OnAsset Intelligence, provider of supply chain tracking and monitoring solutions, has proved that Bluetooth Low Energy 5 (Bluetooth LE) is viable for large-scale industrial use. OnAsset’s Bluetooth LE gateway has read 12,000 Sentinel Bluetooth 5 tags in a single room in under 60 seconds, which is an industry's first case.

Many companies producing Bluetooth LE tags and gateways refer to theoretical data, mathematical modelling and simulations when trying to define their product’s performance limits. The challenge is that theory and modeling do not adequately account for all conditions in the real world, especially in demanding industrial environments. True industrial-quality and highly scalable tracking and monitoring systems need to perform in the fast-paced, high-volume conditions that are the realities of today’s global supply chain. From temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals, to reusable asset management and global logistics – goods are moving faster than ever, and warehouse operations are becoming increasingly automated. With the current global pandemic situation putting additional strain on all logistics operations, supply chain visibility is being recognized as a necessary foundation of the global supply chain.

“OnAsset is enabling a future where nearly every asset in the supply chain – from individual packages, to handling equipment, transportation infrastructure and vehicles – is intelligently and wirelessly enabled,” said Adam Crossno, CEO of OnAsset. “Knowing that all of these connected assets must ultimately communicate and operate in a cohesive way, we needed to pick the right technology to enable that ecosystem, and Bluetooth wins the game hands down because it creates a common bridge between all the mobile devices we use every day. Large logistics operations can have millions of assets in a single facility. Most companies are offering products using consumer-grade designs not intended for these environments, and they simply can’t cope with use cases at this scale. Using Bluetooth in these extremely dense environments presents many challenges, and we believe we are the first company to successfully prove Bluetooth LE devices can operate at this scale using real equipment.”

Because of the unique challenges being tackled, OnAsset needed to partner with the right supplier to enable their vision of the fully connected supply chain. After much research and experimentation, OnAsset selected Silicon Labs as their preferred partner.

“OnAsset is stretching the limits of asset tracking technology, and we’re impressed by how they are applying our wireless IoT products to industrial applications at this scale,” said Ross Sabolcik, vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs’ commercial and industrial IoT products. “Their successful large network test is demonstrating the leading edge of ultra-high-density, power-sensitive asset tracking technology. With the best-in-class power efficiency and performance of our EFR32 Bluetooth LE SoCs combined with OnAsset’s determination to tackle the challenges of large-scale industrial-quality asset tracking, we look forward to our continued collaboration to push the envelope of possibilities.”

“We’re not stopping here. We still see a lot of opportunity for improvement in the industry, and our customers are always pushing the envelope of what is possible,” said Tommy Wittmann, director of sales at OnAsset. “These complex demands require us to think differently at this kind of scale, and with partners like Silicon Labs and customers that share our passion for solving problems, we are up to the challenge.”