Smart Systems

Bosch: Track and Trace – Bosch makes supply chains intelligent

November 9, 2023. Container management is an important part of logistics for manufacturing companies. However, it usually only comes into focus when load carriers are missing, transport times are extended or expensive new purchases have to be made. “Especially with expensive special load carriers, such as those frequently used in the automotive industry, non-transparent supply chains are an avoidable nuisance. It’s a matter of hard cash,” says Stefan Schenk, responsible for the Off-Road division at Robert Bosch GmbH. That’s why Bosch has developed Track and Trace. The smart complete solution ensures end-to-end transparency in the load carrier cycle – across plant and national borders, including the connection of suppliers, logistics service providers and empties locations.

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The intelligent tracking solution Track and Trace creates cross-process transparency regarding the use and whereabouts of individual load carriers. Photo: Bosch

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Track and trace: transparency across the entire load carrier cycle

Where are (special) load carriers located in the logistics cycle? Are they being used optimally? How can their use be optimized? Logistics experts all over the world are asking themselves questions like these. Far too often, the inventory of load and special load carriers is still carried out manually across multiple locations – a time-consuming and error-prone process. “Employees spend too much time searching for containers that have not been recorded correctly or at all,” explains Schenk. “In order to maintain production supplies, additional load carriers have to be purchased while others stand around unused.”

The smart logistics solution Track and Trace from Bosch provides a remedy. The intelligent tracking solution creates cross-process transparency regarding the use and whereabouts of individual load carriers. To enable real-time tracking, the containers are equipped with sensors. Gateways installed at the most important hubs in the plants and at suppliers collect the data from the sensors, enrich it with position data and forward it to the application in the cloud. The received data can be clearly displayed in the form of dashboards via the software’s web interface. This gives all user groups involved access to the position, transport, throughput and downtimes of the loading units at all times.

“With Track and Trace, we focus on a simple and intuitive application,” says Schenk. “Logistics is not about localization down to the millimetre. Much more important are the cost-effective implementation and scalability of the solution for subsequent roll-outs.” In addition to classic asset tracking, Track and Trace can also be used to track materials or goods. This means that movements can be tracked in real time via our IoT devices and availability can be ensured. Data on product-relevant information such as temperature, humidity or vibrations can also be mapped with the tracking solution.

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