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Asset Management Industry Solutions Transportation and Logistics Warehouse and Distribution

omniQ Announces $1.0 Million Purchase Order

Follow-on order from a $1B plus regional LTL trucking company with over 80 logistic centers in North America

SALT LAKE CITY — OMNIQ Corp. (NASDAQ: OMQS) (“OMNIQ” or “the Company”), a provider of Supply Chain and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solutions has received a $1.0 million purchase order from one of the largest U.S.-based less-than-truckload (LTL) firms. The purchase order calls for additional support services as part of on-going mobility platform upgrade. 

The LTL firm has been a customer of omniQ for 20+ years and has been experiencing rapid growth in the transportation and logistics space and has invested further into IT support platforms with OmniQ and Zebra technologies. The follow-on order supports earlier purchases of rugged all-touch computers for workers inside or outside the four walls which allows for complete cellular network flexibility, faster WiFi connections, superior barcode capture, a high quality color rear camera for photos and videos, a front-facing 5MP color camera for video calls and soft keys for one-touch access to the most frequently used features.  The state-of-the-art device improves logistics efficiencies by enabling quick and accurate control of shipping/receiving and inventory management, all based on the advanced Android Operating System. This same customer is evaluating additional products and services for driver support and safety as a next generation direction.

Shai Lustgarten, President & CEO at omniQ, commented, “The longevity of our client relationships reflects the quality of our solutions and demonstrates the power of our Fortune 500 customer base and the advantages of our business model. This order comes from a growing and successful customer that has been investing in innovation and efficiencies based on omniQ technology for over two decades. We are grateful for our enduring relationship with top tier customers like this one and many others and look forward to serving them for decades to come.”

About OMNIQ Corp.

OMNIQ Corp. provides computerized and machine vision image processing solutions that use patented and proprietary AI technology to deliver data collection, real-time surveillance and monitoring for supply chain management, homeland security, public safety, traffic & parking management, and access control applications. The technology and services provided by the Company help clients move people, assets, and data safely and securely through airports, warehouses, schools, national borders, and many other applications and environments.

OMNIQ’s customers include government agencies and leading Fortune 500 companies from several sectors, including manufacturing, retail, distribution, food and beverage, transportation and logistics, healthcare, and oil, gas, and chemicals. Since 2014, annual revenues have grown to more than $50 million from clients in the USA and abroad.

The Company currently addresses several billion-dollar markets, including the Global Safe City market, forecast to grow to $29 billion by 2022, and the Ticketless Safe Parking market, forecast to grow to $5.2 billion by 2023. For more information, visit www.omniq.com.

Information about Forward-Looking Statements

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this press release relating to plans, strategies, economic performance and trends, projections of results of specific activities or investments, and other statements that are not descriptions of historical facts may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

This release contains “forward-looking statements” that include information relating to future events and future financial and operating performance. The words “anticipate”, “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “can,” “believe,” “potential” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which that performance or those results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time they are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements made in this press release regarding the closing of the private placement and the use of proceeds received in the private placement. Important factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in demand for the Company’s products particularly during the current health crisis, the introduction of new products, the Company’s ability to maintain customer and strategic business relationships, the impact of competitive products and pricing, growth in targeted markets, the adequacy of the Company’s liquidity and financial strength to support its growth, the Company’s ability to manage credit and debt structures from vendors, debt holders and secured lenders, the Company’s ability to successfully integrate its acquisitions, and other information that may be detailed from time-to-time in OMNIQ Corp.’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Examples of such forward looking statements in this release include, among others, statements regarding revenue growth, driving sales, operational and financial initiatives, cost reduction and profitability, and simplification of operations. For a more detailed description of the risk factors and uncertainties affecting OMNIQ Corp., please refer to the Company’s recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings, which are available at https://www.sec.gov. OMNIQ Corp. undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless otherwise required by law.

Investor Contact:
James Carbonara
Hayden IR
(646)-755-7412
james@haydenir.com

Brett Maas
Hayden IR
(646)-536-7331
brett@haydenir.com

Koko Kimball
(385)-758-9241
kkimball@omniq.com

Categories
Asset Management Blog

Zebra Technologies Solutions For Traceability, Automation, and Visual Inspection

OmniQ has partnered with Zebra Technologies for their Traceability, Automation and Visual Inspection solutions. There’s always a drive to improve efficiency, traceability, and quality in any manufacturing, logistics, or packaging operation. But achieving it can be difficult. Especially when industrial automation technologies for fixed industrial scanning or machine vision inspections are often complicated and hard to deploy, configure and manage.

