Industry 4.0 is changing the way businesses operate, and asset tracking is a key part of this transformation.

With the right tools and procedures in place, asset tracking can optimize production processes, improve asset utilization, improve safety and provide real-time visibility into the status of assets and processes

Asset tracking is the process of tracking the location and status of physical assets and people. This can be done manually or through the use of technology, such as UWB, GPS tracking devices, or RFID tags. Asset tracking can be used for a variety of purposes, such as keeping track of inventory, monitoring & improving productivity, or preventing theft.

Organizations across industries are using asset tracking to optimize their value chains.

Here are some of the advantages asset tracking can bring to your business.

Real Time Tracking

Real-time tracking is the most obvious advantage of asset tracking. Asset tracking allows you to constantly monitor the location and status of your assets. As a consequence real-time asset tracking forms the backbone of movement-aware processes.

Some use cases of real-time tracking include;

These are just some of the many benefits of asset tracking. Real-time tracking is being used across industries to improve operational processes.

Production Optimization

Asset tracking can be a key component in production optimization. By understanding where assets are and how they are being used, businesses can improve their production processes. In some cases, asset tracking can even prevent costly errors.

Let’s explore how asset tracking can help optimize production.

  • WIP limits are a key factor in reducing cycle times. Asset tracking helps ensure that these limits are adhered to. By tracking assets throughout the production process, it is possible to identify bottlenecks and areas where production is being delayed. This information can then be used to make adjustments to the production process in order to improve efficiency and reduce cycle time.
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is the gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity. Asset tracking can help improve the three crucial OEE factors – availability, performance, and quality.

In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are always looking for ways to optimize production and increase efficiency. Asset tracking can play a role in nearly every facet of production optimization, from reducing WIP to improving OEE. By tracking the location and status of assets, companies can identify potential problems before they become serious.


Quality control is an important part of any production process, as it helps to ensure that products meet the standards set by the company or customer.
Asset tracking can help to ensure quality by providing a way to track the movement of materials and parts through the production process. This information can be used to identify and correct problems that might occur during production.

Take Ubisense’s computer-vision-enabled sequence control solution for example.
This solution for assembly processes allows hand-held assembly devices to automatically identify products or parts of products being worked on even down to the bolt level. The solution then determines the required tightening sequence and automatically enables the tool. This error-proofs the operation.


Asset tracking can help improve efficiency in different business functions like production, customer service, and supply chain management. Asset tracking makes production more efficient. While asset tracking can benefit operations of all sizes, it is a game-changer for complex manufacturing processes.

Industries where the processes are complex and sites are vast, it is too easy to lose track of assets and tools. Resources not being in the right place at the right time, lead to costly delays. By keeping tabs on resources, asset tracking helps ensure that they are available when and where they are needed. Asset tracking solutions not only track asset coordinates, but also provide a high level of control to ensure that uncontrolled or incorrect tools are not used inside specified workspaces.


Manufacturing compliance is the set of requirements, regulations and practices that manufacturers must follow.

There are compliance risks associated with every stage of production, assembly, or Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) processes. Asset tracking can help to mitigate those risks by providing accurate and up-to-date records of where assets, and tools are, who is using them and for what purpose.

In the event of an audit, asset tracking records can be used to automatically and quickly identify any non-compliant practices.

Asset tracking makes compliance and audit simpler and gives more control to quality and compliance teams. It also makes internal audits faster and cheaper.


There are many sources of error in manufacturing processes. The most common are human errors, machine errors, and material errors.

Errors lead to off-spec production which must be reworked – increasing the cost of production. Not only do errors increase production cost, they also have a ripple into  other areas of the business like customer service, asset downtime, and regulatory compliance.

Asset tracking is making it easier for industries to identify opportunities to reduce errors and improve overall efficiency. By understanding where assets are and what condition they are in, companies can more easily make changes that will reduce errors.

Additionally, asset tracking allows for greater visibility into the movement of assets, helping to prevent losses and better manage resources.

A major concern in the Industry 4.0 ecosystem is the role of human operators and workers as a source of error.

No system can completely stamp out the risk of human error. However an asset tracking system can help make those errors visible quickly.

For example, by tracking machines needed on a production line, workers can get that machine in place in advance, preventing unplanned downtime. By tracking pallets that are moved to the wrong loading dock, site managers can know before an item is shipped in the wrong direction. Or, by tracking perishable goods, workers can know well in advance that the asset needs to be moved, refrigerated, etc. to avoid expiration.


According to the National Safety Council, the cost of workplace injuries in 2020 was $163.9 billion. In the same year, the manufacturing sector saw 300 preventable fatal injuries – the six highest among all sectors.

