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When it comes to managing inventories and keeping an overview of products along process and supply chains, most manufacturers still rely on barcodes. In fact, they are pretty much everywhere, from production sites and store rooms to customer deliveries. All the same, the very nature of barcodes means they still require a lot of manual work. Indeed, each and every manual scanning operation at all the various stages takes up time and creates scope for mistakes when recording volumes, registering goods types and following sequences. One start-up from Munich is at HANNOVER MESSE 2018 to show there is a different - and better - way of doing things. blik GmbH is unveiling its innovative track-and-trace technology at the fair, which enables uninterrupted tracking both internally and externally.

That means manufacturers can check current stock levels for their products whenever they like and obtain accurate real-time data on where the products are and when they’re likely to arrive - even taking into account potential transport disruption. To do this, blik uses a low-maintenance, durable radio sensor that is attached to every individual load carrier. These sensors emit signals at regular intervals so that a receiver system can determine where an article is in real time. What's more, unlike other transmission technologies such as Bluetooth, these signals won’t interfere with other, pre-existing radio systems. The new track-and-trace system from blik GmbH thus allows companies - for the first time - to track articles over several years with a considerably pared-back infrastructure and without continuous human intervention.