Fortunately, things have changed dramatically with Zebra’s introduction of an entirely new portfolio of fixed industrial scanners and machine vision cameras. Not only are they powerful in terms of their scanning and inspection capabilities, but they’re fast and simple to set up and use.

As a leader in data capture technologies since 1969, Zebra has always pushed the limits of what’s possible in tracking, traceability, and industrial automation. But its new Fixed Industrial Scanning (FIS) and Machine Vision (MV) devices have completely transformed industrial automation and inspection with simplicity and flexibility.

Zebra’s newest industrial automation devices are dual-purpose solutions that provide both fixed scanning and machine vision imaging capabilities. Besides, they combine with Zebra’s super-simple yet powerful Aurora software to help companies achieve track-and-trace, automate processes, and visual inspections on day one.

Zebra Fixed Industrial Scanning Features

With Zebra’s fixed industrial scanners, you can easily install them on production and conveyor lines or any other part of manufacturing and logistics operations. Furthermore, these small devices fit almost anywhere. Even dimensions as tiny as 1” H x 2” D x 1.7” W and 25.4 mm x 51.0 mm x 43.0 mm fit.

Despite their small size, Zebra’s FIS devices pack tremendous scanning capabilities and speed into a rugged device built for tough environments. Zebra’s fixed scanners can capture virtually any 1D or 2D barcode, digital part mark (DPM), or OCR text.

They’re also equipped with lensing, lighting, and fully customizable focal lengths, read ranges, and other options to ensure flawless data capture. Even in tough lighting conditions, tight spaces, or when parts, products, or packages are on the move, you get first-time and trusted decode performance.

Zebra’s PRZM Intelligent Imaging ensures amazingly reliable data capture by extending read ranges and focal distances while allowing larger fields of view. Zebra’s ImagePerfect+ settings will also enable you to adjust focus, exposure gain, and lighting to get exactly the results you need.

Benefits of Zebra’s Fixed Industrial Scanning for Industrial Automation

Are you scanning tiny barcodes on circuit board subassemblies, DPMs on curved or reflective surfaces? Or even damaged or poorly printed barcodes that are moving fast on conveyor belts? Zebra’s scanning technology can handle even the most difficult applications and delivers impeccable results.

For example, you can scan barcodes, DPMs, or OCR text to identify and trace parts or finished goods moving on conveyors. This feature will allow you to validate that the correct parts or products are being used to ensure compliance. You can also use Zebra FIS devices for robotic packaging and palletization by routing products through a conveyor to specific diverter lines.

Zebra’s hardware and software give you a huge amount of flexibility for different applications, even if you have demanding and custom requirements. Using Zebra’s Aurora software and built-in tools makes configuration as simple as clicking a few sliders and radio buttons. In addition, you can use the account for a wide array of application factors such as:

  • Barcode size and type
  • Barcode colors
  • Available light
  • Scanning distance and angle
  • The number of barcodes (you can scan up to 16 at once!)
  • Read surface area
  • Available space.
Zebra Machine Vision Cameras help with industrial automation

Zebra Machine Vision Cameras

One of the great things about Zebra’s new platform is that its devices are all dual-purpose. Besides, with a simple software license upgrade, you can convert any of its fixed scanners into a machine vision camera. There’s no additional hardware or software to buy, deploy or configure.

With Zebra’s imaging technology, you can automate visual inspections and automatically check parts, labels, or finished products against specifications. You’ll be able to confirm whether correct parts are being used or installed in finished goods. Assemblies or subassemblies will validate that key production processes have been completed, and they’ll also automate component or product counts.

Furthermore, you can use Zebra MV cameras for a wide range of applications, including

  • Label quality inspection
  • Package seal inspection
  • Bottle cap inspection
  • Foreign material or contaminant detection
  • Cosmetic defect detection
  • Case code reading
  • Assemble and kitting checks
  • Much more.

Zebra’s sophisticated and automated image analysis allows you to inspect captured images by:

  • Measurement
  • Defect analysis
  • Pattern matching
  • OCR text recognition

It’s a great way to reduce the time, labor, and potential errors that are frequently a problem with manual visual inspections. And you can improve product quality almost overnight. Zebra’s hardware and software make it incredibly easy to get up and running.

Simplifying Setup and Integration

Many companies who use or have tried to use fixed scanning and machine vision solutions have often been frustrated. Reasons for frustration include how complex solutions are to deploy, how outdated and clunky the required software is, and the limitations of different hardware.

