SIMATIC RTLS – Real-time locating system

SIMATIC RTLS – Real-time locating system Keyvisual

One technology. Infinite options.

Discover SIMATIC RTLS by Siemens – a scalable locating system specifically designed for industrial applications. Reduce your search time and optimize your material flow with dynamic, real-time locating data for each and every relevant asset in your production. With SIMATIC RTLS, you are free to implement your individual digitalization strategy - and accelerate your business transformation in production and logistics.

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Social distancing and contact tracing with RTLS

Manufacturers are facing new and dynamic challenges.  There is a need to ensure their employees are protected and balance that with production.  This requires transparency throughout the manufacturing environment.  Real-time locating solutions can help manufacturers understand employee movements during the production process and enable smarter, safer decisions.  The technology is designed to help decision-makers adopt, adapt and react quickly.

SIMATIC RTLS in practical use

Transparent electronics production in Fürth

With about 2,000 boxes of material in constant circulation, this is a production environment with a low volume but a high mix of final products. Using SIMATIC RTLS means increased throughput, with a minimum of search effort.

Explore use cases and typical applications

Flexible, adaptable locating solutions with SIMATIC RTLS

The system

One seamless, precise, and complete locating solution

Know what’s where and when: SIMATIC RTLS uses seamless locating to position all relevant assets –your workpieces, tools, even vehicles or robots – to within a few centimeters. Dynamically, in real time, and with precision. No matter where they are on the premises. It then makes that information available to higher-level systems. With such transparency, that all you need to do to optimize the movement of your assets, is analyze the location data.

Tap into the digital future

SIMATIC RTLS completes the digital twin of all your processes – from delivery to further processing and final assembly. How? All relevant objects in a plant or warehouse are fitted with a transponder for a start.
 

The transponder signals are bundled by gateways and picked up by a higher-level system. The calculated position is then provided to intelligent automation systems and manufacturing units.
 

Ultra-wideband technology (UWB) enables maximum precision and reliability: For local wireless communication, an extremely wide frequency range (3-7 GHz) with a bandwidth of at least 500 MHz is used to transmit weak wireless signals. This prevents the risk of interference with other systems.
 

The result is extremely precise object location with accuracy down to centimeters.

Learn more about real-time locating with SIMATIC RTLS

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Learn how to successfully implement tailor-made RTLS projects

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Examples of applications

SIMATIC RTLS in practical use

We have already implemented locating projects in many locations around the world. There is a huge range of potential applications for SIMATIC RTLS.

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Automatically document the quality of manual work processes in order to improve efficiency
  • Control your tools and monitor power tools, to avoid errors and optimize product quality
  • Monitor tool status to ensure servicing tasks are performed exactly as required

Document tool-related activities

Tools are fitted with transponders, or already come with an integrated transponder at the time of delivery. As a result, you can record and document all associated movements and activities.

Control tools

Controlling a tool, e.g. its torque, depends on the position of the tool relative to the workpiece to be processed. Sensor and positional data is automatically transmitted to higher-level distributed control systems, which control and document the tool activities. The information from the measuring units on the transponder also helps pinpoint the location more accurately and reliably.

Monitor tools

By documenting tool utilization, you can also use the data for tool management, e.g. to observe service intervals for calibration or monitor tool life.

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Monitor freely moving material and thus implement flexible production plans
  • Structure material flows more transparently, control processes more efficiently, and respond more quickly to short-term influences
  • Identify causes of errors in production and retrospectively trace associated product defects
  • Locate materials in the factory premises without spending time looking for them
  • Dynamically organize production plans based on actual material availability
  • Observe all regulations on automatically documenting the product creation process

Locate workpieces and components

All workpieces, components, and containers are fitted with transponders. This ensures all relevant objects can be located in real time.

Control production stages

SIMATIC RTLS automatically transmits all movement data to a higher-level distributed control system or MES system. Depending on the position of the various objects, you can use this data to control production stages and automatically allocate material according to needs and availability.

