CONSTRUCTION TOOLS TRACKING WITH BLE BEACONS

CONSTRUCTION TOOLS TRACKING WITH BLE BEACONS

INTRO

Construction is the most influential industry in any society, greatly contributing to the economic growth of a country and region. Tools are an integral part of the construction sector, and they have to be managed efficiently not only to avoid thefts but to remain projects profitable. Wireless technology combined with GPS tracking devices opens up new opportunities for construction sites monitoring making a significant impact.

CHALLENGE

The harsh reality is that thefts remain a major challenge pretty much in any construction site in any country around the world. Materials (especially copper and timber), easy to transport small tools and equipment, highly valuable power tools and heavy machinery remain an appealing target for thieves looking to make considerable profits on these high-reward crimes.

For example, London Metropolitan Police data show that £17.5 million of tools were stolen in the year 2020 - almost £57 thousand a day in just one city alone. According to research by the Federation of Master Builders, 51% of builders are victims of tool theft in the UK. Going further, in Canada theft of construction materials, equipment, and machinery is projected to cost roughly between $300 million and $1 billion annually.

Moreover, materials and tools shortage, as a result, prices increase caused by global COVID-19 pandemic, has spiked even higher demand making them particularly tempting targets. The outcome - the situation is getting worst threatening construction businesses in already troublesome times.

Unfortunately, the traditional anti-theft methods - CCTV cameras, removing tool batteries, locking away smaller tools in special enforced containers, strict internal company policies and hefty penalties require a considerable investment, or effort, or both but do not bring results business owners would expect and count for. Another challenge - site managers, supervisors, foremen may spend (or waste) a considerable amount of precious time managing and finding in real-time what they are looking for and accountable for - labourers, goods, materials, and assets such as various tools, machinery, and equipment.

To make any business work as efficiently as possible and keep it competitive, it is common sense and reasonable practice to keep employees accountable and well-organised by tracking, monitoring and analysing their actions, assets given to them, working hours, etc. The old-school ‘pen and paper’ approach is proven to be ineffective, time-consuming, inconvenient, and error-prone.

Thanks to Teltonika Telematics wide range of products portfolio, wireless Bluetooth technology and smart thinking, there are ways to overcome these obstacles hassle-free way with minimum effort and maximum results.

SOLUTION

Because vehicle GPS trackers and relevant accessories are already being widely used in the construction industry and large sites, we can conveniently utilise them for numerous assets tracking indoors and processes of interest optimisation too. For the sake of example, we choose the waterproof Teltonika model FMB202 with Bluetooth connectivity feature and one of our brand-new products – EYE Beacon, a small ID ratio transmitter with a robust IP67 protection housing.

Bluetooth connectivity is being used here because GPS signals often are not accurate enough to be practical indoors or in narrow streets and gaps as they diminish and scatter. Here to add, any Teltonika vehicle tracker supports up to 100 beacons at a time.

How it works - beacons repeatedly transmit signals unique to each of them, and Teltonika GPS devices read and identify every single one of them and proximity to them. Afterwards, FM devices send this data as iBeacon or Eddystone profile, combined with its GNSS location details, to a server for analysis. Consequently, every item with an EYE Beacon attached to it will be tracked in real-time via any smart device with an internet connection.

For the long-term tracking, beacons might be fixed with screws, alternatively - with just a regular duct tape from any stationery shop. Fast and easy to attach when they are needed, quick to remove, when they are not…

In this case, FMB202 trackers are permanently mounted on a ceiling or upper part of a wall in construction site: on every floor work area, hallways, stairways, parking facilities, temporary materials storage locations and warehouses, service premises, welfare facilities, etc. and used as signal gateways, whether BLE ID beacons are attached to assets and people of interest. Alternatively, clients can also use their own mobile application to monitor ID beacons in the construction area.

SMART FEATURES INCLUDED

To bring maximum value, the EYE Beacon has two handy features to be considered - ‘Proximity Event’ and ‘Detection By Filters’. For the ‘Proximity Event’ option, a vehicle tracker can generate asset proximity events depending on Bluetooth signal strength received from beacons. This allows pretty accurately determine each moving beacon (so, the tool of interest) locations grouped into ‘Near’, ‘Away’, and ‘Far Away’ zones.

As a result, lists of tracked tools in each zone can be generated or specific event notifications can be initiated. For instance, if an item has left all trackable zones (aka ‘Lost’ event), a relevant GPS device will register this fact and determine the exact time of the event, helping to investigate the matter further.

The custom filtering feature ‘Detection By Filter’ allows to group and name assets by a specific attribute or property meaningful to business operations (e.g., hand tools, power tools, machinery, equipment, crates with consumables, pallets with materials) or track only one listed valuables group with ID beacons attached and ignore others if there are some around. It is especially convenient if there are many subcontractors on site. In closing, these smart event scenarios help to sort, monitor, manage, and optimise construction site assets utilisation with supreme efficiency.

The result? Maximised workforce accountability and productivity, highly improved workers’ safety and discipline, optimised workflow, assets - tools, equipment, materials, consumables, and machinery - utilisation, minimised waste of company recourses, etc. At the same time, thefts on site are being prevented or significantly reduced or spotted in the process, giving enough time to take appropriate actions. All this together will noticeably boost project profitability, business reputation, its competitiveness, and ROI.

TOPOLOGY

BENEFITS

WHY TELTONIKA?

To successfully resolve construction tools, equipment, materials, and machinery tracking challenges and prevent their thefts, we offer an indispensable combo from Teltonika – wireless Bluetooth technology-based brand-new ID beacons with smart features, functional Android/iOS mobile apps for prompt configuration, scanning, debugging, and the most sophisticated GPS trackers to help contractor businesses succeed.

Our over 23 years of expertise and innovative approach, extensive global market knowledge, exemplary product range and quality, state-of-the-art production facilities with automated robotic assembly lines, Quality Management System Certification ISO 9001 and customer support meeting your expectations give us a competitive edge and make Teltonika Telematics a business partner of choice.

Vorgestelltes Produkt FMB202

Kleiner und professioneller wasserdichter Tracker mit internen GNSS / GSM-Antennen mit hoher Verstärkung, Bluetooth und internem Ni-MH-Akku mit hoher Kapazität Erfahren Sie mehr auf der Wiki-Seite

1-wire

1-Wire® interface to monitor temperature data and RFID/iButton tags

battery

Allows device to work without external power source

bluetooth

Bluetooth for external devices and Low Energy sensors

io

Digital Input/Output for remote monitoring and control

6-30v

External voltage range

ip67

Classifies the degree of protection against solid objects and water