Sometimes it takes an entire patchwork of solutions to get your desired results, as well as the whole process is a big headache. But Zebra has swept away all the headaches and hassles with a superior hardware platform. With modern and intuitive software, its design is based on the input given by real users.

There were three things that customers told Zebra they really wanted when it came to fixed scanning and machine vision. Zebra’s solutions deliver on all three:

1. Easy to set up

With Zebra’s devices, there’s just one software platform for both fixed scanning and machine vision. And it doesn’t take days or weeks to set up, configure and deploy your jobs.

Setting up your jobs and devices is as automated and user-friendly as possible. With out-of-the-box hardware, intuitive software sliders, radio buttons for adjustments, and tutorials and videos to walk you through the whole process.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user who needs quick access to powerful customization and controls, it’s all available at your fingertips. You’re just a few clicks away! 

2. Easy to deploy

Zebra’s FIS and MV solutions are designed for out-of-the-box simplicity and flexibility. Like this, you can install your devices where you need them and configure them with automated programming tools. You’ll start getting trusted decoding performance and visual inspection results within no time.

3. Easy to integrate

Zebra’s devices come with all the built-in network protocols you need to easily integrate your devices with any common PLC or host system, including:

  • USB-C, Serial or Ethernet communication
  • Support for Ethernet IP, ProfiNet, CC-Link, ModBus and TCP/IP
  • Fully customizable I/O
  • Multiple ways to connect to power via 24VDC, USB-C or PoE.

You can also seamlessly integrate Zebra MV devices with third-party software applications and systems such as your MES or ERP.

Industrial Automation Tool Tracking Manufacturing Parts

Where to Learn More About Zebra FIS and MV Solutions

To learn more about traceability, industrial automation processes, and visual inspections with Zebra’s FIS and MV solutions, visit our solution page now. Download a complete brochure and access videos and other quick references.

You can also contact our team at OmniQ to get answers to your questions and arrange a discovery call. Call us now at 1-800-242-7272 or email us through our website.

Categories
Asset Management Blog

Capturing Machine Vision Images with Zebra Machine Vision Cameras

OmniQ has partnered with Zebra Technologies for their groundbreaking new fixed industrial scanning (FIS) and machine vision (MV) solutions. Both are helping many companies worldwide automate their traceability, processes, and visual inspections. We’ll take a look at Zebra Machine Vision solutions in particular. We’ll go through: 

  • The easy steps to connect Zebra’s devices to other networks, systems, or hardware
  • How you can capture images, and
  • How to set up your MV cameras and jobs with Zebra’s efficient yet straightforward software

So, let’s jump in and take a look at how it all works.

What Zebra Machine Vision Can Do

Zebra’s MV cameras are part of an entirely new platform for both fixed industrial scanning and machine vision. Do you want both capabilities from the same hardware? With a simple software license upgrade, you’ll be able to unlock machine vision imaging with your fixed scanning device.

Furthermore, with Zebra’s MV devices, you can automatically capture and analyze images. The devices are sophisticated yet easy-to-configure tools for visual inspections. You can automate checks of label quality, packaging, and package seals or bottle caps. You can also automatically detect foreign materials, contamination, or cosmetic defects. Zebra MV cameras can also perform assembly and kiting checks to ensure the correct parts or components are included. You’ll also be able to verify process step completion as well.

It all happens with Zebra’s out-of-the-box hardware and easy-to-use Aurora software. They both deliver a complete set of powerful image configuration and analysis tools. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included.

1. ImagePerfect

In addition to the above, Zebra’s ImagePerfect can capture up to 16 different images of a single target. Each of them have its own image settings and there are multiple exposure settings for targets that require different lighting. There are also multiple focus plane settings for objects at various distances.

2. AutoTune

Zebra’s Autotune feature allows your machine vision cameras to automatically and accurately adjust focus, exposure, and illumination.

3. Object Locate

With optimized settings, regardless of the orientation, position, or other variances, you’ll be able to locate objects right out of the box quickly. 

4. QuickDraw

Zebra’s QuickDraw feature allows you to draw a box around the area you want to inspect, right on the image. As a result, you’ll be able to choose and configure your image capture tool.

5. Illumination

Zebra’s built-in internal illumination options include blue, white, red, infrared (IR), and multi-color. Moreover, external illumination options include front, back, and low-angle illumination.

6. Lensing and Optics

Much like contact lenses, lensing options include flexible liquid lenses that sit in a liquid. This enables you to change focus quickly with a small current. C-mount lenses are also available for mechanical adjustments, with a wide array of options for virtually any use case.

