One by one, David counts his tools arranged in a metal box. For the past few years, this worker has frequently observed disappearances. “In the evening, we clean our tools and generally we try to take them back, but sometimes we leave them in the hope that they will still be there the next day. Sometimes, this is not the case,” he comments.

Drills, saws, screwdrivers … Thefts on construction sites are very numerous. In 2018, the federal police drew up 4,252 reports for theft of equipment which represents damage of 80 million euros for the Belgian entrepreneurs. To remedy this problem, a company offers software and sensors to locate objects. “The sensor is positioned on or in the tool. This sensor uses two communication technologies. The first is BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy, editor’s note) to communicate with a smartphone or a router. The second is the Sigfox part where the machines communicate with our server via antennas. When the sensor is placed on the tool, it can be located in case of theft thanks to an integrated GPS. If a worker uses an object, this is automatically notified in the HeronTrack application, you can install on your smartphone “, explains Sebastien De Grauwe, Managing Director of HeronTrack.

Keep a constant eye on your stock

The sensors do not consume a lot of energy because they have autonomous batteries which last 4 to 5 years. And for the price? It takes between 10 and 40 euros for a sensor depending on the size of the object. “In addition to localisation, the software is also used to manage costs and worker safety. Theft is an important aspect because we also equip very expensive tools, but thanks to the application, we have a permanent view on our inventory, so no need to do this manually. We therefore minimise costs because we won’t buy more than twice the same tool again. The application also notifies workers if the tools needs an inspection, this ensures better safety on construction sites “, concludes Sebastien De Grauwe

Article of RTBF written by A.Gonzalez, read and listen (in French) the whole report on the page of the RTBF: