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Technology for tracking and managing assets

16.08.2021

The technical condition of the equipment, its workload, the availability of materials, space and human resources – all these factors affect economic performance on a daily basis. Also, do not forget about “ghostly assets” – funds and objects that are present in the register and increase the level of costs, which are not involved in the production process.

Manual methods of asset management provide practically no tools to deal with such negative phenomena. But building a digital asset tracking and visualization system can handle them. In general, the abandonment of outdated manual control methods provides several advantages at once:

– the decision-making process is accelerated at all stages;

– automation of resource management reduces the workload on staff;

– data standardization simplifies analytical work;

– improved lifecycle management of key assets;

– the cost of scheduled maintenance of equipment is reduced;

– the accuracy of investment forecasts and calculation of depreciation increases;

– increased security of corporate information exchange.

Not surprisingly, interest in digital asset management systems is growing every year. In particular, ResearchAndMarkets published a report, which indicates the expected market capitalization of solutions for monitoring equipment at $ 36.3 billion by 2025.

Asset tracking technologies can be roughly divided into several categories. These are charts and dashboards, 3D visualizations, augmented and virtual reality, tracking and cartographic systems.

The most effective Asset Management tools combine multiple technologies. They are also synchronized with project planning and can become part of global production management systems.

Virtual Simulation Tools

Virtual simulation tools create a digital copy of the production. They allow you to visually display all the assets involved in operational processes. Let’s take a look at the most promising technology directions.

3D visualization

The 3D environment helps you bypass the physical limitations of asset monitoring. You can literally look through walls, see hidden communications, monitor an entire production line at the same time, and study operational processes. Assessing the condition of assets is greatly simplified when the attention of staff is focused on critical points, and at the disposal of experts – a detailed picture of events.

The main advantage of programs for creating three-dimensional environments is the high availability of data. Improved spatial orientation and asset tracking.

AR / VR

Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) provide an even deeper experience of interacting with assets. Simulations are used to accelerate real-world staff training, telecommuting, or smart asset management systems.

The main advantage of AR and VR is the ability to create optimal conditions for quick expert decision making. This is achieved by overlaying digital data on physical objects.

Asset tagging and tracking tools

Asset tagging and tracking tools allow you to remotely obtain qualitative and quantitative data and, most importantly, locate assets in real time. Codes, tags, and geolocation tags track the history of movement and use of funds and resources, as well as finished goods or parts.

Gps

Global positioning system trackers determine the location of an object using data from orbiting satellites. Such tracking tools do not work indoors and are more intended for tracking vehicles, large moving assets and mobile equipment.

The main advantage of the technology is its versatility. GPS trackers can be used not only to create RTLS (Real-time Locating Systems), but also to assess the performance of certain assets.

QR

Identification codes allow manual or automated reading of asset information. The technology allows a large amount of systematized data to be entered into the register in a short time by assigning a unique identifier to individual units or categories of assets.

The main advantage of QR codes is ease of use. Information can be linked to any physical object and read using a mobile device. For many small businesses, the digital transformation of asset management began with this inexpensive and simple technology.

RFID / NFC

Two popular asset tagging systems that track data in real time without the need for line-of-sight. The basis for such systems is radio frequency identification and short-range communication technologies.

The main advantage of RFID and NFC is scalability. Tags can be used both to track a limited number of physical objects and to create a global management system for a wide range of diverse assets.

Complex solutions

An effective asset management system uses blended technologies that are best suited to a specific production environment.

It can be a whole complex of software for the implementation of several tasks:

– visualization;

– location determination;

– technical condition assessment;

– analysis of the effectiveness of use.

The main condition for the successful implementation of such a system is the creation of a link between assets and projects. Not only do you need to know how many resources your business has at your disposal, but you also need to understand how to use assets for maximum economic value.

SmartEAM develops such complex systems for its clients. We study the specifics of organizing production at a specific enterprise in order to then apply our experience to create an effective management tool. The results of our work can be found in the “Cases” section.

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