7. Filters

Bandpass/block filters allow you to control the wavelengths of light that reach your camera sensor. As a result, you can enable narrow bands of wavelengths to pass through or block out significant sections of the light spectrum.

8. Polarizers

Polarizers allow you to capture important details about objects. This includes surface roughness, scratches, dents, stress, and other potential issues. They can also be used to achieve ideal lighting conditions for inspecting objects that are shiny, curved, or have reflective surfaces. Polarizers do this by controlling the light orientation, therefore it only allows light oscillating in a particular direction to pass through.

9. Resolution

Zebra’s MV cameras offer a wide range of resolutions with sensors ranging from 1 to 5 megapixels. 

Connecting To a Zebra Machine Vision System

Deploying Zebra’s MV solutions is simple with plug-and-play hardware that connects and works right out of the box. Therefore, you can get up and running on day one with features to cover every aspect of getting your system connected, powered, and integrated.

1. Dual Ethernet

Firstly, Zebra provides Dual Ethernet connectivity. For this reason, it allows you to keep your machine vision connections separate from your factory infrastructure.

2. Connectivity Protocols

Secondly, you can connect to any network, system, or hardware with industry-standard protocols: 

  • TCP/IP
  • Serial
  • Profinet/Modbus
  • CC Link

3. Hardwired Inputs and Outputs

Thirdly, You can trigger events with hardwired general-purpose inputs/outputs (GPIO) for signaling, each with its own binary state.

For example, your input could be a trigger to prompt a camera to capture an image. And your output, could be the pass/fail status.

4. Power

Zebra machine vision devices can be powered by USB-C or 24V Power over Ethernet (POE). 

5. Cloud Connectivity

Finally, cloud-based connectivity means you can save images and analytics to the cloud for sharing, analysis, and post-processing.

No Need for an Extra PC

Zebra Machine Vision cameras can output their results via USB-C to any display monitor. This is so that you don’t purchase an extra desktop or laptop computer with a connected monitor to display your results. 

Illumination Connections

There is also direct connectivity to external illumination. This is for triggering and powering.

Setting Up a Camera and Job

Zebra Machine Vision cameras are intuitive and easy to set up with Zebra’s Aurora software. The software also provides a complete toolset for beginners and experts alike. In addition, there’s a modern and simple user interface, with sliders and radio buttons to control every setting.

Aurora software includes automated configurations and best-fit settings when tools are selected. You’ll have access to all the tools you need to set up even the most complex and challenging jobs. 

1. Pattern Recognition

Above all, Zebra’s Machine Vision technology includes simple pattern recognition for finding high-contrast features. The technology also includes advanced pattern matching. This allows you to find challenging features with variant lights, scaling, occlusions, and more.

2. Edge Detection

With the Edge Detection tool, you can also easily find edges for fixturing and presence/absence checks.

3. Pixel Count

With the Pixel Count tool, you can count the number of pixels in a designated range.

4. Image Analysis

Zebra’s smart camera technology provides on-board processing for faster and more reliable image capture and analysis. Cloud-based tools and resources allow images to be transmitted and post-processed in the cloud for future analysis.

Each device also includes Zebra’s PRZM Intelligent Imaging. This is ideal for fixed industrial scanning applications. The device also has advanced algorithms for first-timers, accurate capture of 1D/2D barcodes, and much more.

5. Job Output

Zebra ImagePerfect+ can produce a single job result from multiple image captures. For this reason, each image has its own settings to ensure the right final image for inspection and analysis. Image analysis results are output through hardwired general-purpose inputs/outputs (GPIO). Furthermore, string analysis output results are transmitted via your preferred industrial protocol, with options including TCP/IP, Serial, Profinet/Modbus, and CC Link.

6. Job Diagnosis and Performance Analysis

Last but not least, Zebra’s Aurora software is browser-based. It provides easy access to real-time statistics, image results, and analysis. So, if a job fails, Zebra’s Golden Image allows you to compare the image that failed to a golden image you created at setup. You can view your images side-by-side to quickly diagnose and reveal the source of the issues. From a dirty lens to a lighting problem and camera misalignment, the issue can be detected in just two clicks!

Besides, you can quickly connect to your cameras and diagnose any issues via USB and a web browser login. A single cable can connect and power most Zebra Machine Vision cameras. And if they’re on a network, they can be connected via web browser too by simply typing in the IP address.

Employee using Zebra machine vision solutions

Learn More About Zebra Machine Vision Cameras and Capabilities

Want to learn more about Zebra Machine Vision and Fixed Industrial Scanning? Visit our Zebra MV and FIS solutions page for a quick overview and download a complete brochure. In addition, you can contact our team at OmniQ now to schedule a discovery call and get answers to your questions.

Call us at 1-800-242-7272 or email us through our website.

Categories
Asset Management Blog

OMNIQ Receives Approximately $1 Million Order for Smart Kiosks in the USOMNIQ to supply 500 Dangot kiosks integrated with AI-based machine vision technology and other advanced equipment


SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OMNIQ Corp. (NASDAQ: OMQS) (“OMNIQ” or the “Company”), a provider of Supply Chain and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Machine Vision solutions, announced that it received a purchase order for the advanced Kiosks developed by its Israeli subsidiary Dangot Computers Ltd. The project was ordered by a leading US automated solutions provider. OMNIQ will supply 500 Dangot smart kiosks integrated with AI-based machine vision technology and other advanced equipment. 
OMNIQ’s customer operates across over 250 cities and thousands of locations in the US, generating more than $1 billion in revenue.
The new project will roll out across locations in the US, with the first 100 kiosks shipped by the end of December and the additional units distributed over the next 18 months.
Shai Lustgarten, CEO of OMNIQ commented, “We are proud to penetrate the US market so quickly with Dangot’s Kiosks, further enhanced with OMNIQ technology. The combined offering is a unique technological solution, responding to the needs of the market.  The introduction of our Smart Kiosks quickly created results in the form of orders, which is the ultimate indicator of the need for our products.” 
About OMNIQ Corp.OMNIQ Corp. provides computerized and machine vision image processing solutions that use patented and proprietary AI technology to deliver data collection, real-time surveillance and monitoring for supply chain management, homeland security, public safety, traffic & parking management, and access control applications. The technology and services provided by the Company help clients move people, assets, and data safely and securely through airports, warehouses, schools, national borders, and many other applications and environments.
OMNIQ’s customers include government agencies and leading Fortune 500 companies from several sectors, including manufacturing, retail, distribution, food and beverage, transportation and logistics, healthcare, and oil, gas, and chemicals. Since 2014, annual revenues have grown to more than $50 million from clients in the USA and abroad.
The Company currently addresses several billion-dollar markets, including the Global Safe City market, forecast to grow to $29 billion by 2022, and the Ticketless Safe Parking market, forecast to grow to $5.2 billion by 2023. For more information, visit www.omniq.com.
Information about Forward-Looking Statements“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this press release relating to plans, strategies, economic performance and trends, projections of results of specific activities or investments, and other statements that are not descriptions of historical facts may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.This release contains “forward-looking statements” that include information relating to future events and future financial and operating performance. The words “anticipate”, “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “can,” “believe,” “potential” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which that performance or those results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time they are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements made in this press release regarding the closing of the private placement and the use of proceeds received in the private placement. Important factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in demand for the Company’s products particularly during the current health crisis, the introduction of new products, the Company’s ability to maintain customer and strategic business relationships, the impact of competitive products and pricing, growth in targeted markets, the adequacy of the Company’s liquidity and financial strength to support its growth, the Company’s ability to manage credit and debt structures from vendors, debt holders and secured lenders, the Company’s ability to successfully integrate its acquisitions, and other information that may be detailed from time-to-time in OMNIQ Corp.’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Examples of such forward looking statements in this release include, among others, statements regarding revenue growth, driving sales, operational and financial initiatives, cost reduction and profitability, and simplification of operations. For a more detailed description of the risk factors and uncertainties affecting OMNIQ Corp., please refer to the Company’s recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings, which are available at https://www.sec.gov. OMNIQ Corp. undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless otherwise required by law.
 ### Thank you for your interest. If you have any questions, please contact James Carbonara or Brett Maas. Sincerely, James Carbonara, Regional Vice Presidenttel: 646-755-7412cell: 917-340-1339email: james@haydenir.com
Brett Maas, Managing Partnertel: 646-536-7331cell: 480-861-2425email:brett@haydenir.com
Hayden IR10 Times Square at 1441 BroadwaySuite 5032New York, NY 10018www.haydenir.com Please review our disclaimer at: http://www.haydenir.com/index.php?/static/disclaimer
Quick Links:OMQS WebsiteOMQS News and Investor Information

Categories
Asset Management Barcode RFID Hardware

Which Asset Tracking Technology Is Best for Your Business?

There is a confusing array of asset tracking technology options available — barcode labels, RFID tags, Bluetooth beacons, and more. Determining which one is best for your application can be a challenge. The type of asset tracking technology you need will depend on what you need to track, how many assets you have to manage, your budget, and your existing technology infrastructure. Here is a list of some of the more common asset tracking technology systems available, as well as their costs and ease of implementation.

Part of the key to determining which technology is best is the amount of information needed.  Usually, assets are tracked by “asset number” which is specific to each asset, rather than part number.  Gathering that information (data capture) and organizing that data (database structure and analytics) provide the basis for the technology chosen.

Barcodes

There a wide variety of barcode symbologies available. Two-dimensional codes (2D codes) that can hold much more data than traditional codes have grown in popularity because they are relatively small, can provide asset data even if the scanner is not connected to a database, and can be permanently marked or etched on items ranging from engine turbines to surgical scalpels. Benefits of these systems include improved accuracy, ease of use, and the relatively low cost involved in labeling assets.

Cost:The cost of barcode labels is very low compared to other tracking technologies. Companies still need to invest in asset management software, barcode scanning hardware, and either label printers or contract with a third-party label provider. How large an investment that entails will depend on the scope of the implementation. A few dozen barcode scanners may cost only a few thousand dollars; several hundred is an exponentially larger investment, particularly if you have to buy specialized hardware that is rugged enough to withstand harsh environmental conditions.

Ease of Implementation:A barcode system will require manual labeling of all assets, which can be arduous for large asset fleets. Otherwise, barcodes are fairly unobtrusive and can be scanned with mobile devices, fixed scanners, or even smartphones.

RFID

RFID uses either passive or active tags to wireless track items in real time. RFID does not require line of sight, so tags can be read in any configuration. Also, many tags can be read simultaneously. This can be handy for applications such as scanning an entire rack of servers to manage IT assets, or scanning an entire van-load of tools. Unlike barcodes, the data on the RFID tag can be rewritten at the point of activity, so the information can be altered to reflect maintenance updates or other data.

Cost:Relatively low-cost passive tags can be used for an in-building or campus application. Of course, RFID tags, their readers and printers are more expensive than simple barcode equipment. For more widespread applications (such as tracking tractor trailers or cargo containers), longer-range active tags costing hundreds of dollars each might be required. However, those types of tags are often used on very expensive assets, so the cost of the tag isn’t an impediment given the potential benefits of the asset tracking technology.  Also, RFID infrastructure can be a significant expense, especially if many fixed RFID portals are required throughout a large location.

Ease of Implementation: RFID tags are susceptible to interference from metal, liquids, and other materials, so you’ll need to work with a vendor, integrator or VAR to select the right tag for your assets. The reader infrastructure also has to be carefully placed, so integration is more complex.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

BLE is a beacon technology that periodically broadcasts a signal to other surrounding BLE equipment. The beacons can run for years with very small batteries. They offer a high data transfer rate and are one of the least expensive options for real-time location tracking, though are more expensive tags than barcode or even passive RFID. They have a read range of 1 meter to 70 meters, and usually don’t require line of sight. The real value to the BLE beacons is what information may also be provided besides the “asset number”.  The Smart Tag BLE Beacons can also monitor vibration, shock, temperature, humidity and other environmental values.  They can also store information to provide a history of changes in the environment.

Cost:BLE is a more affordable option for active tracking applications in that you can avoid buying expensive RFID readers and use any Bluetooth enabled device to read the beacon — even a smartphone.

Ease of Implementation:BLE beacons are relatively easy to deploy, and rollouts can be done in phases. Since they don’t generally require a reader infrastructure, implementations are less complex. However, users still need to consider wireless interference, read range, and battery life when designing the solution.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT encompasses some of the other technologies mentioned above, like RFID and beacons, and combines that with onboard intelligence and sensor data. The IoT allows companies to track not only the location of a device, but also conditions — temperature, vibration, etc. Intelligent devices can also communicate usage information or fault codes, for example. For remote monitoring and maintenance applications, the IoT can provide real-time performance information that enables proactive maintenance and service.

Cost:IoT functionality is generally purpose-built into the asset rather than added later. The cost would be borne by the manufacturer.

Ease of Implementation:Users will require a way to access the data from the connected devices, and a software infrastructure (often cloud-based) to manage the influx of data from these systems.

Choose the Asset Tracking Technology That’s the Best Fit

The asset tracking solution universe continues to expand. The best asset tracking technology option for your company will depend on your business needs. Conduct a thorough analysis of what you want to accomplish with your asset management program, and match the technology to your requirements.

