Glass and window manufacturers, like the German market leader Weha-Therm, use special transport racks to deliver high-value, fragile products, to customers. Once shipments are received, customers return the empty racks. Getting a precise, up-to-date view of the entire asset fleet to optimise operational processes is challenging, as racks may be mishandled, not returned on time, or lost. Weha-Therm wanted to solve this problem with real-time location information on all its transport racks.
Weha-Therm implemented an IoT solution to remotely track individual racks in real-time. The end-to-end location tracking solution, enabled for the Sigfox 0G Network, includes tracking devices and a specialised data analytics platform. The solution provides 100% transparency anytime and anywhere across Europe and globally. Fitting maintenance-free devices with many years of battery-life is easy and cost-effective.
Weha-Therm achieved real-time visibility of its racks across logistics processes. The data insights enable optimisation of operational efficiencies:
- reduced loss and theft ratios
- higher rack fleet utilisation
- timely and predictable returns of empty racks
- reduction of manual processes and bottlenecks in rack management
- automatic continuous inventory for optimal planning and load carrier optimisation
As the exclusive Sigfox 0G Network Operator, Heliot Europe owns and operates the national 0G Network covering Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Slovenia, suitable for the vast majority of loT applications.
Weha-Therm is a trusted industry partner and market-leading German specialist manufacturer of high-quality insulating and single glass products, combining advanced production processes with a team of unmatched expertise.
For decades, Weha-Therm Isolierglas GmbH & co. KG has been a trusted industry partner and market-leading German specialist manufacturer of high-quality insulating and single glass products spanning 8,000 different categories. Weha-Therm combines advanced production processes with an outstanding team of unmatched expertise to deliver customer service based on flexibility, expertise, speed, and foresight.
Franky Cosaert, CEO, Weha-Therm says, “Flexible, reliable and fast delivery is one of the key success factors of our business.”
Weha-Therm uses racks specially designed to transport fragile, high-value glass products. Once the goods are received at the destination, the customer returns the empty racks.
Ensuring the right number of racks are in the right location at the right time is essential for optimal manufacturing, efficient operations, and a great customer experience. However, the day-to-day management of the entire asset fleet is challenging, as racks are often not returned on time, are mistakenly misdirected, or lost.
Weha-Therm’s vision was to overcome these challenges and increase operational efficiency with an IoT-enabled track and trace solution to provide access to timely location information across its entire rack fleet. The challenge was to find the right end-to-end IoT solution, which required reliable devices, with many years of battery-life, connected to a low-cost national network, and a data platform capable of delivering location insight to support decision-making with accurate information.
An economically viable and operationally scalable IoT solution
All transport racks were fitted with inexpensive IoT tracking devices that record the current location and all rack movements, transmitting the data via the global Sigfox 0G Network.
The battery-operated trackers have a maintenance-free service life of up to seven years and are easily retrofitted to existing racks. Installation requires only a few minutes to screw the trackers to the racks. The platform turns the data into actionable insights and tracks the entire fleet of racks in real-time.
Data is accessed using an easy-to-use web application. The data platform offers many extra functions that simplify rack management, such as the automatic creation of a continuous fleet inventory showing each asset’s location and its associated customer information.
Based on the exact information of racks, Weha-Therm can address the customer in a targeted manner. Misunderstandings can also be prevented about the length of stay or the number of returned racks.CHRISTIAN TRÖSCH, HEAD OF SALES, BOX ID SYSTEMS
IoT solution delivers real business value for Weha-Therm:
- The overall loss ratio of racks is significantly reduced
- Customer mishandling, such as using racks for their own purposes, are easily and instantly identified and actioned
- Cumbersome, manual, error-prone tracking processes are replaced with automated, remote-monitoring requiring no on-site staff
- Higher rack utilisation rates and faster rotations reduce the need for capital expenditure
The Heliot Europe 0G Network: Reliable connectivity over a low-cost, low-power, long-range wireless network
Heliot Europe is the exclusive Sigfox 0G Network Operator in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia, and is part of the global 0G Network.
The 0G technology is a critical component of the asset tracking solution. Sigfox, the world’s leading IoT service provider, pioneered low-power network connectivity specifically for the many applications made possible when devices can operate and communicate for years without needing a replacement battery.
The IoT solution offers unique benefits, including:
- retrofit solutions for existing rack inventory
- Europe-wide and global tracking with long-life trackers
- easy access to location information via a web-based application
- automated, continuous inventory management
With this solution, we have an overview of our rack inventory at all times. That transparency and flexibility has truly had a positive impact on our business.DANIEL FREUND, CEO, WEHA-THERM
0G UN is the Global Association of 0G Network Operators, powered by Sigfox, the world’s leading IoT service provider.