case-history

Italdadi Srl – Indoor Position System project

Indoor Position System (IPS) project inside a warehouse with Bluetooth Low Energy:
Italdadi’s case

Company born in the 50’s, Italdadi produces metal nuts, which are shipped all over the world: males rubber carriers, niplex, corks and ring nuts, worked with a wide range of surface finishes, complete the mission of this reality.

With over 20 employees and with an annual revenue between 10 and 15 million euros generated from sales all around the world, the dynamic company’s profile is completed.

With a production capacity of more than ten million pieces per month, Italdadi has maintained over the decades a dynamism that has allowed it to distinguish its products from a simple commodity: last generation machines and a last generation information service  allow a real-time control of the productive process, devoted to flexibility and efficency, while more than 1000 containers are moved inside the warehouse(metal bins and pallets).

Italdadi’s expectations

Italdadi’s need is to  know in real-time the position of the containers and their contnent inside a 1000m^2 wharehouse: this will optimize the research of specific goods and to reduce the time of containers shifting.

In the past the research of containers required too much time, also aggravated by the risk of human error: these inefficiencies in logistical timing inevitably had also an impact on the  production.

The solution

The answer to these needs is the Indoor Positioning System (IPS), cheap and convenient, based on the Bluetooth Low Energy technology and the partnership of CD Soluzioni specialized in software management voted for IoT, Global Tag that provided the Beacons and BluEpyc, with its contribution of EchoBeacon and Gateway BLE.

Backbone plug of the Bluetooth Low Energy hardware infrastructure are the Gateways, fixed devices powered and connected to the company’s network via Ethernet, and the EchoBeacon, device working as a repeater (they receive the data from the Beacon and transmit it to the Gateway, ensuring a more granular monitoring of the area presided by the EchoBeacon) that only need to be powered, they are able to reduce installation costs and improve the location of the containers: the Beacons, applied to the containers very easily, send the radio signal (advertising interval) to the Echobeacons, and they represent the heart of the system, while the software is the brain of the system.

Going into more detail about the individual components the Beacons are attached to about 400/500 metal containers stored in the Italdadi warehouse and about 100 containers in the warehouse adjacent to the production, ready to be shipped to suppliers. Started in June 2019 with a feasibility study to evaluate the amount of hardware components to install in the areas of the company and test its performance, the project is evolved, starting from october, of 4 gateways, 24 echobeacons and more than 500 beacons installed on the containers.

At this stage of the feasibility study, the biggest challenge is the correct positioning of EchoBeacon, to ensure a 100% coverage and to avoid the channels congestion, all made more complicated by the reduced  space of the warehouse. By placing the EchoBeacon in some areas, the data transmission was impaired by electromagnetic disturbances, so the performance of the system was not satisfactory: the objective of the site survey is precisely to overcome such limits, identifying the optimal positioning of the device.
In particular, the settings of the Beacons have been evaluated in order to optimize the battery consumption  and the saving of the data in short times: the choice fell on a ping rate that will allow a battery life of 3 years. The data flow in Italdadi therefore starts from the Beacon on the container, arrives at the EchoBeacon which, with the appropriate filters and calibrations, transmits it to the Gateway, which sends the advertising packets to the “signal triangulation” software: after processing those values, the CD Soluzioni’s system returns the Beacon’s positioning to the management software, and then the container to which it is associated.

Benefits

The strengths of the system can be summarised as follows:

  • Very low cost of the Beacons applied to the containers, without reducing their performance, and ease of installation
  • The EchoBeacons do not require connection to the company (wireless) network, so they simplify and reduce installation costs while improving detection accuracy.
  • The software optimizes the radio signals received by the Bluetooth LE system and returns the desired information, i.e. the storage position of the container to Italdadi.

All of this can be translates into rapid traceability of the material to be destined for production and the possibility of sharing information that, made available to everyone, no longer depends on the presence and memory of the operators in the warehouse.

Bluetooth LE Architecture and Services

  • 000 Disk Beacony with wall-mount accessories;
  • 24 EchoBeacons wall-mount model;
  • 4 Gateways industrial ethernet.

Partners Voices

«The Beacon was the project key» states Fabio Mazzola, CEO of Global Tag, «as it was necessary to find a solution that was easy to apply but, robust enough to withstand all production processes, including the heat generated by the freshly produced nuts. We have therefore thought of a silicone type support able to resist and protect the tag from high temperature, humidity and corrosive agents; moreover, the position identified on the container has made it possible to preserve it from shocks deriving from handling by forklift trucks.»

He echoes him Dimitri Cardoni di CD Soluzioni, highlighting how “the NRG Suite is now able to support the entire production cycle in Italdadi, from detecting the position of the container in the warehouse to the processing of orders:

by integrating several operations, the Suite not only returns more information to the company, but has increased its value »

Giovanni and Roberta Poli, owners of Italdadi,  recognize that “we are very satisfied with the result obtained with an excellent quality/price ratio, we have maintained our constant commitment to innovate and improve the production process using the latest available technologies. The introduction of this system, during all  testing and acceptance phases, thanks to the work of the project team, has had little impact on our daily work, allowing us to stay focused on what is our core business»

Webgraphy

Italdadi Srl                          -> http://www.italdadi.it/

CD Soluzioni (Software System for production management)      -> https://www.cdsoluzioni.com/

Global Tag Srl (Beacon Bluetooth Low Energy)                   -> https://www.global-tag.com/

BluEpyc – Softwork Group (EchoBeacon and Gateway Bluetooth LE)       -> https://www.bluepyc.com/

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