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Yard Management RTLS Systems or Getting Lost in Mess?

Yard Management RTLS Systems or Getting Lost in Mess?

A View of a Yard

Contents

Yard management RTLS systems allow manufacturers to improve their material handling processes, security, safety, and turnaround times. By providing a bridge between what’s happening inside the facility and transportation, yard management systems (YMS) create valuable opportunities for businesses to improve their yard processes and profitability.

Yard management in a nutshell

Yard Management Systems (YMS) are a combination of software and hardware working together to oversee the movement of trucks and trailers within manufacturing facilities. They are used along with other systems in manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and distribution centers such as warehouse management systems (WMS) and transportation management systems (TMS).

The primary goal of yard management is to make business operations more efficient. Yard management systems help improve the efficiency, safety, and ease of inventory loading / unloading, transportation management, and warehouse management. YMS provides the real-time location information of trailers in the yard so employees can stage trailers to docks and fulfill orders efficiently. 

Yard management systems increase visibility and response times

Visibility is one of the major reasons yard management systems are adopted. They allow the yard status and location of transportation vehicles to always be visible. Decision makers do not need to create records using traditional pen and paper about what’s coming in and what’s going out of the yard.

trucks in a yard, yard management

Real-time data provided by YMS allows for the optimization of yard resources and continuous information about the operational status of those resources. Greater visibility created by YMS allows stakeholders to make quick and accurate operation decisions in response to operational issues. Stakeholders know exactly why issues are occurring in real-time, and can plan effective responses to solve issues happening in the yard

Modern yard management using Litum RTLS Solutions

Yard management systems using ultra-wideband frequency technology (UWB RTLS technology) are the next technological step in effective yard management. UWB RTLS technology is the most accurate and most precise indoor and outdoor positioning technology in the market. It covers large areas, requires minimal infrastructure to implement, and does not interfere with frequencies used by other systems.

How UWB-based RFID yard management system works

UWB-based active RFID technology uses long lasting rechargeable tags for each person and vehicle operating on the yard. It tracks them upon their entry to the yard and works with other RTLS tags to create a ‘mesh positioning network’. The mesh positioning network covers the entire yard with high levels of accuracy. Yard managers and supply chain managers can monitor yard access and movement within real-time with highly accurate visibility of each trailer, driver, and employee working on the premises

What is ultra-wideband (UWB)?

UWB is a wireless communication protocol using multiple frequency bands at higher frequencies compared to wi-fi and bluetooth technologies. This allows UWB to generate more precise data in environments where frequencies may bounce off the walls, objects, and/or floors before reaching a receiver allowing for highly precise and accurate location capabilities. UWB also uses multiple frequency bands allowing for higher bandwidths when compared to bluetooth and wi-fi technologies.

For an in-depth article on how ultra-wideband (UWB) is shaping the future read our latest article on the topic.

Creating virtual yards

The creation of virtual yards, or ‘digital twins’, of real-world yards using precise real-world data using UWB-based active RFID technology adds another layer of value on top of traditional yard management systems. By analyzing yard workflows in virtual versions of a yard, managers are able to better identify bottlenecks and test solutions for eliminating yard inefficiencies

Automation of check-in and check-out

Knowing who and what is coming into and out of a yard is essential for its efficient operation. UWB-based active RFID yard management systems automatically detect every trailer and employee leaving and entering the yard’s gates, saving valuable man hours manually tracking what’s coming into and out of a yard.

Queue reduction

Precise real-time tracking of yard assets allows resources to be directed to appropriate trailers and docking stations resulting in more efficient queues. UWB RTLS systems offered by Litum work with hardware and software to help make informed and data driven yard management decisions

trucks in a queue at a factory

Faster loading/unloading with yard management system

UWB RTLS systems can integrate with other systems to improve the efficiency of loading and unloading items. Forklift and employee tracking systems can be easily integrated with UWB RTLS systems offered by Litum to improve loading/unloading efficiencies.

Items tagged with Litum’s UWB RFID tags can be quickly recognized by employees, and have specific instructions automatically given based on what the product is. This improves employee flexibility of how they move products around while eliminating the need for manual scans.

Forklift collision and proximity warnings

During loading and unloading, the most risk for negatively impacting efficient workflows and worker safety is the operation of forklifts.

According to the United States Department of Labor (OSHA) 1 in 6 fatalities in the workplace are related to the operation of forklifts.

UWB RTLS systems track the precise location of forklift operations with proximity alerts and 360-degree awareness. Forklifts can automatically slow down, stop, or give audiovisual alerts based on the proximity data generated by UWB RTLS systems automatically without driver intervention.

Information produced by UWB RTLS systems on forklifts can be integrated with data generated by other equipment through a CANBus interface offered by Litum. The CANBus interfaces with the UWB RTLS mesh network to generate reliable data about humans and machines in conjunction with Litum’s UWB RTLS systems

Business rule engine

Litum’s UWB RTLS yard management system includes a business rule engine (BRE) software program for non-programmers to create business logic in business process management (BPM) systems. This allows actions to be automatically taken when certain conditions are met; such as a truck docking, forklift entering a specific area, a certain number of employees working at a dock, or employees not following social distancing guidelines. When conditions are met the business rule engine carries out the sequence of operations set by the business rule. The Litum BRE allows businesses to create as many rules as they need to efficiently and safely manage their yards operations.

Location engine

The Litum UWB RTLS yard management system collects data on every tagged asset on the yard through a mesh network then processes data into diagrams, heatmaps, and other types of visual reports unique to each business. The system allows the tracking of assets using multiple forms of visualization to give the most insight into yard operations.

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