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Fully document and accurately control processing and manufacturing stages
  • Directly locate transferred or stored workpieces without time-consuming searching processes
  • Respond quickly and directly in the event of production disturbances
     

Document production stages

Transponders are fitted to the products or workpiece carriers. These let you seamlessly document the progress of production.

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Monitor and control your forklifts in all warehouse and production locations
  • Optimize forklift routes, so you can make more efficient use of human and material resources
  • Minimize construction work, save time, and curb costs
  • Automatically document stock placements and thus reduce searching activities
  • Optimize travel routes and material flows based on movement data and downtimes, and create space-optimized warehouse structures

Locate forklifts

Forklifts are fitted with transponders, so you can constantly monitor their location, availability, and status. All the data thus gathered is transmitted to a central distributed control system.

Document goods movements

All goods movements using the forklifts are comprehensively documented. The vehicle is optimally directed, based on its position and the action to be performed.


Control access

Control accessAutomatic access control at relevant positions lets you determine the areas in which the forklift is permitted to move.

Add location details

You can supplement all the location details with identification technology, e.g. 2D codes or RFID.

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Dynamically utilize, efficiently locate, and control Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) systems and tugger trains
  • Optimize routes, so you can make more efficient use of human and material resources
  • Locate objects that need to be moved and autonomously direct transport systems to where they will be used
  • Automatically document stock movements and thus reduce searching activities
  • Retrospectively improve travel routes and material flows
  • Undertake simple adjustments in the case of changes to manufacturing organization or hall layout, for example
  • Utilize AGVs for transport between production areas to make greater use of machine fleets and structure your manufacturing more flexibly


Record absolute position

Trace the absolute position of AGVs and tugger trains at all times to navigate them. You can also determine the position of items that have to be moved.

Calculate paths

You can calculate the ideal path based on the position of the object and the AGV. The AGVs and tugger trains will be directed from the central distributed control system.

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Control the deployment times for your service teams and thus optimize service intervals and repair work
  • Increase service quality appreciably
  • Automatically document all service activities and check when or whether an employee was on-site

Locate employees

You can accurately locate your service employees directly, or via a Tablet, for example.

Guide employees

Depending on their current position and the location of the activities to be performed, you can guide service employees to the machine or plant via the most appropriate route.

Use Augmented Reality

The wireless-based SIMATIC RTLS locating platform offers real added value, which makes it an ideal tool for Augmented Reality solutions, for example.

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Automatically plan all vehicle movements, at depots and airports, for example
  • Reduce labor-intensive search processes at the freight depot, and comprehensively trace all movements there
  • Automatically post processes like goods receipt and retrieval, and appreciably reduce the risk of error
  • Shorten throughput times and structure processes at the freight depot more efficiently

Locate assets

All assets that need to be located, e.g. delivery transportation, vehicles manufactured, or in-house fleets, are fitted out with transponders for this purpose. This enables you to track their movements on the premises with complete accuracy.

Direct transport vehicles

Based on their availability and position, all transport vehicles are automatically directed to their destination.

Plan vehicles

You can save time by efficiently planning all your vehicle movements based on your production management or depot management.

Maintain time records

All vehicle departure and arrival times are comprehensively documented. Other relevant data, e.g. payload and fuel consumption, is also transmitted via the transponder.

 

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Transparently structure and assure all container flows, to ensure all containers of all kinds are in the right place at the right time
  • Respond rapidly to any potential losses in the supply chain, and thus optimize production sequences
  • Record and document standing times and turnaround times of containers with sensitive content
  • Save time by eliminating search times
  • Draw up a container history to assure and potentially optimize service processes

Locate containers

All containers are fitted with transponders. This makes three-dimensional location possible, with accuracy down to the centimeter level. You can also check all receipts and retrievals without difficulty.

Display information

All relevant information, e.g. for communication with employees, can be displayed on the transponder’s e-ink screen, based on the container’s location or contents.

Initialize pick-by-light

The LEDs or the OK button on the transponder can serve as a feedback channel for a pick-by-light system or for basic interactions with employees. This makes the order picking process easier and faster.

