The Intelligence of Objects for the Networked Logistics 4.0


The clear trend in the intralogistics of today is continuing in the form of the paperless and contactless recognition, oversight and tracking of goods. Sensor technology is ensuring self-learning and continuously optimized processes.

Objects in logistics processes are becoming intelligent and self-managing and will ultimately allow man and machine to work together in perfect harmony. Forward-looking standards are being established to create this “intelligence of objects”. These standards are being applied to paperless manufacturing and used as the cornerstone of the logistics 4.0.

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)

BLE is a recognized logistics standard for large-scale localization.

Sometimes, knowing the precise area in which an item is located is sufficient for events to be recognized and reported. This is an area in which BLE is used, which simply broadcasts an item ID that can then be received at a nearby BLE AccessPoint.

RFID(Radio Frequency Identification)

A more precise form of identification and the simultaneous transmission of data is achieved using RFID. These transponders are attached to the package or item, for example, and contain the data referred to above. This data can be read at any time on a contactless or manual basis. This enables the recognition and tracking of individual parts at the respective read times.

The possibility of self-management is also available, in that the requirements of these packages or objects find the transport and the optimum journey to the consumer. Until recently, these RFID tags were sensitive to interference. Today, process-reliable RFID readings are guaranteed by an exceptional variety of different applications.

UWB (Ultra-Wideband)

As localization develops, it is UWB technology, however, that is likely to emerge as “the future standard for the IOT (Internet of things)” in the area of logistics. UWB is prevailing in terms of both its accuracy and speed. It is a radio-based communication technology for close-range implementation to ensure the rapid and stable transmission of data.

Well-known market and technology leaders in the smart phone sector are now integrating UWB in their products. They may not be saying so out loud, but in this way they are preparing themselves for the future requirements of the data volumes of the IOT.

Only the UWB currently fulfills the requirements of networking mobile devices digitally and logging their live location at the same time. Walls and other solid materials are no hindrance to UWB, and shared use with other wireless systems is also possible.

Last but not least, COVID-19 has also helped raise the profile of UWB technology. In some companies, UWB social distancing systems in the form of bracelets or similar are being used by staff which emit an acoustic alarm when the distance between the workers becomes too small.

Over the long term, due to its accuracy, ultra-wideband is likely to replace both Bluetooth Low Energy and RFID in many areas.

AOI(Automatic Optical Inspection) / Auto-ID

As the standard for identification “without” a barcode, QR code or RFID, Auto-ID, as well as AOI, are set to become a fixed part of the modern logistics of tomorrow.

Auto-ID systems identify, count and record objects and components. AOI systems complete the respective checks on incoming and outgoing goods as well as with random samples. In this context, the identification is based on intelligent image processing and the connected master data.

The combination of both systems also enables fail-safe (Poka-Yoke) processes at monotonous or sophisticated one-piece-flow workstations.

“Those that spend a lot of time looking at trends realize the world is a lot better today than it ever was.”

Matthias Horx – Trend Researcher

The intelligence of objects

Will you be using paperless material and production logistics in the future, and do you want to know the real-time status and position of your products and transports at the same time? Then you won’t want to do without these standards concerning the intelligence of objects for the networked logistics 4.0.

Would you like to network your processes and benefit from the advantages of continuously optimized logistics?

We will be pleased to support you with the implementation!