Smart asset management

Every company has to deal, to some extent, with asset management. As your organisation grows, it becomes essential to use good tools to document and manage all assets.
Depending on the type of company, you deal with different kinds of assets. For example; office spaces, hardware tools, vehicles, documents, heavy machinery or even people. These are just some examples. However, when you have a look around, you’ll realise that every single thing you see could be treated as an asset.

Depending on the type of asset, different properties are important. For a document this would be; the author, in what folder it is stored, and in what cabinet that folder is stored. For an office space; the surface area, the number of workplaces, the temperature, and the CO₂ concentration are important. For a vehicle, perhaps; the location, the speed and the fuel level.

Some of these properties will be static. However, others will regularly change and must be updated constantly. The past decade has seen an explosion in the possibilities in terms of sensors and techniques to perform automated smart asset management. Not long ago a fleet manager would be busy logging where each vehicle was located. However, nowadays this can be automated by adding GPS trackers to each vehicle.

Nowadays it has become easy to measure whether parking spots or workplaces are occupied, whether containers have been filled, and whether the air quality in the office is within acceptable margins. There are tons of other properties of assets that can automatically be measured and updated, even your own heartbeat.

The market is rife with asset management system and there’s a bounty of IoT-platforms that can receive and display sensor data. Intar’s newly developed Metargus platform seamlessly integrates asset management with incoming sensor data. Every property of an asset can easily be connected to a sensor. Manually updating and managing your assets is transformed into asset monitoring. Now you can have a real-time view of all your assets.

Prototype LoRaX estimated to send 27,500 LoRa messages

A picture of the prototype LoRaX.We’ve been busy the last month, hence the long silence on this blog. Still, we did make a lot of progress on several fronts. I was mostly occupied with this prototype LoRaX board. I’ve programmed the Murata chip on it to send periodic Lora messages and enter a deep sleep mode in between messages.

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An RN2483 based LoRaWAN board

This TvB LoRaWAN board uses the RN2483 LoRaWAN modem.This RN2483 based LoRaWAN board was designed and built by eTh0maz Electronics. It has performed beyond our expectations. He sent it to us on the third of February – running on three AAA batteries. We could track its course through the country – using the KPN LoRa network – before it arrived here. It’s kept steadily sending messages and we do not expect it to stop any time soon.
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On the Shoulders of Giants

An older ITalks LoRa tracker next to a two euro coin. The device is huge compared to the coin. This illustrates the recent progress in the miniaturisation of tracker hardware.We’ve had this LoRa tracker lying around. We used it to test the KPN LoRa network coverage as it unfolded throughout the country. This thing is huge compared to more recent tracking solutions, and it’s only a few months older. Will this trend of miniaturisation continue?

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New hardware ­– It’s so tiny!

Size comparison between a Murata LoRa chip and a two euro coin. The tiny hardware is much smaller than the coin.We’ve gotten our hands on some tiny hardware samples from Murata for our LoRa project. These are about a fifth of the size of the previous chips we used. With this tiny hardware it might be possible to create a tracker that’s smaller than a two euro coin – excluding the battery. With a stacked coin cell battery the completed device might actually look like a fat coin. For now we need to get these chips soldered onto a test board.

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