IoT Asset Tracking And Conditions Monitoring In The QR Inventory Software

IoT module in the QR Inventory software provides an option for a completely automated asset tracking and conditions monitoring with BLE tags, IoT sensors and gateways. The module includes all components of the automated asset tracking and monitoring system:

BLE Tags And Sensors
BLE tags attached to the assets and equipment allows you to automatically track assets location and transfer data to the backend cloud software via an IoT gateway. A BLE beacon tag is constantly broadcasting an asset identification number, which is picked up by an IoT gateway. An IoT gateway detects BLE tags within its range and routes data to the remote cloud server or a server on the local network. The system is completely automated - no employees participation in the asset tracking process is required.
Optional IoT sensors allow you to remotely monitor temperature and humidity conditions for the sensitive assets and equipment.


Bluetooth IoT Gateway
An IoT gateway serves as a bridge between the local IoT devices (BLE beacons and sensors), and a cloud asset tracking software. A single gateway collects data from the multiple sensors and BLE beacons.

A QR Inventory IoT module includes a BLE gateway with the edge data processing capabilities. A gateway pre-processes, filters and batches data before sending them to the backend cloud software. You can configure the edge processing rules, temperature and humidity thresholds, asset tracking alerts, time intervals and more.


A Cloud Software
A cloud software is responsible for accepting data from the IoT gateways, processing and storing data, and producing human readable reports.

You can also manage and configure gateways and sensors using a cloud software interface. Alternatively, you can configure each gateway by logging into it locally on the company's internal network.

QR Inventory gives you flexible options for hosting a cloud software portion of the IoT asset tracking system. You can host it with us, internally on your company network, or with a cloud hosting provider of your choice, such as Azure or AWS.

This article provides the answers to the frequently asked questions about IoT asset tracking and conditions monitoring in the QR Inventory software.

What Is IoT Asset Tracking And How Does It Work

An IoT asset tracking solution gives you an option to automatically track assets location and usage, as well as monitor assets conditions remotely without any human participation. An IoT asset tracking system relies on the gateways for collecting data from the tags and sensors and transferring data to a backend cloud software.

What is IoT

IoT stands for Internet of Things - a network of connected devices that can bi-directionally communicate with a backend cloud server or a local network. A software system running on a cloud server processes data from the IoT devices deployed in multiple locations, and produces human readable reports. You can also use a cloud software web interface to remotely manage deployed IoT devices: authenticate devices, add them to a network, configure data processing rules, establish thresholds and create alerts.

How can we use IoT for asset tracking?

An asset tracking system is the most common IoT use case. A tracking device is attached to an asset, and sends asset tracking information to the remote cloud server via wi-fi or cellular connection. Depending on the specific asset tracking use case a tag can send data to the backend cloud software directly or via a gateway. Various technologies and communication protocols can be used: GPS, RFID, Bluetooth low energy, and more.

Which IoT technologies does QR Inventory software use for asset tracking?

QR Inventory software uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology for the real time automated asset tracking. You label assets with the BLE tags, and install Bluetooth gateways in the key locations. A Bluetooth gateway scans for the assets labeled with the BLE tags at the pre-defined time intervals, pre-processes the data and sends received information to the backend cloud software.

What kind of reports do we get in the IoT asset tracking system?

You can review current asset location, a history of asset movements, when and for how long an asset has been at each location, a list of assets at each location, statistical reports on assets utilization, and more. You can filter reports by multiple parameters to quickly find information you need, and export reports for sharing or importing into the internal software systems.

Do company employees need to do anything for accurate asset tracking?

After you labeled assets with the BLE tags and installed IoT gateways the asset tracking is completely automated. Field technicians and job site employees do not need to do anything.

What kind of alerts can we receive?

You can configure and receive alerts if an asset appeared in the area where it is not supposed to be, if an asset that is supposed to be in a specific location is no longer there, if an asset was taken out of the building or from a job site, etc. You can create these alerts for individual assets or asset groups.

What other asset tracking parameters can we control?

You can control how often an IoT gateway scans for the assets, and how often this information is sent to a backend cloud software. Batching asset tracking data on the gateway is beneficial and reduces the load on the cloud server. Regardless of how often asset tracking data are sent to the cloud software, alerts for the misplaced assets are sent to you immediately without any delays.

