Ubudu Social Distancing Assistant got a great press visibility so far, mostly in French 🇫🇷 speaking countries. Please find below the latest digest of those.
France 2 Evening News 20H00 🇫🇷
Kombini facebook 🇫🇷
May 10th, 2020
On n’arrete plus le progrès 🇫🇷
Press review 29/04 🇫🇷
“La France bouge” (Raphaëlle Duchemin) 🇫🇷
4 mai 2020
Les Echos 🇫🇷
Tom Travel 🇫🇷
The lasting demand for commercial aircrafts requires both manufacturers and suppliers to increase their production capacity. A leading metal parts supplier decided to tackle this challenge by implementing a work order tracking solution, which would not only reduce waiting time between steps, but also provide a better visibility on the overall operations.
Turn-around Time, sinew of industrial war
Production capacity gets traditionally increased by investing into new production resources (new plants, new lines, new machines, etc), but even the most innovative and efficient equipment can’t always be the answer to all industrial issues. Especially when investment effort in this direction had already been made.
The waiting time between the different production steps is a major component of the overall TaT, and therefore its reduction should be one of the first objectives. It makes a better use of existing resources, and helps to optimise future industrial investments.
This is the case of this metal parts supplier, which needed to reduce its turnaround time from 16 to a drastic 6 weeks, in order to keep up with the pace set by its main clients, Airbus and Boeing. To reach this goal, each second counted and had to be saved. And without any surprise, they looked at the waiting time in priority, as a Lean Six Sigma waste which must be removed at all cost..
Machines are better than humans at updating statuses
When the Industrial Performance Manager analysed the reasons behind the waiting times, he found several causes which are pretty much in line with the analysis by Lean Manufacturing Tools :
- Unbalanced processes, with idle time between each
- Unreliable processes, causing breakdown, maintenance, and therefore delays
- Material handling bottlenecks, when forklifts need to move batches of parts from inventory to an assembly work station
- Lack of information, when the status of the work order is not up to date.
Optimisations on the first 3 had already been conducted, so the main driver for waiting time reduction was “Lack of information”. In other words, work order status and detail were not up to date.
Initially the manufacturer started to apply Lean Manufacturing principles, and used paper l Kanban boards, actually not so far away from the original Toyota model.
This was ok but with two main caveats : first, operators had to repeatedly go back and forth to the board, in order to retrieve the information, and second, information accuracy relied heavily on operators’ correct and timely data entry.
Then the manufacturer moved to digital kanban board, by replacing the paper exercise by a barcode system. Operators now just had to scan a barcode on the work order, and a barcode on the work station, in order to update the status. The Kanban view could now be digitalised and available to all using a computer, without having to walk to the physical board. This solved the first initial caveat, but not the one of data integrity.
The switch to automated Kanban using work order tracking
The Industrial Performance Manager met Ubudu at a large trade fair about Industry 4.0 in Paris. He was attracted by a poster with “IoT for Lean” as headline. There, he explained to us his waiting time problem, and asked if our asset tracking system could be a solution.
Yes it was. By pairing UWB tags to the work orders’ plastic boxes, and locating them accurately when they moved into/from a workstation or stock area, we were able to have an accurate and real-time view of the whole production process. Furthermore, alerts could be automatically triggered in the case of any variation versus the baseline : excessive waiting time, excessive processing time, excessive or insufficient stock level, etc.
Also, some work orders could be stored in unusual zones, due to lack of room. Having access to their actual localisation became an extra benefit, allowing operators to save time by not having to search for those anymore.
Given the 4,000 work orders that must go through 9 production units during a production cycle, and 16 weeks on average duration per production cycle, that’s a saving of 260 hours, or about 50,000 euros per year.
On top of that, having the real-time visibility on the whole process helped the manufacturer to identify new pain points to work on, giving him the tool to apply continuous improvement, in line with its imperative to increase capacity.
