2 min

Making Flows of Goods Visible

St. Pölten UAS, ecoplus, and Company Partners Explore Asset Tracking in Industry 4.0 Project

Making Flows of Goods Visible

The “Asset Tracking” method allows companies to track products, load carriers (e.g., pallets), tools, and goods within factories and along the supply chain. This offers advantages when it comes to tasks such as resource planning, storage management, and supply chain optimisation. In the research project LogiTRAAK, the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences – under the lead of the Mechatronics Cluster of the Lower Austrian economic agency ecoplus and with the collaboration of research partners and many companies – examines where this technology can be put to the best use.

“Asset Tracking systems allow us to design more efficient production processes and to maintain an overview of the increasingly interconnected value chains. There is a multitude of conceivable use cases for this, but we have to put them to the test in order to find out whether certain innovations are reasonable or not”, says Christian Jandl, head of both the St. Pölten UAS’ research group on Digital Technologies and of the LogiTRAAK project.

Diverse Application Possibilities

Competitiveness, investment volumes, and achievable benefit are important factors for companies when it comes to deciding for or against the use of new technologies. Moreover, synergy effects such as improved work safety and increased transparency in production are often not evident beforehand.

“To make these decisions easier, we are developing a procedure model in the project LogiTRAAK that makes it possible to estimate how Asset Tracking applications can be successfully used in both technological and economic terms”, explains Jandl.

To this end, the researchers and their company partners experiment with different use cases directly on site in the companies, thus examining the opportunities and potentials that can be unlocked this way. Applications include, for example, the global localisation of high-quality calibration tools, the recording and optimisation of flows of goods in production, and the seamless tracking of production steps.

Keeping It Sustainable

The project’s goal is to develop Asset Tracking systems that meet the companies’ requirements and can be profitably used by them for their purposes. In this context, the project takes ecological and social aspects into account so that the companies can improve their sustainability goals as well.

Saving Resources and Promoting Recycling

Asset Tracking provides for more transparency in the supply chain, thereby enabling a more responsible handling of resources. In this way, the technology helps to adopt a more careful approach to physical assets and to promote recycling.

Sensors, Secure Data, and Digital Product Passports

The supporting pillars of the project are sensor-based data collection, data analysis and modelling, and the assessment of sustainability and economic viability.

An important aspect is the secure provision of data within the value chain. The intention is to create added value without the disclosure of confidential information. Moreover, the project collects data that is necessary for the implementation of a digital product passport and a circular economy.

Big Company Network

Research partners in the project are the Vienna University of Economics and Business, IMG Consulting, Fraunhofer Austria, the FOTEC Forschungs- und Technologietransfer GmbH of FH Wiener Neustadt University of Applied Sciences, and the Know Center in Graz.

In addition, 24 companies are also involved, among them Voestalpine, Umdasch Group Ventures, Welser Profile, Aerospace Precision Strip, EVN, and Kotanyi. The companies cover a large part of the value chain (production, logistics, supply chain management). Every partner company in the project receives a working prototype for a specific application.

The companies involved in the project not only acquire technical know-how but also develop important knowledge on national and international guidelines such as the EU Green Deal, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Supply Chain Due Diligence.

The Mechatronics Cluster of ecoplus, the economic agency of Lower Austria, has the project lead. The cooperative project receives funding from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) under its project type Collective Research.

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Dipl.-Ing. Jandl Christian, BSc

Dipl.-Ing. Christian Jandl , BSc

Head of
Digital Technologies Research Group
Institute of Creative\Media/Technologies
Researcher
Digital Technologies Research Group
Institute of Creative\Media/Technologies
Department of Media and Digital Technologies
Mag. Hammer Mark

Mag. Mark Hammer

Section Head Press
Marketing and Communications