Smart Beacons in Smart Factories

2024-05-17 | News
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The Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to accelerate, with smart factories at the heart of the movement. These factories implement the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), connecting all elements of the factory to the cloud to facilitate real-time asset tracking, indoor positioning, and robust logistics management. Residing at the edge of the IoT, beacons are a critical element of this technological mosaic, a key component of a successful smart factory implementation.

The EMBP01, from EM Microelectronic, is a state-of-the art beacon used by several leading global vendors of real-time location systems (RTLS). This beacon enables manufacturers to optimize resource use, streamline processes, reduce loss, and save time – making it instrumental in the realization of the Industry 4.0 vision.

A ruggedized Bluetooth LE beacon, the EMBP01 is designed for several years of operation on a single coin-cell battery, reducing maintenance overhead and waste creation; its low cost allows for ubiquitous use throughout the factory. The beacon's key features include:


  • Flexible advertising format and interval,
  • Selectable transmission power,
  • Smart preprocessing capabilities
  • Integrated accelerometer and other optional sensors.


The flexible advertising and power allow the device to be used in a range of operating environments with different IoT infrastructure, and to maximize life and minimize RF clutter by only using the required transmit strength.

At the same time, the integrated accelerometer and system-on-chip (SoC) CPU with signal processing features combine to make the EMBP01 a powerful agent in the smart factory. Working together the accelerometer and SoC can provide advanced benefits like activate-on-motion, drop detection, and shock detection.

Ultimately, the features of the EMBP01 allow it to efficiently communicate real-time information, enabling accurate track and trace applications. It means that the beacon can transform any load carrier, from a crate to a shipping container, into a trackable asset, enhancing load carrier utilization and minimizing lost assets, thereby saving valuable search time.

Moreover, the EMBP01 facilitates the intricate coordination required between different elements of the supply chain and the manufacturing process. Raw material, sub-assembly, component, and finished goods tracking on the factory floor and in the warehouse identifies inefficiencies that can be eliminated, reducing inventory costs associated with work in progress. The return on investment for implementing such a system can be realized in as little as one or two years.

The EMBP01 is just one member of a rich family of beacons from EM Microelectronic. Other devices have various sensors and multi-mode configurations, including NFC & RFID. EM also produces derivative and fully custom devices – including models with displays – to help customers optimize for their specific requirements.

Connected Modules & Beacons | EM Microelectronic

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