Categories
Asset Management Custom Application Development Field Sales and Delivery RFID Software Transportation and Logistics

Developing a More Efficient Yard Management Strategy

Even with leading edge supply chain management tools, the trailer yard can be a black hole when it comes to inventory or asset visibility. Transportation management and warehouse management have improved operations prior to shipment arrival and after the goods are unloaded, but there is an efficiency and visibility gap between those two activities.

That’s where the yard management system (YMS) comes into play. Using these solutions can help you prioritize shipment arrivals, manage yard activity, improve efficiency, reduce unnecessary labor, and help track and identify trailer contents. These solutions are critical for developing a more efficient yard management strategy.

Here are some key steps to take to improve yard operations:

Develop a plan for improving yard management. Identify chokepoints in the facility. Find out which loads have been the most problematic to process, and investigate the reasons for those delays. If there are specific types of goods that require special handling (i.e., produce), outline what those needs are and what resources are required to successfully process those trailers.

Also, evaluate other processes that could be bogging down the yard. Returns management or other warehouse processes could be causing delays in the yard. Make sure you evaluate the incoming and outgoing processes that impact operations.
The project team should also set realistic goals and parameters for yard improvements. Establish allowable timeframes for trailer movement, and create an escalation process so that trailers that exceed those limits can be given priority.

Implement a YMS: A yard management system can also provide the visibility and downstream reporting that shippers need to keep their customers updated on shipment arrival and departure times.

Using a YMS helps better manage yard jockey activities because the system knows where each trailer is and where it needs to go. By improving the flow of trailers through the yard, shipments are unloaded on time and drivers don’t waste valuable minutes or hours waiting for their turn at the dock. Driver time can cost upwards of $50 an hour or more; by reducing the time spent checking in and unloading, companies can drive significant cost out of the supply chain and improve productivity.

It’s also important to minimize “lost” trailers in the yard. In large, busy yards it’s easy to lose track of any single trailer. By properly prioritizing and tracking those trailers, you can improve customer service while reducing the type of chaos that can result from manual processes. For large yards with a lot of dropped loads, a YMS can ensure you are properly tracking inventory, avoiding demurrage fees, and giving each shipment the correct priority based on its contents and customer requirements.

Evaluate your trailer yard layout. The yard should be divided into clearly marked zones (arrival, pick-up, empties, priority loads, repairs, etc.) so that drivers and jockeys can easily identify where they need to go. Just like in the warehouse, you should design the yard to limit moves and distances to gain efficiency.  A real-time intelligent YMS can direct the drivers to specific locations, and these locations can be validated via GPS to ensure trailer locations are accurate and up-to-date.

Improve dock scheduling processes. A dock scheduling system can help you better schedule labor capacity and develop a scheduling plan for the drivers that minimizes wait times, which will further improve yard management. Dock scheduling solutions can also help you measure loading/unloading times (for improvement purposes), record late arrivals, and devise scorecards to identify reliable suppliers and carriers.

Consider real-time location technology. Yard visibility can be greatly enhanced through the use of GPS and RFID technology. For example, the TrackX Yard solution combines RFID and GPS to automate yard operations, providing an ROI in 12 months or less. These solutions create a real-time location system in the yard that provides complete trailer visibility, which eliminates manual searches, reduces human error, and automates yard inventories. In addition, RFID can provide real-time information on the location of other yard assets, which helps optimize operations.

A more efficient yard management strategy can help eliminate expensive bottlenecks at the dock, and help you gain even more benefits from your existing supply chain and warehouse management solutions.

Contact omniQ for further information regarding optimizing your operations and trailer status visibility through a real-time Yard Management System.

Categories
Asset Management

4 Reasons Why Smart Lockers are the Future of Asset Management

In many industries, employees use — and are entrusted with — expensive tools and devices that enable them to do their jobs more accurately and efficiently. Equipment including handheld bar code scanners, tablets, calibrated instruments, automotive tools, and in-store point of sale devices are distributed to employees on a daily basis in healtmobile computerhcare, manufacturing, fleet and field service organizations, retail, and a variety of other settings. If distributing and managing devices has become a drain on your time and resources, smart lockers can alleviate that burden.

Here are four reasons smart lockers may be the solution to your asset management challenges:

1. Manual device management is time consuming and labor intensive.Managers often manually issue devices and tools, recording — either on paper or a spreadsheet — the name of the employee and a descriptor or serial number of the device. Depending on the size of your workforce and how many devices are issued at the beginning and returned at the end of a shift, this can be a full-time job. It may also be a system prone to error, with the process taking place when workers are hurrying to their jobs or hurrying to leave for the day.