Victor Hugo once said “Dare, this is the price for progress”. For having dared to implement an innovative IoT solution, this aerospace metal parts supplier had now cemented its relationship with aircraft manufacturers and strengthened its leadership on the market.
RTLS is often associated with “expensive” and “complex” in the minds of industrials. But technology adoption by the consumer markets changed everything, and provides now industrials with the opportunity to deploy an asset tracking solution with a sub-year ROI.
In the old world, you’d better be very rich to afford RTLS systems
For long, RTLS (Real-time Location System) has been synonymous with RFID asset tracking, or sometimes WiFi, non-standard Ultrawide Band (UWB). But those technologies have been found ill-suited to help industrials to find value :
- RFID is most popular for identification, using passive RFID tags which are scanned by antennas located at specific gates. But for real-time tracking, it is not passive but active tags which are required, and those are non standard hence expensive, and also energy hungry.
- Ultrawide Band (UWB) delivers high accuracy, down to 20cm. But like RFID, it has for long been a non standard technology, expensive to purchase and to deploy.
- WiFi is widely available but energy-intensive.
Consumer adoption helped to democratise IoT technologies
As more objects became “smart”, from cars to phones, more and more sensors were used, including radio connectivity sensors. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in particular, was first introduced on iPhone and Android in 2013, and now equips billions of devices.
More recently, the adoption curve of Ultrawide Band (UWB) technology took a giant step forward, when Apple announced its inclusion in iPhone 11 in September 2019. What is important here is the choice of Apple to support the IEEE 802.15.4z standard, rather than create another proprietary implementation of UWB, like historical RTLS providers did.
What the standardisation and democratisation of those IoT technologies means for RTLS is :
- Cheaper electronics
- Better and safer long-term returns
- More opportunities for connectivity and ecosystem building
RTLS is now much easier to test, adopt, deploy
Makers such as Decawave (UWB) and Nordics (BLE / Bluetooth 5) specialise on producing high volume, high quality dedicated chips. They also help drive the cost down, and solution makers to develop turnkey RTLS solutions.
Ubudu for instance has been perfecting its hybrid RTLS solution for years, using a combination of UWB and BLE radio, to help enterprises deploy indoor localisation use cases to solve their operational efficiency challenges of various natures.
Schneider Electric, which is both a partner and customer of Ubudu, has for instance well understood the potential of an RTLS platform to solve many issues using a single infrastructure. And as you can see in this video published by the Smart Factory lead in one of their most modern factories, deploying an RTLS solution is quite “plug and play”.
The Grand Finale of the Melco Challenges was an outstanding affair at the famous Studio City in Macau!
In front of senior executives from Melco and Microsoft Ubudu won the 2nd place among more than 100 competitors.
It was a great day with excellent presentations and demos of some awesome tech.
Melco and Ubudu are now discussing a Proof of Concept, looking forward to create a solid relationship.
Location tracking of medical equipment, staff and patients enables hospitals to generate operational gains in the millions of euros. It helps staff to save time in order to provide better care. Ubudu indoor location solution helps improve several operational processes using a single and small investment.
Most hospitals face a growing patient inflow, but with fewer financial and human resources. In the United Kingdom, there is an average of 2.6 beds for 100,000 inhabitants, which is a lot below the European average. Doctors and nurses are monopolized by logistical tasks, and lack time to provide proper medical care.
Scandinavian countries have started digitalizing patient data, using social medias and setting up geolocation systems within the hospitals for the past twenty years. This brings benefits to the hospital staff, to the patients, and generates a return on investment running in the several hundreds of thousands of euros.
Tracking medical equipment to reduce search time and equipment excess capacity
GS1 association surveyed 1,000 nurses: 47% of them report wasting between 1 and 6 hours a day searching for medical equipment inside the hospital. A solution consists to use a location tracking system made of anchors placed in different zones, and tags hung to the equipment. It allows to geolocate assets in real-time through a mobile application or a web page. Location tracking prevents from losing time searching for equipment, but also from unnecessary costs of repurchasing equipment available and not found. Indeed, the equipment inventory of hospitals is often more important than needed, because of the loss of numerous equipment. This surplus is estimated at 30% on average. It also leads to additional costs in maintenance and overhaul.
