Tool monitoring
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Charleroi: software to locate stolen construction tools - by rtbf

Written by
Sebastien De Grauwe

One by one, David counts his tools in a metal box. Over the past few years, this worker has frequently observed tools disappearing. "In the evening, we clean our tools and generally try to get them back, but sometimes we leave them, hoping they'll still be there the next day. Sometimes they're not," he comments.
Drills, saws, screwdrivers... Thefts from construction sites are very en numerous. In 2018, the federal police drew up 4,252 official reports for equipment theft, representing a loss of 80 million for Belgian contractors.
To remedy this problem, a company is offering software and sensors to locate objects. "The sensor is positioned on or in the tool to be protected. The sensor uses two communication technologies. The first is BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to communicate with a smartphone or router. The second is Sigfox, where machines communicate with each other via antennas. When the sensor is placed on the tool, it can be located in the event of theft thanks to an integrated GPS. If a worker uses an object, this is automatically reported in the HeronTrack application that can be installed on his smartphone", explains Sebastien De Grauwe, Managing Director of HeronTrack.

Keep a constant eye on your stock

The sensors don't consume much energy, as they have self-contained batteries that last for 4 to 5 years. And the price? A sensor costs between 10 and 40 euros, depending on the size of the object. "In addition to location, the software is also used to manage costs and worker safety. Theft is an important aspect because we equip very expensive tools, but thanks to the application, we have a permanent view of our inventory, so there's no need to do this manually. This minimizes costs, as you won't buy the same tool twice, for example. The app also notifies workers if tools are in order for inspection, which ensures greater safety on the worksite", concludes Sébastien De Grauwe.
RTBF article written by A.Gonzalez, read and listen to the full report on the RTBF page: