17 Apr Yard Management RTLS Systems: Manage Gates, Docks, Trailers
Streamline Shipping and Receiving with Real-Time Monitoring RTLS Systems
Manufacturing facilities and logistics centers have large fleets of vehicles and shipping trailers to keep track of on their properties. Manually tracking the movement of assets in a large yard is simply unmanageable.
Litum IoT’s Real Time Location – RTLS System is the solution that companies need to remain highly efficient and competitive since it allows them to monitor the shipment of assets, access to a yard, and movement of vehicles in real time. Yard managers will no longer have to worry about one of the biggest and most pressing concerns of their industry: knowing where everything is at once.
Difficulties In Yard Management
According to the Aberdeen Group, in 2007 up to 58% of all yard management efforts involved manual check-in/checkout and monitoring processes. Well over half of the time spent managing a yard involved entering information into the computer system by hand. Of course, a lot of time is also wasted due to normal inefficiencies or just plain carelessness on the part of drivers.
How It Used To Go
When truck drivers first arrived at the yard with a shipment, they would be greeted by the yard manager or another employee. Time is taken up in confirming the identity of the driver and the shipment, and then the effort needed to find an available space for the trailer. On occasion, the assigned space isn’t available when the driver gets to it, or the driver parks in the wrong place. Later on, this leads to confusion as yard personnel are forced to search for the missing trailer.
The wrong trailer may even be taken up to the warehouse docking area and prematurely unloaded or loaded for delivery. If that trailer makes it out of the yard and entire shipment can be delayed, resulting in lost money and angry vendors.
With a manual process, it can take up to six hours to turn around trailers, from the moment they arrive to the moment the trailer leads the yard.
The Importance Of Yard Visibility
The most efficient operation is one that has complete visibility of every trailer, driver, and employee on the property. Visibility allows you to know exactly where everything is located to within a few meters distance. With the installation of a Litum real time location system (RTLS), you’ll be able to track every asset within the property and streamline your processes.
There is also a difference between visibility and presence, which many companies overlook. Passive RFID systems installed at gates are useful for automated check-in, checkout procedures. However, they may not allow you to track where trailers are parked by drivers. Knowing that you have received a delivery and that it on the property is presence, being able to confidently go find that trailer location is visibility.
While having knowledge of asset presence is a big improvement for yards, it doesn’t solve all of the potential problems. Misplaced trailers can still take extra time to track down using a mobile reader. Also, loading and unloading may be delayed by personnel and drivers who are not directed to the correct spot.
An active RTLS makes it that much easier to track everything just a few seconds delay in regular updates. Litum can set up both a passive or an active system for automated alerts if a trailer arrives or leaves early. But, an active system can alert yard managers if a vehicle is not taken to its assigned space or if a trailer is being broken into by someone. Litum’s consultants can even set up the RTLS to automatically assign drivers to parking spots when they first arrive. Our system provides presence, location, and assist with management of your yard.
Benefits Of Real Time Locating Systems
From improving yard efficiency to cutting back on costs, there are many potential benefits to an RTLS. We help companies identify which features this kind of technology will bring the biggest savings and earnings. Some of the potential benefits include:
- Automated Check-In and Checkout At Gates and Entry Points
- Reduced Need for Yard Checks
- Less Time Spent Searching for Truck Drivers
- Decreased Turnaround Times
- Lower Demurrage and Fees
- Fewer Delays In Loading and Unloading, Deliveries
- Improved Utilization Of the Yard
- Improved Communication Between Departments
- A Better Long-Term Record Of Asset Movement
As personnel become used to the system and new procedures it brings with it, the cost reductions and man-hours spent managing the yard will only continue to decrease.
Active vs. Passive RTLS Systems
Companies have a number of options to choose from when setting up their yard management system through Litum. One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether to use an active or a passive RTLS. Our consultants can help you determine which is the best tracking technology for your particular needs.
What Is a Passive RTLS System?
Passive real-time location systems track the movement of identification (ID) tags containing a specialized internal antenna. This antenna will ping on a signal sent out by fixed readers located throughout the facility. The ping is sent back to the reader and provides vehicle data. The readers send this data through to our software which updates the system with information, such as the time a vehicle entered the facility or went the docking bay. This is a useful system for ensuring the presence of assets in the yard, preventing theft, and monitoring arrival and departure times.
Passive RTLS is recommended for yards with fewer than 10 trailers to manage at a time. The initial cost of installation may lower as passive ID tags are relatively inexpensive. However, the signal received from passive ID tags is weaker compared to active ID tags, and may require several pings before confirmation that a trailer has entered or left the yard is complete.
What Is an Active RTLS System?
Active real-time location systems use tags that are powered by an internal battery. These powered tags can send out an RFID signal that fixed scanners located around the facility pick up. Active RTLS allows companies to have greater visibility of their yards as the tags constantly transmit their locations with high accuracy levels (less that 1 meter) to the system.
An active RTLS is ideal for companies with yards containing 10 or more trailers at a time. Although the initial cost for installing an active system is higher, it can provide much greater savings and streamline an entire facility.
ID Tags To Track Drivers and Their Vehicles
With our RTLS system installed, company personnel will be able to monitor the location of all drivers, and vehicles on a live digital map. This accurate, real-time overlay makes tracking individual personnel and trailers a cinch. As vehicles enter the facility, the digital map will display their arrival and the path they follow to arrive at assigned destination thanks to ID tags on the drivers and vehicles.
Active RFID Tags
The system is capable of tracking which drivers or personnel are operating which vehicles, including yard trucks and other equipment. Litum can provide ID tags with active RFID technology that also automatically track drivers and personnel as they move throughout the facility. Active ID tags are battery-powered, so they will need regular charging or replacement of batteries.
Passive RFID Tags
Litum RTLS also provides a passive ID tag, primarily for tracking the entry and exit of vehicles from the facility. These passive tags ping on fixed readers located at gateways or the docking area to automatically update the RTLS with new movement information. Personnel can use a handheld scanner to identify parked trailers to update the system with their location.
A Comprehensive RTLS System for Yard Management
Real-time tracking of yard assets is available now and being used by your competitors today. Keep up with the demands of a global industry with a yard management system from Litum IoT. We can help you maintain total awareness of assets and improve operations using both passive and active RFID systems. The initial cost is usually offset by immediate returns in demurrage, fees, and lowered man-hours.
To find out more about how Litum IoT can help improve your operations, contact us now.