Finally, location tracking is an efficient way to avoid theft, using alarm mechanisms, triggering whenever an equipment leaves its usual area. There is no official data to quantify the cost of theft, but all the medical staff we met agreed that it amounts to millions of euros.
Using a single location tracking infrastructure for equipment, hospitals can achieve 4 different benefits: reducing their surplus costs in CAPEX, reducing their maintenance costs in OPEX, avoiding thefts, and saving time to provide care to patients.
Managing inflow to reduce waiting times along the patient journey
Waiting times in hospitals may be difficult to manage. A patient journey is supervised through different software applications, in which human errors may be frequent. Resulting waiting times can have dramatic consequences on the health condition of the patients, for instance if there is too much wait at the emergencies.
RTLS (Real-Time Tracking System) in hospitals, by providing badges or a mobile application to patients whenever they arrive, allows to facilitate the management of their waiting time, and make data more reliable. It allows to identify and optimize their movements, as well as prioritize staff allocation. Overall it helps reduce the total duration of the patient journey, better exploit the real estate, and improve patient satisfaction.
For instance, the Brest hospital in France plans to rehaul the management of patients’ journey in 2019, beginning with a pilot deployment in the nuclear medicine service.
Improving patient and staff safety
The hospital of Sables-d’Olonne, France, published a mobile app for location-based alerts, in order for staff to obtain extra help faster, when a medical situation requires it. Elsewhere, in China, medical staff is in demand for a location-based alarm system too. In this case the reason is that they are often assaulted by patients or relatives, due to the stress generated by the waiting time, which can reach 20 to 40 hours.
Location tracking also helps to ensure infant safety by protecting them from theft, with an alarm system detecting when the child is outside a designated area. Similar system can be applied to protect runaway patients using dedicated wristbands, or to react faster upon a patient fall onto the ground, using location and accelerometer-equipped wristbands.
Digitalization of the patient journey has already proven to effectively optimize the hospital operations. Indoor positioning is a critical building block of this digitalization, and Ubudu is an expert of this type of solution since 2011. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information about our solutions for hospitals, and how they can fit to your needs.
Sources : HIMSS, Acteurs Publics, OECD, Tic Santé.
This is this time of the year again, Hannover Messe time.
The world’s largest trade fair, dedicated to industrial technology, will have a special guest this year : Ubudu !
Our team is excited to come to Hannover, to exhibit our latest Starter Kit, dedicated to Hyperlocation in harsh industrial environments.
With Ubudu Hyperlocation Starter Kit you can do :
– Asset tracking, in real-time, down to 10 cm accuracy
– Geofencing, per zone, with triggers on machines or servers
– Flow analytics, with metrics to optimise your operations
Find Ubudu in Hall 17 in the Young Tech Enterprise area, stand B68 (C73)
The Ubudu Team
In this new report, ABI Research covers “15 companies considered to be providing, pursuing, and developing exciting solutions to a variety of business cases across the value chain” of location technologies.
The full list of Hot Tech Innovators is : Wiliot, CopSonic, EXO Technologies, Aisle411, Quuppa, Ubudu, indoo.rs, Mist Systems, Wyres, IndoorAtlas, Uwinloc, u-blox, Zebra Technologies, Comtech Telecommunications, Gimbal, H&D Wireless.
Ubudu is particularly recognised for its mesh networking solutions as well as its universal tracking feature, offering solutions using the two hottest location technologies around, BLE and UWB.
Ubudu is very proud to have been invited by the French President Emmanuel Macron to his first State Visit to China in January 🇫🇷 🇨🇳 . Ubudu was picked up as part of the Economic Delegation, which included a wide range of companies. Multinationals such as Auchan, EDF or Schneider Electric, were there mostly to sign multi-billion contracts. SMEs and even startups, including Ubudu, were there to sign contracts, and to incarnate the healthy economic relationship between the two countries.