What kind of edge data processing BLE gateway does in place?

BLE gateway that comes with the QR Inventory software IoT module keeps track of the assets that are relocated to and from monitored area internally, and eliminates all redundant information. Only new data on assets appearing in the area and leaving the area is sent to the backend cloud software.

What kind of BLE asset tracking tags do you offer?

BLE tags that come with the QR Inventory software are weather-proof, can withstand harsh outdoor conditions, with long battery life and a decent scanning range. You can find more details on the BLE tags specifications here.

IoT Temperature And Humidity Monitoring For Assets And Inventory

An IoT module of the QR Inventory software provides an optional temperature, humidity and other parameters monitoring for the assets and inventory. Combining IoT conditions monitoring with the asset and inventory tracking system ensures that you get accurate temperature and humidity logs, and timely alerts on the adverse conditions for the assets and inventory based on the current and historic locations.

What IoT hardware is used to monitor temperature and humidity conditions for the assets and inventory

A QR Inventory software IoT module uses BLE temperature and humidity sensors that are connected to the Bluetooth IoT gateway. One gateway can collect temperature and humidity measurements from multiple sensors.
You can find more information on the IoT temperature and humidity monitoring system included in the QR Inventory software here.

Do we need to use IoT asset tracking for monitoring asset conditions?

You do not necessarily need to combine IoT asset tracking and IoT temperature and humidity conditions monitoring. QR Inventory software gives you multiple options for asset tracking and inventory management. You can use a smartphone and QR codes, NFC or BLE tags scanning, an IoT asset tracking system with BLE tags and gateways, or a combination of the above. If some or all assets and inventory that you manage are sensitive to the temperature and humidity conditions, you can implement an IoT temperature and humidity monitoring system. You can do this regardless of which asset tracking and inventory management method you are using.

Do we need to attach a sensor to each asset?

You do not have to attach a temperatuer and humidity sensor to each asset that you want to monitor. You can install one sensor per zone. A QR Inventory system monitors both asset and inventory locations and movement between zones, as well as temperature and humidity conditions in each zone. Combination of these data gives you a temperature and humidity log for each monitored asset and inventory batch regardless of how it is moved between locations.

What aspects of the IoT temperature and humidity monitoring system can we customize?

You can set a reasonable temperature and humidity step at which data are reported, how often temperature and humidity are measured, and how often batched data are sent to a remote cloud software. You can also set temperature and humidity thresholds and receive alerts if conditions go out of the acceptable range. You can set temperature and humidity range for individual locations, as well as for the individual assets and inventory items or asset groups.

What happens if a connection between an IoT sensor and a gateway is lost?

Temperature and humidity measurements are stored on the sensor, and can be retrieved later when connection is restored. The same is true with regards to the connection between the IoT gateway and a cloud server.

What reports do we get from the IoT asset conditions monitoring system?

You get digital temperature and humidity logs for any selected time interval, for the individual assets and for the locations. You also get a report of when temperature or humidity conditions were compromised, if applicable, and when the conditions have been corrected.

IoT Asset Tracking Hardware And Software

An IoT module in the QR Inventory software includes the hardware and software that is required for the efficient IoT asset tracking and conditions monitoring.

What hardware do we need for the IoT asset tracking?

You need BLE tags for the assets, and one or more Bluetooth IoT gateways connected to the cloud server running asset tracking software.

What hardware do we need for the IoT asset conditions monitoring?

You need BLE temperature and humidity sensors, and one or more Bluetooth IoT gateways connected to the cloud server running an asset tracking software. You need one IoT sensor per zone where you want to monitor temperature and humidity conditions of the assets and inventory.

Can we use a smartphone instead of an IoT gateway

Yes, you can use a smartphone if you prefer. In this case a human with a smartphone will need to take a record of the assets in each monitored location one or several times per day. A person taking an assets record won't need to locate and scan each individual asset. A single button click in the mobile application will scan all nearby assets and submit data to the backend cloud software for processing.
Using a smartphone as an IoT gateway will reduce the overall cost of the IoT asset tracking system. The drawback is that it will require some, although very minimal, human participation.

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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