BLE Asset Tracking Gateway For A Fully Automated Equipment Management

Automate asset tracking and equipment management using a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) IoT gateway. This BLE gateway is a part of our IoT asset tracking system. You can use a dedicated gateway, or install a gateway software on existing network of iPads or Android tablets.

Do We Need An IoT Gateway For The Automated Asset Tracking?

There are several modern asset tracking methods that require none or very little participation of your field workforce. Using IoT gateways with the BLE tags on your equipment allows you to completely free your employees from all asset tracking tasks. You get reports on the real time assets location and movement history without relying on the company employees for QR code scanning to track assets. If freeing company employees from any asset tracking tasks is your goal, then your only options are to use IoT gateways or GPS tags.

How does BLE asset tracking with IoT gateways work

In order to track assets and equipment automatically using IoT gateways, you need to do the following:

  • label assets with the BLE tags
  • install IoT gateways in the locations where you plan to track assets

You may need one or more IoT gateways per location, depending on the location size and geometry.

IoT gateways scan for the BLE tags, detect which assets are moved in or out of the monitored area, and send this info to a back end cloud software. The IoT asset tracking system works on its own, without any employees' participation.

How does GPS asset tracking system work

GPS asset tracking requires a GPS tag to be attached to each trackable asset. A GPS tag is capable to determine its own location and send relevant data to the back end cloud software. No gateway is needed, each asset tagged with the GPS tag is self reliant.

Using IoT gateways vs GPS tags for asset tracking

An IoT asset tracking system with the gateways and GPS asset tracking are used for the different business scenarios. Although both methods are used for the automated asset tracking, one method cannot replace another. Here are use cases for both BLE and GPS asset tracking systems.

Use cases for the BLE asset tracking with IoT gateways

You should use a BLE asset tracking system when you need to track multiple assets in the specific designated areas. An area can be a warehouse, a yard, a smart building, a hospital, a shop floor, or a job site. Large areas can be separated into parts to better pinpoint asset location.

One IoT gateway can track hundreds of assets in the designated area. BLE tags are small, inexpensive, and can be attached to both heavy equipment, as well as small tools and assets. BLE asset tracking system can work well for both inside and outside locations.

Use cases for GPS asset tracking

You should use GPS asset tracking for tracking large, expensive assets anywhere using their geographical coordinates rather then a specific location. GPS tags are bigger in size than BLE tags, significantly more expensive and in case of cellular connection each tag requires a monthly fee. It makes sense to use GPS asset tracking for the vehicles, heavy construction equipment, or shipping containers. GPS tags are not suitable for the small construction equipment, tools, office assets or IT equipment.



BLE Asset Tracking Gateway: Features

An IoT asset tracking system in the QR Inventory software comes with the Bluetooth low energy (BLE) IoT gateway. You can purchase dedicated IoT gateways, or a gateway software that you can install on your own hardware.

An Asset Tracking Gateway With Edge Data Processing

BLE gateway processes asset tracking data in place, and only sends changes to the back end cloud software.
  

Saving Asset Tracking Data Locally

Each gateway can track hundreds of assets. As a rule, between scan periods only a few assets are moved in or out, or nothing is changed. It would be a waste of resources to send data on hundreds of assets each scan period. Therefore, an asset tracking gateway saves all data internally, and only sends changes to the back end cloud software.

No Loss Of Asset Tracking Data

Asset tracking data are not removed from the gateway until data are successfully sent to a back end cloud software. If there is an interruption in the internet connection no data are lost.

Instant Alerts On Misplaced Assets

An asset tracking gateway manages misplaced assets alerts. Each alert is sent only once, and then another alert is sent when the situation is corrected.

Configure Asset Tracking Gateway To Your Requirements

You can configure an asset tracking gateway by logging into it locally, or, if your network allows it, remotely via a cloud software web interface.
  

Set Timing Of The BLE Scans

Set how often an asset tracking gateway should scan for the BLE tags, and the time period between the scans. If your assets are rarely moved in and out, periods between the scans can be longer. If your assets are constantly moving, you can set very short intervals between the scans.

Set How Often Asset Data Are Sent To The Server

Whether you sent data to the back end cloud software each several minutes or several times per day, you will get an accurate timing of asset moving in or out.

Set Max Gateway Scan Distance

If you only need to detect assets that are at a certain distance from the gateway, you can set a max scan distance. This option helps you get more granular assets location within the large area, such as a large warehouse, hospital or an office building.

Set Alerts On The Misplaced Assets

Set and receive alerts if an asset was removed from the area where it should be, or was moved in the area were it is not supposed to be. You can set alerts for the individual assets, or asset groups.

Set Different Timing Intervals Depending On The Day And Time

You may want to receive asset tracking data more often during work hours, or during the peak hours when assets are moving in and out. During the slow times, when everything is mostly static, you can set bigger intervals between scans, and send data to the back end cloud software less frequently.

Use Asset Tracking Gateway For Monitoring Exits / Entrances

You can set up an asset tracking gateway to monitor gates or doors in the area. This will allow you to track which assets were moved through the specific gates, when, and who moved an asset in or out.
  

Increase Asset Accountability With The Employee Tracking

Label service trucks with BLE tags, or give company employees BLE badges - and you will know not only when an asset entered or left the area, but who took it in or out and through which gates. An asset tracking gateway that comes with the QR Inventory system will automatically match an employee or a truck with the assets.

Track Assets Moving Through The Gates

If you designate an asset tracking gateway as an "exit gateway", it will:

  • Constantly scan for the assets and trucks or employees moving through the gates
  • Match assets with an employee or a truck
  • Try to eliminate stationary assets from the tracking

You get a report on which assets where moved through the gates, when, and who took them in or out.

Asset Tracking Gateway Software For iPads Or Android Tablets

Purchase asset tracking gateway software and install on as many devices as needed.
  

Use Existing Infrastructure For Asset Tracking

If you have an existing network of iPads or Android tablets, you can use these devices as IoT gateways as well. This will save you money on the hardware, and will give you an option to add asset tracking gateways as needed without any additional cost.

iPad Or Android Gateway Features

An asset tracking gateway that works on iPad or Android tablet has the same configuration and edge processing capabilities as a dedicated gateway.

Secure Gateway Access

A user who wants to change a gateway configuration parameters, start or stop scanning needs to log in before performing each action.

Asset Tracking Gateway With Conditions Monitoring

Monitor temperature and humidity conditions for the sensitive assets remotely using an asset tracking gateway. Get digital logs for the monitored locations, as well as for the individual assets.
  

Track Conditions For Locations And Individual Assets

An advantage of the combined asset tracking and conditions monitoring system is that you can use a single asset tracking gateway to monitor conditions for both locations and individual assets. A stand alone temperature and humidity monitoring system only "knows" conditions in the monitored location. An asset tracking system can match asset location with the conditions at this location, taking into account that assets change locations over time.

Configure Temperature And Humidity Monitoring Parameters

As with the asset tracking, you can configure how often the data are sent to the back end cloud software. You can also configure a temperature and humidity step in order to avoid recording multiple data points of the same value. Alternatively, you can elect to record all measurements.

Alerts On The Out Of Range Data

Set acceptable temperature and humidity conditions on the locations, as well as on the individual assets or asset groups. Receive instant alert when conditions go out of range, and fix the situation ASAP.


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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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