I participated to the trip, and was honoured to speak about Artificial Intelligence in front of an audience of French and Chinese economic leaders, along with true academic and business-world AI experts. The level of the discussions was high, especially as it was facilitated by mathematician, Field medal winner and French député Cédric Villani. For Ubudu, AI is both a technique to produce accurate geolocation, and to exploit the generated data through learning mechanisms.
Also along with French Tech China representatives, I also spend some time with President Emmanuel Macron and Ministers (Bruno Le Maire of Economy & Finance, Jean-Yves Le Drian of Foreign Affairs, Dominique Vidal of Advanced Education & Research). There it was an opportunity to share what it means for a startup to make business in China, and share some messages to the government on how to help the next startups to succeed in such an endeavour. I personally insisted on how education and communication should be improved back in France, in order to make entrepreneurs realise that it is doable, that the business climate is friendly for them in China, and that the market demand had never been high for advanced technology solutions, even if local concurrence could be ferocious.
Overall it’s been a wonderful opportunity to meet Chinese leaders such as Jack Ma of Alibaba, Richard Liu of JD.com, Bai Chunlin of the China Academy of Science, Wu Fei of Zhejiang University, Allen Guo of 2048 Capital, and many more. And of course French leader from economic, cultural, scientific and politic worlds, who participated also to the trip. I hope to have raised the awareness about what high-accuracy geolocation systems meant, and especially how they could help organization make their operations lean.
A Vendre A Louer is a real estate service offered by SoLocal, French Yellow Pages company now become a large O2O service provider. The innovative service is to push alert from real estate agencies to nearby users in the street, whenever they had searched for a property ret/buy matching agency’s offer.
The pilot phase involved 40 agencies in Paris, from May to December 2015, and had very good returns. A Vendre A Louer is now deploying it nationwide, starting March 2016.
Nicolas Oisel, head of mobile and innovation at A Vendre A Louer, says “this is the true bridge between the digital and brick-and-mortar agency worlds. We are the first real estate player to offer this innovation. Agencies are also happy about the positive & innovative image it brings them.”
Worth mentioning, AVAL handles push notifications carefully, in order to add value to the user while not being intrusive: max 1 notification per day per agency is sent to any user. During the pilot phase, some 20K users have been detected in front of the participating agencies, 6K notifications triggered, with an open rate of 80%.
Ubudu’s take: we’re not surprised by the results. This is a perfect storm situation, where AVAL is able to hyper-personalise the interactions by using the search queries which users have entered. In this case, beacons are perfect to help users to find their dream home, and to extend SoLocal’s mission of driving traffic into stores.
uBeacon Mesh is the next-generation beacon, providing internet-free communication with mobile devices, thus adding the missing link with iBeacon proximity technology.
What can you do with uBeacon Mesh?
Communicate in-store with customers
- Detect customer’s arrival
- Provide customers with a “help” button
- Don’t rely on scarce cellular/wifi signal !
Manage beacons remotely
- Configure and monitor your distributed beacons, through a central dashboard
- Avoid costly on-site maintenance!
Already implemented with uBeacon Mesh
- Drive-through service for a food retailer
- VIP customer detection for a beauty retailer
- Fleet management for a general retail chain
uBeacon Mesh is now available for sale
uBeacon Mesh enables much more than iBeacon , thanks to the Mesh capability we have embarked on its firmware, enabling 2-way communication with smartphones and other connected devices.
How does uBeacon Mesh work?
A “Mesh” is a network of which nodes are formed by beacons. Some are connectable nodes, i.e. can accept connections from mobile devices. Generally at least one is also a gateway to a server or external network, where the information is passed onto. uBeacon Mesh devices can operate in both iBeacon and Mesh modes simultaneously.
Business rules and technical configuration are handled through the ubudu Manager console.
Find more details about uBeacon Mesh on ubudu’s Knowledge Base.