Industry 4.0 comes to the production line

Industry 4.0 is a vision that promises to transform manufacturing with the help of sensors and smart connected devices. Ultra Wideband Real time locating systems (RTLS) is a critical technology in this mix.

Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) or Industrie 4.0, as the Germans like to call it, is a concept where the physical and virtual worlds merge in the factory of the future. Enhanced productivity will come from analysing an increasing amount of data about the manufacturing processes. More data equals better decisions and more fine-tuned production processes where resources are utilised to the maximum and quality is ensured by constant monitoring.


RTLS is an essential part of the Industry 4.0, since locating and tracking objects and people is important in getting real-time feedback about process performance. Whether a person really is performing a task or whether a machine is entering a restricted area can trigger events making sure that quality isn’t compromised and workers are safe. RTLS systems differ in the baseline technology used for positioning, and each comes with its specific advantages and flaws. Ultra Wideband RTLS is suitable for industrial applications due to high accuracy and relative immunity to reflections in difficult indoor environments.


A number of industries are having problems with unscheduled machine downtime that erodes the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), the gold standard of measuring the efficiency of your manufacturing operations. There are a number of reasons for this, process handovers between machines and raw material supply is uneven. As a result, the work station and operator are left waiting, costing the company and hurting their bottom line.


Having a real-time overview of all equipment, people and machinery and their interactions on the shop floor will enable to improve processes, reduce downtime and eventually increase the factory output.