Workplace injuries not only have a high human cost, but they also hurt manufacturers in other ways. For example, when a machine is involved in a serious accident, it will remain down for a week or more, which can slow production.

Asset tracking can improve operational safety by providing workers with information about their surroundings in real-time. This helps to prevent accidents by warning workers of unsafe spaces and disabling equipment when it gets too close to people.

Asset tracking also plays a crucial role in helping with employee mustering. By tracking the location of employees in real-time, companies can ensure that everyone is accounted for in the event of an emergency. This can help reduce the amount of time needed to gather everyone together and can also help keep track of who has evacuated and who is still inside the building. Asset tracking also helps first responders to respond more effectively.


One of the biggest benefits of asset tracking is that it allows for more efficient resource allocation. With accurate data on all assets and their locations, departments can easily find and use the equipment they need without double-booking or going over budget. In addition, if an asset is misplaced or lost, it can be quickly located and recovered using the tracking system. This reduces the amount of wasted time and money, making asset tracking a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.

The effective tracking of movable assets can also lead to cost savings through extending the usable life of those assets. By having accurate records of when an asset was last serviced, maintenance can be planned and scheduled to avoid costly repairs or replacements. Furthermore, regular servicing and maintenance will help ensure that assets are running at peak performance, resulting in less down time and improved overall productivity.

asset tracking

Locating Missing Assets & Theft Prevention

Losing track of tools, materials, and inventory can be costly for a business. Not only does it lead to lost productivity, but it also opens the door for theft.
An asset tracking system can help businesses keep track of their assets and tools, as well as reduce the chances of theft.

Traditional systems like using markers, spreadsheets, stand-alone software, and handheld scanners are not very good at locating missing assets or preventing theft. They are also very time-consuming, and add to the cost of production.

A cloud-based asset tracking system can assist organizations in keeping track of their tools, assets, WIP, and inventory materials as precisely as needed.


[e.g. Automate tool audits. e.g. Overtaking the crane drive to prevent collision.]

Different industries can achieve different levels of automation, with some being easier to automate than others. For example, in a chip manufacturing plant, automation can be increased relatively easily, while in discrete manufacturing, there are limits to automation.

Production processes like  auto assembly depend on human dexterity. But does this mean discrete manufacturing cannot be automated?

While it is difficult to automate discrete manufacturing tasks, the location, flow, and sequencing of these tasks can be automated with the help of asset tracking. The use of asset tracking to automate discrete manufacturing is limited only by imagination.

For example factories are using asset tags to track and manage inventory. This helps to ensure production lines have the correct inventory on hand, and that items are not misplaced or lost. Asset tracking is also being used to monitor production processes and identify issues and bottlenecks to improve production efficiency. However, this is not all. Asset tracking has expanded beyond production line automation to include safety automation, audit & compliance automation, and more.


Asset tracking plays a key role in digitizing maintenance processes and workflows.

By automatically gathering asset data and integrating it with maintenance management software, asset tracking can help industries automate and streamline their asset maintenance processes.

Predictive maintenance is one of the most promising applications of asset tracking data. By analyzing asset data, asset tracking can help organizations detect potential issues and schedule maintenance before problems occur.

Transit Yard Management

Transit Yard Management and asset tracking go hand in hand.

Transit Yard Management systems can track the precise real-time location and movement of vehicles across both indoor and outdoor areas using Ultra-Wideband (UWB) and GPS technology.

  • Knowing the precise location of vehicles helps
  • Reduce vehicle search time
  • Lower dispatch and scheduling errors
  • Reduce shuffle time
  • Respond quickly and easily to changing situations such as breakdowns and inclement weather

Better Insights

Asset tracking systems can provide businesses with valuable insights into their processes.
Asset tracking systems map the physical flow of a factory into a real-time “digital twin”. This allows businesses to have a better understanding of process performance and areas of improvement. A “digital twin” makes the complex processes of the physical world “visible” and controllable.

Moving objects make up between 60% to 80% of processes in manufacturing and MRO. Asset tracking systems can monitor these complex moving processes. The data collected can be used to control and optimize the processes in line with the plan.

Asset tracking systems can be integrated with ERP and MES planning systems to keep them up-to-date with real-time location data. Real-time data in ERP and MES helps save time, reduce errors and give real-time insights into business performance.


Asset tracking systems can integrate with other business systems. Integration has many benefits including improved inventory management, reduced costs, improved asset utilization, and better planning.
Asset tracking systems can be integrated with a variety of business systems including

  • ERP systems
  • MES systems
  • Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
  • Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
SmartSpace Diagram


Asset tracking plays a key role in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of many business processes. By automating asset data collection and integration with other business systems, asset tracking can help businesses automate and streamline their processes. In short, asset tracking provides benefits that can help businesses save time and improve their bottom line.