 37 mm x 37 mm x 8 mm
  • Weight: 13 g
  • Temperature range: from minus 40 to plus 70 degrees celsius
  • Battery: non-replaceable, lasts up to 3 years
  • Beacon signal transmission range: up to 80 m in open space
  • Beacon parameters configuration: maximum signal range and beacon broadcast interval can be configured to provide the best range / interval / battery life tradeoff for the client's use case
  • Waterproof level: IP67 (protected from dust and foreign particles, protected from rain, snow, condensation, high pressure water jets and submerging into the water for up to 30 minutes at depth between 15 cm and one meter).
  • Sensors: no sensor options.


 

BLE Tag (BLE Beacon) With The Temperature And Humidity Sensor (Indoors And Outdoors)

A temperature and humidity sensor with BLE beacon option can be used to monitor environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) of the warehouse assets and inventory, as well as conditions on the construction sites, in the smart buildings, in the labs and on the shop floor.

Combining inventory and asset tracking with the automatic temperature and humidity monitoring ensures that assets and inventory are stored or transported in the correct temperature and humidity environment, prevents spoilage and waste. The inventory and asset management system knows the acceptable temperature and humidity range for the sensitive assets and inventory, and in which zone each asset is located at any moment.

As you move assets and inventory between locations, the system verifies that all assets and inventory are in the acceptable temperature and humidity range. You receive immediate alerts if any asset or inventory item is moved in the zone with the temperature and humidity conditions which can be harmful, or if the temperature or humidity conditions in the zone go out of the acceptable range for the assets and inventory which are located in this zone. You also have an access to the temperature and humidity log for all sensitive assets and inventory for the traceability and accountability purposes.

This temperature and humidity beacon can store up to 400 temperature and humidity values, so you always have an access to the detailed temperature and humidity logs even if the connection is interrupted.

  • Dimensions: 94 mm x 38 mm x 18 mm
  • Weight: 42 g
  • Temperature range: from minus 40 to plus 70 degrees celsius, temperature measurement precision 0.3 degrees celsius
  • Battery: non-replaceable, lasts up to 8 years
  • Waterproof level: IP66 (protected from dust and foreign particles, protected from rain, snow, condensation and high pressure water jets).
  • Sensors: temperature and humidity
  • Data storage: can store up to 400 temperature and humidity records. The records can be downloaded and sent to the cloud via a smartphone application or a Bluetooth gateway.
  • Data reporting: real time data reporting via a smartphone / mobile application or Bluetooth gateway. Data can be stored on the sensor and retrieved later if there is an interruption in the connection.
 


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QR Inventory and QR Mobile Data are brand names of inventory management and mobile forms software by AHG -- a provider of mobile and cloud-based applications for business. Our unified mobile platform improves business operations efficiency by eliminating manual tasks and physical paperwork, while providing a secure cloud storage for the business records, real time access to business data for all stakeholders, comprehensive data reporting and analytics. Headquartered in beautiful Boise, Idaho, AHG software is used to manage hundreds of millions of dollars annually in inventory and assets.

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