Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS)

Perhaps you’ve heard the acronym RTLS thrown around, but what exactly does it mean, and why do you need it?

RTLS is short for Real Time Locating Systems and is essential for anyone whose business requires transportation and logistics. RTLS allows enterprises to have end-to-end visibility and traceability of all containers, packages and pallets. For manufacturers, RTLS offers intelligent management and flow; for security and safety, it offers the control of employee access and management of hazardous area.

RTLS combines several different auto-ID technologies that use wireless signals in order to determine the precise location of tagged assets. Each tag transmits a long-range signal at regular intervals, which are received by location sensors that process the signals. From there, a location appliance collects and correlates the data.

In contrast to RFID technology, RTLS uses a long read range and is ideal for short time windows. GPS also offers some RTLS capabilities, however, GPS cannot penetrate most construction materials, leaving indoor areas inaccessible. In addition, GPS receivers are very complicated, costly and use more power than RTLS.

RTLS offers:

  • Simple asset management
  • Reduced search time for misplaced assets
  • Reduced equipment movement
  • Improved audits
  • Streamlined supply chain and logistics
  • Inventory and Warehouse Management
  • Inbound and outbound logistics
  • Improved enterprise resource planning
  • Improved cycle time
  • Improved safety and security
  • Less accidents
  • Improved responsivementss
  • Better security

An optimal RTLS platform would integrate hardware and software with an existing ERP solution. When used properly, RTLS tracks, locates and manages all of the critical assets across the supply chain. Get a more in-depth view of RTLS by reading Zebra Technologies’ White Paper: RTLS 101—What it is and Why You Need It.