Accenture and u-blox demo outdoor asset tracking at Farnborough Airshow

Event vehicles fitted with connected devices in field trial of real-time outdoor asset management solution to demonstrate value for the aerospace and defence industry

Accenture and u-blox demo outdoor asset tracking at Farnborough Airshow

Accenture and u-blox will be demonstrating a new outdoor asset management concept at the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) next week (15-17 July 2016), by tracking the golf buggies and VIP courtesy cars used by event organisers to transport people around the 100,000sqm site.

The solution utilises data visualisation to provide a clear dashboard of insights based on data collected from connected devices in the vehicles. This will bring to life the potential for a variety of asset management solutions across the aerospace and defence industry, which has materials, tooling, equipment, workforce and aircrafts moving regularly between indoor locations and vast outdoor spaces.

This demonstration utilises GPS outdoor positioning technology and the local cellular network to transmit data. Developed by u-blox, a provider of wireless and positioning modules and chips, the connected devices – which will be fitted to approximately 60 vehicles – will communicate data every 30 seconds to an Accenture platform.

Real-time analytics will be applied, and presented in an easy-to-understand dashboard format (see image below) on a web-based application, developed by Accenture Mobility, part of Accenture Digital, which can be viewed in the Accenture VIP Chalet at the Airshow. The data collected can be used for day-to-day operational purposes and will allow post-event insights to be gathered for future events.

“Aircraft manufacturers and airlines work on a huge scale, where aircrafts are regularly moved, parts are often needed and contractors unfamiliar with sites must locate assets,” said Jonathan Smith, Head of Operational Development and Health & Safety, Farnborough International Ltd. “We wanted to work with Accenture and u-blox to demonstrate how new technologies can solve these real business challenges.

“In addition, we are always looking for ways to use technology to improve the show for our sponsors and exhibitors as well as our trade and public visitors, and by ensuring pedestrianised zones remain vehicle free, that buggies are where they need to be, when they need to be there, this solution will help us to do that.

“In previous years, we have spent significant amounts of time locating our SHB golf buggies at the end of each day, but this outdoor asset tracking solution means we will know where they are at all times.”

The demonstration will include a number of elements:

Zoning Capabilities: If buggies or VIP courtesy cars enter or exit a designated zoned area, alerts can be sent to key team members to advise them of this, allowing action to be taken if necessary
Vehicle Location: Vehicles will be tracked in real-time and viewable on a hi-definition map of the event site
Vehicle Utilisation: This will include the level of vehicle downtime, as well as data on when vehicles are needed, which can by analysed to provide predictive capabilities on how to prepare for future events
Wide Range Tracking: In addition to being placed on vehicles travelling around the event site, some connected devices will also be placed on shuttle buses from London to the Farnborough International Airshow, demonstrating the ability to track assets further afield, in addition to areas that are more restricted
Distance Travelled: Being tracked in real time, this information could also be collated and used to inform servicing schedules for vehicles.

“We’ve worked with u-blox to find innovative answers to common asset management challenges such as battery life, including using an accelerometer to put the devices to sleep when vehicles aren’t moving,” said Phil Vann, managing director, Accenture Mobility.

“As is the case in the aerospace and defense industry, vehicles at FIA will be spending time indoors and outdoors, and we will be able to track them at all times with automated alerts flagging if any are moved outside certain zones, increasing security and helping operations run smoothly.

“With a clippable mapping capability on the application and aggregated insights delivering a view of how vehicles are operating throughout the event, this demonstration will allow the FIA organisers to know where all their vehicles are, all the time.”

“This collaboration with Accenture illustrates how communications and positioning technologies can drive fundamental change in the industry,” said Tony Milbourn, Vice President Corporate Strategy at u-blox.

“Here, we’re able to apply our deep experience in these core technologies to show how we can solve real business challenges, not only in the aerospace and defense industry, but across any other industry that relies on tight control of moving assets.”

The demonstration will be available to view in the Accenture VIP Chalet, located in the Flightline Corporate Hospitality area adjacent to the main runway at FIA, on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 July 2016.

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