Automating the process with smart lockers — which require employees to use PINs or other authorization to check items out for use and back in at the end of their shifts — frees your managers to spend time on other activities and minimizes the opportunity for mistakes. Also, smart lockers can provide charging and calibration functionality, so only devices that are prepared for service in the upcoming shift will be issued.

2. Devices can be stored where it makes the most sense.Smart lockers can be located where they make the most sense, rather than near the issuing manager. This can eliminate employees wasting time to walk to get tools or devices and then walk to return it at the end of the shift.

3. Not managing devices is costly.  If you have an unattended station where employees have access to devices, there isn’t any accountability when a device is missing or damaged. Many tech devices and tools your employees use are high-cost items that could be sold outside of work, and with no accountability, this could create temptation that leads to employee theft. Also, without management, employees could hoard devices so that they have a “spare” or might simply forget to return them. Searching for lost or missing devices is a top productivity drain on manager time, and replacing devices or tools that are never located can eat into your profits.

4. Smart lockers collect data.Smart lockers can show data on historical patterns related to metrics such as use, battery life, or damage. The Apex Axcess systems, for example, include Trajectory Cloud software that provides insights into stock replenishment, usage patterns, and device service requirements. Smart lockers can also provide an audit trail for needed safety or regulatory compliance. In addition, they can manage calibration, certification, and warranty requirements.

Device management can be challenging, and as technology advances and more devices are common in your workplace, the time it takes to manually issue devices, manage battery charging and device calibration, and to track missing devices is likely to become even more burdensome. Consider how you can eliminate the challenge, now and in the future, with smart lockers.

Categories
Asset Management Healthcare

4 Ways Hospitals omniQ’s enefit from Asset Tracking Software

Hospitals manage millions of dollars worth of medical equipment, supplies, and other assets, and all of them play a critical role in delivering timely and effective care. Without an organized way to track and manage these items, there can be costly and dangerous delays in care. Staff waste time searching the floor for equipment; equipment may be hoarded in a department to avoid these searches; and hospitals wind up spending money unnecessarily to replace lost assets or to ensure availability of those assets.

Asset tracking software, coupled with automatic identification technology, can eliminate these problems.

Asset tracking solutions may use barcode labels, but hospitals are increasingly turning to Wi-Fi-based real-time location systems (RTLS) to wirelessly track equipment using the existing wireless network infrastructure. In some instances, these systems may incorporate traditional RFID tags, but RTLS has allowed these facilities to create a closed-loop asset tracking solution without investing in additional infrastructure.

In either case, a robust asset tracking software package provides a way to accumulate and analyze the asset data. In addition to locating equipment, these solutions can provide a way to automate lifecycle management and maintenance, track repair histories or sterilization history, and automatically re-allocate assets by floor or department. Asset tracking software provides these benefits without the human error associated with manually keeping records by hand or in a spreadsheet.

Here are four key benefits of using asset tracking software in a hospital:

1. Improve Asset Utilization: With real-time information on equipment location, it is easy for hospitals to eliminate equipment hoarding (which takes place when staff members hide equipment in order to make sure no one else takes it), theft, and loss. It is easier to find necessary equipment when it is needed, and hospitals can avoid unnecessary over purchasing of assets as a result. With a better view of where equipment is located and who is using it, hospitals can adjust inventories, reallocate some assets, and ensure that every department has the equipment it needs, when clinicians need it.

2. Improve Staff Productivity: When nurses have to search for equipment, they waste time wandering the hallways that could otherwise be spent charting or caring for patients. When staff members can find what they need immediately, they can eliminate hours per week or month in pointless searches while improving the quality of care.

3. Automate Equipment Audits: By using an asset tracking solution to monitor equipment status, maintenance, and sterilization, hospitals can create an instant record of quality, safety, and sanitation procedures. These can then be quickly accessed in the case of an audit, or to confirm procedural compliance. That level of visibility and historical perspective is impossible without real-time asset tracking.

4. Improved Equipment Performance: The lifecycle management enabled by asset tracking makes it easier to ensure that each piece of equipment is inspected and serviced at the right intervals without time-consuming manual record keeping. Asset tracking software makes it easy to monitor the status of each piece of equipment and know when its time to service or replace it. By generating overview reports on broad classes of assets, hospitals can better plan their capital expenditures based on real data rather than guesswork.

Moreover, asset tracking software improves the work environment for employees, and makes it easier for staff to provide fast, quality care to patients.