Transform your Operations
Accurate, high-speed stock counting, tracking, and tracing to improve stock replenishment, while reducing unnecessary manual counting, shrinkage, and high safety stock levels costs.
WHAT IS UWB
Like Bluetooth Low-energy (BLE), Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) is an indoor, low-energy wireless communication protocol that operates through high radio frequencies, in the GHz range. However, unlike its counterparts, it operates across a broad spectrum of frequencies, which unlocks many advantages. This includes lower power consumption, quicker response times, higher reliability, and greater scalability.
WHAT IS UWB USED FOR
UWB is used to capture highly accurate, spatial and directional data. Thanks to its unrivalled precision, transmission speed and reliability, it is often the technology of choice for indoor tracking of moving assets in complex and space-sensitive environments.
UWB VS. BLE
While BLE and UWB are often employed for similar tasks, UWB has some advantages over BLE:
BLE is used for location accuracy up to 1m, while UWB can detect items to within 10cm.
While BLE only uses the 2.4GHz radio frequency range (same as Wi-Fi), UWB spans between 3.1 and 10.6 GHz frequencies. This means it has a quicker response time and uses less power than BLE.
UWB tracking is approximately 25% more reliable than BLE.
UWB is significantly more scalable than BLE. While BLE can track up to a couple of hundred items at one time, UWB can track tens of thousands.
The images below illustrate the comparison between UWB and BLE:
Benefits of UWB Tracking vs. Wi-Fi Bluetooth / BLE
1. Power consumption
1. Tracking Accuracy
3. Speed / Response Time
WHEN TO CONSIDER UWB
If you have an operational environment where your organisation needs to track indoor assets - such as high-value items, job trays, parts, work in progress, tools & equipment, vehicles and people – in real-time with high accuracy and scalability, then UWB may be the best technology to use.
smaRTE Solutions using UWB:
Real-time and accurate tracking, tracing and monitoring of the health of your key operational assets to optimise asset utilisation, maximise uptime, reliability and ultimately, optimise your asset investment.
Examples of operational applications for UWB technology:
Job Tracking in Manufacturing - Attaching UWB tags to job trays, production or vehicle parts as they move through a high-precision manufacturing or assembly line.
Valuable Item Tracking in Assembly - Tracking high-value items (eg. boxes of diamonds, valuable artwork etc) within an operational environment or smart building environment to optimise production and/or reduce risk.
Indoor Vehicle Tracking in Automotive - Real-time, highly accurate tracking and stock counting of vehicles in a vehicle sales warehouse or truck yard.
People Tracking at Sports Events - Attaching a UWB tag to a sports player to provide real-time, high-accuracy tracking and tracing of each player's movements and related stats.
What is RFID technology used for?Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) is a multi-purpose technology. It is the most cost-effective way to electronically identify, count and track items that your organisation values. RFID is used in many different industries to save time, increase productivity and decrease costs. It has been quite widely adopted in industries like retail, manufacturing and assembly, warehousing and logistics, automotive, mining, construction, and healthcare.
Where is RFID used in daily life?Stock Management in Retail RFID labels can be found on the items purchased from many market-leading retail stores. The Foschini Group in south Africa use RFID to perform high-speed inventory counts (up to 300 items per second). RFID helped them to increase their inventory accuracy to 99%. Many retailers use RFID to optimise their inventory management, as well as to track and trace their inventory as it moves through their supply chain. Watch these videos below from our global partner to find out more: Access Control in Buildings and Facilities RFID technology is incorporated in most modern access control cards. These RFID-enabled cards provide unique identification of people when entering or exiting sites and buildings. Financial Transactions using Debit & Credit Cards Debit and credit cards use a version of RFID technology called Near-Field Communication (NFC). This technology makes it quick and easy to authorise transactions by tapping the card on a mobile payment device instead of inserting the card and entering the PIN. Identifying and Tracking Staff, Patients, Equipment, and Consumables Many modern hospitals use RFID to track nurses, patients, equipment, supplies and medication. RFID technology helps hospitals to transform the way they manage the hospital and care for patients. Identifying and Tracking parts in Vehicles Automotive part suppliers and manufacturers use RFID to track parts, work in progress (WIP), and tools as they move through the value chain. RFID technology helps the automotive industry to reduce costs, save time and work smarter. Improving the Management and Security of Keys in Car Dealerships Many car dealerships and car service businesses use specialised key cabinets or key rooms to control the access to keys. These keys have RFID fobs attached to them to provide unique identification of each key. See our smaRTE Keys solution for more information, or watch the video below:
What does passive vs. active RFID mean?Passive RFID Passive RFID tags have no batteries. This means that the RFID reader temporarily energises the RFID tag through the electromagnetic field that it emanates, just enough for the tag to transmit its globally unique “Electronic Product Code” (EPC) that identifies the tag and the item that it is attached to. Active RFID Active RFID tags have built-in batteries and an internal transmitter in the form of a beacon or transponder. This means that an active RFID tag can transmit signals to an RFID reader over longer ranges – sometimes up to 150 metres. Active RFID tags can be used for real-time tracking and tracing as items move.
Is RFID anti-theft?An RFID anti-theft system can be used to detect tagged items that pass through an entrance, verify if those items have been purchased and trigger an acoustic and/or visual alarm if any item has not been purchased. As an optional extra, RFID loss prevention hardware can be connected to a cloud software application. The products that trigger an alarm can then be shown on a smartphone, managed by store or security staff to alert and register events such as false alarms, thwarted theft, and theft. For more information, watch this video from one of our global RFID partners:
What are the benefits of RFID?Below are some examples of the operational benefits of employing RFID into your environment: High-speed, accurate inventory counts (up to 300 items per second, 99% accuracy). Can detect and find “hidden” objects. Quick variance resolution. Lower Inventory Levels. Free up valuable working capital. Improve sales & customer service. Optimised stock turn. Lower shrinkage. Count inventory as often as required. Intelligent asset management. More in-depth, real-time management information. Increased Return-on-operating-Assets (RooA) and profitability as a result.