Nov 17, 2019From smart parks in Tanzania to local wholesale retailers, asset tracking has proven essential in gathering data across a variety of applications and verticals. There are hundreds of known use cases for which organizations and companies have turned to LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol, a long-range, low-power wireless connectivity technology that enables smart Internet of Things (IoT) applications, to solve some of the biggest challenges for organizations across the world. With the demand for asset tracking continuing to grow, the global asset-tracking and inventory-management solutions market is expected to reach $31.9 billion by 2025, up from a documented $11.8 billion in 2017, according to Data Bridge Market Research.
Organizations like Capgemini, Ineo-Sense, Lauak, Airport of Istanbul and Smart Parks have deployed LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol to efficiently and effectively manage assets. In most instances, tracking devices or sensors are placed onto individual assets, enabling the real-time monitoring of each item, including its location, temperature, battery charge status and more. The status of each sensor is then remotely shared with a central application, from which alerts can be triggered, transactions can be booked or any intervention can be acted upon after the IoT data is received.
Several large enterprises have embraced LoRa devices to improve efficiency across different business needs. This could include the tracking of transportation assets in the supply chain, the monitoring of temperature throughout the cold chain in retail, using meeting rooms more efficiently or tracking work orders through production processes. Below are a few examples of customer deployments:
Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation, created an IoT solution based on LoRa to make its hundreds of global offices smarter. By analyzing the data gathered from the sensors, Capgemini can effectively manage resources and provide an efficient office for its staff by creating more sustainable buildings. Its sensors consistently monitor more than 400 properties throughout more than 40 countries. These sensors have the ability to monitor meeting room and desk occupancy, as well as office temperatures, carbon dioxide levels and humidity, energy usage and parking lot availability, in real time. With an initial investment of 2 percent of Capgemini's total facilities budget, the company expects annual savings of more than 10 percent by increasing occupancy to more than 75 percent at many of its offices.
Istanbul Airport has an area of 76.5 million square meters (823 million square feet), currently serving more than 100 million passengers annually. Skysens, a company focused on industry-oriented wireless IoT solutions, has deployed an end-to-end IoT solution with up to 10,000 LoRa-based sensors that operates on a LoRaWAN-based network. Multiple applications are connected to the airport sensors that are also being used by other airport tenants and airline companies. The LoRa-based geolocation sensors monitor the locations of vehicles, personnel and luggage across the airport without using GPS technology. Skysens' LoRaWAN-based network infrastructure works both indoors and outdoors, and has reduced operational expenses by enabling predictive maintenance, efficient and accurate asset monitoring and a reduction in energy consumption.
France-based Lauak Group, a leading manufacturer and supplier of primary components, sub-assemblies and assemblies for the aeronautics industry, has deployed a LoRa-based solution to track work orders at its factories. Ineo-Sense, a pioneer in the development of intelligent and autonomous sensors for IoT applications, provided Lauak Group with more than 14,000 tracking sensors to be integrated into the company's manufacturing containers for accurate monitoring of items that are continually in transit throughout its extensive facilities. These sensors include LED lights that can blink when staff members are searching for a specific crate or work order. The use of the sensors has cut Lauak Group's product lead time by up to 20 percent and has reduced downtime by at least 10 percent.
Smart Parks, an organization that improves conservation and park management, was in need of a technology that could aid in its conservation efforts. In order to effectively manage its parks around the globe, Smart Parks deployed LoRa devices and LoRaWAN protocol via 55 gateways across more than 16 million miles in countries including Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Malawi and the Netherlands. Across these millions of miles, LoRa provides the ability to track live assets including park rangers, vehicles, elephants and rhinos. Since the technology monitors such a widespread area and real-time decisions can be made with the data, park rangers or residents can be notified if an animal is on the loose or if there are poachers in close proximity. LoRa runs on solar energy and is virtually undetectable by poachers, a primary concern for the organization. As a result, Smart Parks has maintained a record of zero losses to poaching of high-value species for 2019.
The above examples of asset-tracking solutions simplify the various processes needed for industries and companies to track valuable resources in an economical way. Through the IoT, companies can efficiently and cost-effectively track maintenance issues and monitor real-time status, thanks to the increased visibility the data provides.
Roelof Koopmans is the senior director of vertical marketing for LoRa at Semtech. Before that, Roelof held other positions in the IoT space; most recently, he was the VP of product marketing at Smartrac, a global leading manufacturer of RFID and NFC tags. Previously, he held the position of managing director of Europe for Mojix, a provider of hardware and software solutions. Prior to that position, Roelof was the founder and CEO of a dedicated Web-hosting company called Aspectra, Switzerland's first pure-play hosting company. Roelof has also worked with Switzerland's leading ISP, BlueWin, and has held management positions at leading telco companies Swisscom and KPN, in the Netherlands. He is based at Semtech's office in Rapperswil, Switzerland, and is a graduate of the University of Delft, Netherlands.