Webinar: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Industrial Asset Tracking – October 2020 – Americas

Time: October 22, 2020, at 2:00pm EDT

Join Confidex, the leading provider of Industrial BLE / RFID tags and labels and Flexvertical, the leader in Asset Intelligence and Location Tracking Technology Solutions in this interactive Webinar and Q&A session focused on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Industrial Asset Tracking.

Have questions? Contact americas@confidex.com

Webinar agenda

  1. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Market Update
  2. BLE use case benefits & overview
  3. Asset Tagging Considerations
  4. Flexvertical Asset Tracking Demonstration
  5. Best Practices & Implementation Tips
  6. Q&A

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Webinar: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Industrial Asset Tracking – October 2020 – Americas

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Bluetooth Low Energy BLE Industrial Asset Tracking October 2020 Americas

Q&A of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Industrial Asset Tracking

Q:What are the most used BLE gateways in the market?
A: Confidex partners offer a wide variety of gateways which support our Viking BLE beacons.  The type of gateway recommended varies based upon geographic region and application use case though any BLE gateway which supports Bluetooth 4.2 should be compatible.

Q: What would be the right kind of tracking tag for very dense real time asset tracking (a few dozen per square meter level)?
A: Confidex Viking is able to operate without interference with this location density.  For visual identification of a particular tag (pick & place applications), it is recommended to either use the NFC capability of Confidex Viking or scan of a barcode on the beacon exterior to positively identify the correct beacon when placed in high density.

Q: What is the location accuracy for BLE systems using Confidex Viking?
A: Location accuracy of the Confidex Viking beacon varies greatly upon the overall system architecture.  When using a multitude of gateways with AoA/AoD capabilities and linear polarized antennas, location accuracy of less than 1 meter resolution is possible.   When using omni-directional antennas, mobile devices, or long-range reading up to 200 meters, much less accurate location information should be expected.

Q: What type of manufacturing equipment, including welders, will affect the beacon signal?
A: Bluetooth is 2.4Ghz similar to Wifi, so such equipment should not have a big effect on performance.

Q: Do your tags require specific software or cloud solution or can they be fully used/read by other third part APPs?
A: They can be used with other 3rd party apps, you are not obligated to use a specific one.  However depending on the application of the project, we will typically recommend one SW over another.  In the case of industrial asset tracking (whether it’s location needed, ID of asset or even health of the asset regarding vibration or direction of movement) we HIGHLY recommend Flexvertical as they offer the full BLE solution (tags, readers, and SW) ready-to-go install at a customer site.

Q: What is difference between BLE and Williot Technology?
A: Williot is developing power harvesting BLE which functions similar to passive RFID systems. BLE beacons such as Confidex Viking are active battery-powered devices.  For Confidex Viking, we use Nordic nRF52832 SoC on the PCB with two CR2477 batteries.

Q: Can Confidex provide TAGs and gateways as a complete hardware solution?
A: Confidex is focused on providing BLE beacons.  We have a robust ecosystem of partners like Flexvertical to provide the gateways (readers) and software platforms to analyze and present the data in a formal user interface.

Q: What is the max distance / room size in which a beacon can be detected?
A: Confidex Viking beacon has an advertised signal distance of 200 meters without obstacles. Due to obstacles, reflection etc. this is not feasible indoors. Signal strength also varies a lot when travelling through furniture or people. RSSI (received signal strength indication) can be used to estimate, if the beacon is in which room or floor etc.

Q: Does Flex-Location (Flexvertical Software Platform) have the possibility to show the information and user interfaces in Spanish?
A: Flexvertical platform is currently available only in English though the translation in Spanish is easily accomplished with sufficient demand.

Q: Does Confidex allow sales of this technology in Brazil?
A: Certification for the Brazil market is currently underway and expected to be completed before end of November 2020.

Q: Is it possible to create a network with multiple BLE mesh nodes that report to a single gateway and that detect other BLE beacons passing through the environment?
A: Yes, this node to node communication is a classic mesh topology.  In order to use the Viking beacons in a mesh network, special mesh firmware needs to be pre-loaded on the beacons.  If this functionality is needed, please discuss the Wirepas Mesh configuration with your Confidex sales team as this must be selected when the tags are ordered and cannot be configured after purchase.

Q: Is Viking the only packaging your BLE solution is available today?
A: Confidex Viking is the only form factor currently available.  Additional products are in customer pilot phase with availability planned in 2021.

Q: Is the Flex Vertical location software based upon zones or coordinates?
A: Flex-Location is based on zones, each gateway receiver is assigned to each zone and the signal power is customized for that area of coverage.  We currently do not use coordinates.

Q: Can multiple sensors be used on one beacon?
A: Multiple sensors can be populated and used within a beacon.  By default, Confidex Viking has a temperature sensor.  Accelerometers are also commonly included while still other sensors may be used.

Q: Is there decreased read range with mobile devices as opposed to a fixed BLE gateway?
A: Fixed gateways typically provide greater read distances as they operate at higher power output and with external antennas.  Mobile devices still provide a long read range though the read distance of mobile devices and gateways varies greatly upon the design and manufacturer.

Q: Why would I use BLE technology over alternatives?
A: BLE offers a ubiquitous device ecosystem, low total cost of ownership, and easy installation and setup for most deployments when compared with other wireless technologies.

Q: How do you best conserve the beacon battery life?
A: Battery life of beacons greatly depends on how the beacons are configured and the operating environment.  The size and frequency of beacon messages can be changed to tailor battery life to specific applications.

Speakers

Joe Hoerl
EVP, Smart Industries Americas

Ty Randell
Sales Manager, NA

Daniel Pacheco
CEO, Flexvertical

Jukka Ristimäki
Product Line Manager, BLE

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