Warehouse Performance Optimization - Case from Navigine
Information about the company
- Region: USA.
- Sphere of activity: Warehousing and logistics.
- Area: 10,000 sq.m.
- Implemented solutions: indoor tracking using Bluetooth beacons.
Warehousing is an important part of the chain of delivery goods and cargos. Workers usually have to search for the necessary goods or equipment over a large area. Thus, bad warehouse optimization and ineffective warehousing operations can lead to delays in delivering goods to customers, suspension of production, and unnecessary costs.
Moreover, at work employees face many risks. In emergencies, the data on the staff location is crucial for informing them about such situations or their safe evacuation.
Problems that had to be solved:
- difficulties in searching goods and working equipment over a large area;
- absence of a warehouse location system and digital map of the place;
- absence of an emergency notification system;
- low warehouse staff performance.
Purpose of the project
Optimize the warehouse performance and increase the efficiency of the warehouse and staff using tracking tools.
For achieving this aim, Navigine in cooperation with the manufacturer of intellectual devices MOKOSmart had to perform the following tasks:
- choose the suitable hardware for a big warehouse;
- develop the warehouse tracking system which could position goods on shelves, track transport and important asserts inside the building;
- install BLE beacons and gateways;
- test the performance of the hardware and developed a solution.
For work on the given project, Navigine started cooperation with the supplier of “smart” equipment MOKOSmart. MOKOSmart is a leader in the market of smart devices for various business needs. The company also deals with research in the sphere of intellectual equipment for IoT and IIoT.
Our company developed a platform that provides information on locating goods and raw materials inside the warehouse, as well as for tracking transport (forklifts, haulers, trolleys, etc.) in real-time. Using a smartphone and web interface, warehouse workers can build convenient routes to the necessary storage shelves, pallets, or goods, as well as quickly find free or moving transport. High accuracy of indoor assert tracking is ensured by the usage of indoor positioning systems, Bluetooth beacons, and wireless equipment.
The system provides for generating daily reports and data analysis that can be used as the basis for effective management of working processes and resource coordination. Moreover, the tracking platform allows sending intellectual notifications about emergencies or industrial risks, which increases warehouse staff safety.
For realizing the given project, Navigine made use of Bluetooth Low Energy gateways, wearable and stationary devices with beacons (for staff, equipment, and shelves) from the company MOKOSmart. During the initial testing, they showed high accuracy of the data provided and were easily integrated into our tracking system.
The warehouse was equipped with BLE transponders (gateways) that were necessary for receiving signals from wearable and stationary devices and for further transmitting data to the Navigine platform. Bluetooth beacons were attached to vehicles, shelves, pallets, and, in the case of the staff, they were implemented into their wearable devices.
BLE Gateway from MOKOSmart, connected to the mains and the Internet, detected Bluetooth signals emitted by the beacons on the objects. The received data on location was transmitted to the Navigine tracking platform that handled the data and sent it to the warehouse management and the mobile application. Using this app, the employees got access to the data on the warehouse transport location and could see in the web interface of the tracking platform the arrangement of shelves and goods.
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For equipment tracking, for example, pallet tracking or forklift movement tracking, and warning about danger, it was enough to install only one gateway in each zone or workshop. The internal positioning system works not only inside but also outside or in premises without a roof. The system of protecting potentially dangerous zones (places with overhead cranes, high racks, etc.) was realized as well. If the employee’s beacon was detected in one of such zones, he immediately got an automatic notification on being in a dangerous zone.
- The digital map of the warehouse let the staff timely find the best routes to the transport and racks with goods; thus, the performance efficiency increased by 5%.
- Analytical data and reports helped the management to optimize the warehouse space at a maximum.
- Thanks to the emergency notification system, compensation for industrial accidents have been reduced.
The navigation project was realized in collaboration with the company MOKOSmart. Thanks to our software and its “smart” equipment, we managed to achieve high accuracy in monitoring and tracking important assets.