Using SIMATIC RTLS, you can:

  • Have humans and robots work in the same space with no need for structural protection or separation
  • Create the basis for novel, highly dynamic production strategies
  • Increase the level of automation for manual activities like final vehicle assembly or tasks in aircraft production

Locate robots

Real-time location lets you have mobile robots and human employees move in the same area at the same time without risk. They are located in parallel and in real time.

Avoid hazards

If a potentially hazardous situation arises, the smart SIMATIC RTLS system automatically switches the machines off.

Direct robots

The mobile robots can be directed as required. This means they can be positioned close to the material that has to be processed.

The components

Flexible, adaptable infrastructure

Take a decisive step towards a digital enterprise: SIMATIC RTLS is extremely easy to install, and capable of adapting in stages to increasing demands. Extra units can be added at any time – without additional configuration cost at all. The following elements cover the entire locating infrastructure.
SIMATIC RTLS in the industry mall

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Let us develop your solution

Expand your view of locating information

Data brings value. Tracking assets seamlessly offers unexpected and valuable insights into your production. Providing crucial information for higher-level systems. And laying the foundation for smooth, highly efficient, and safe workflows.

Employee safety has become an increasingly challenging topic: Intelligent approaches are in demand in the manufacturing industry and in logistics companies. This will become even more important, when capacities and productivity are ramped up again.
 

SIMATIC RTLS enables the measurement, monitoring and maintenance of the safety distance between individual employees. Using wearable transponders that interact with infrastructure devices, employee movements can also be monitored.
 

The new SieTrace application also helps ensure workforce distancing. It processes the location data of the transponders using an algorithm, recognizes distances between employees, and triggers an alarm signal to all groups of people involved if the distance is less than 1.5 meters.
 

SIMATIC RTLS – a smart decision:

  • Contact tracing via the RTLS monitoring software, which maintains a history of employee movements
  • RTLS infrastructure can be used for other tasks beside social distancing – e.g. production control and asset tracking
  • Tools such as the Production Digital Twin can utilize RTLS data to optimize processes and safety

Software expansion for even greater transparency

Benefit from a comprehensive overview of the material flow and order information in your factory with Location Intelligence. This new, web-based software – which can be accessed directly from your local ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or MES (Manufacturing Execution System) systems – expands SIMATIC RTLS to include the digital twin of performance. 

The software analyzes and visualizes dynamic data and processes events. This is made possible by intelligently linking transponder IDs and order data, and through use of so-called geofences. With the help of these virtually defined areas, it is possible to detect in real time when a transponder enters or exits a certain area. The result: a transparency which paves the way to the systematic optimization of your production and logistics processes. 

Quality according to plan

Get rid of the paper trail in your factory with a system that lets you locate every workpiece seamlessly. E-paper transponders display processing information in context of the current location – meaning your workers have access to information such as the order number or next process step directly on the E-ink display.
 

This is also more flexible and advantageous than traditional paper dispatch forms with processing statuses automatically recorded and continuous production documentation guaranteed. Enjoy this new dimension of quality management, based on a seamless digital infrastructure.

Your path to an individual locating solution

When it comes to end-to-end solutions for your digital enterprise, Siemens is your trusted global partner. We have years of experience with innovative technologies in production and logistics.
 

In SIMATIC RTLS, you’ll find a complete solution from a single source. Concept and budget. Realization, proof of concept, implementation, and commissioning. Demonstration and training. All wrapped in long-term maintenance and service.
 

With an international footprint and a comprehensive network of local partners around the globe, Siemens is always close by and on-site.

Seamless, precise, and complete: locating solutions tailored to your needs

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References

SIMATIC RTLS in use

Flexible solutions are a cornerstone of any solid digitalization journey. Several customers are counting on SIMATIC RTLS for just such solutions.
Further information

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Put your trust in a flexible locating solution

SIMATIC RTLS offers accuracy and reliability in industrial environments, thanks to a robust design. You benefit from a smooth implementation of solutions, thanks to our comprehensive expertise. Whatever are your existing conditions, we integrate SIMATIC RTLS flexibly into various IT systems, including cloud-based applications. And thanks to its scalability and expandability, the system is highly future-proof. Interested in talking further? Contact us. We look forward to designing a solution to perfectly meet your business needs.