RFID, GPS and IoT Solutions to Optimise the Supply Chain and Support Digital Transformation in the Automotive Industry.

The recent economic boom in the automotive industry has brought with it its own set of unique challenges as industry leaders embark on long-term digital transformations to stay at the forefront of the market.

In the automotive industry technology is both a driver and a facilitator, as vehicles become increasingly technologically advanced and leading automotive businesses seek to harness cutting edge tech solutions to streamline their operations and improve customer experience.

Smarter Technologies Group’s Orion Data Network asset tracking, monitoring and recovery solutions help you achieve your digital transformation goals. With Orion, you can optimise and protect your valuable automotive assets, automate inventory and maintenance, meet health and safety Regulations and increase overall productivity to save time and money.

The Path to Success in the Automotive Industry

The Automotive industry is finally on the economic upturn and leading organisations are leveraging digital transformation to gain a competitive advantage. As we don’t have a government-led digital strategy for the automotive industry, as some European countries do, automotive businesses need to take responsibility for their own move to digital production, automated development and testing, digital supply chain management and the new high-tech business intelligence and analytics capabilities.

The secrets to implementing these successfully, are to have improved visibility over your supply chain and the input of your third-party suppliers, and to collect and analyse real-time data about your high value assets and key personnel to optimise their productivity.

RFID and IoT in the Automotive Industry

Industry 4.0 or the Internet of Things, is driving and supporting digital transformation, by increasing network connectivity and smart functionality in both our business and our personal lives. Similarly Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is gaining momentum as the most effective technology to track, monitor and recover assets and key personnel and streamline manufacturing, development, testing, transport, maintenance, purchasing and repairs throughout the entire supply chain.

Automotive industry leaders are getting ahead of their competition by utilising both the IoT and RFID to become more productive, efficient and cost effective and reduce their carbon footprint.

Smarter Technologies Group’s bespoke and ready-made asset tracking, monitoring and recovery solutions for the Automotive Industry comprise RFID, IoT and GPS technologies. They work in combination with our private Orion Data Network to being you real-time data insights and analytics for accurate business intelligence that allows you to make highly informed business decisions.

How Does Orion Work?


Smarter Technologies Group’s Orion Data Network system was designed and built in the UK. Cutting-edge and affordable, Orion increases efficiency by simplifying data communications and reducing your OpEx.

Through a system of tags and gateways you can track any asset or employee to discover their location and status. The system then feeds back real-time data 24/7 giving you a complete view of your automotive sites and supply chain so you can easily manage your asset lifecycle and save time and costs.

Orion captures the power of the IoT, to create a superior asset management solution, with an award-winning data management system. The first to market solution of its kind, Orion is a next generation connectivity platform with an N+1 backbone infrastructure that engages the M2M marketplace with fully managed end-to-end turnkey solutions.

No Mobile Network

Unlike other comparable solutions, Orion does not use a mobile phone network so it does not rely on SIM cards and you are not stuck with the ongoing costs and challenges associated with those solutions that do. Orion is extremely flexible and highly scalable, allowing you to decide what services you require and control the roll out in a way that suits your budget.

Orion Gateways and Tags

Orion comprises a system of Gateways and GPS and non-GPS tags. There are three types of Gateway. The standard Ethernet will plug and play directly into the internet infrastructure that already exists in your automotive business. There is also a mobile gateway giving you mobile network coverage for your road vehicles, sea vessels, planes and helicopters. Smarter Technologies also offers a fully independent satellite solution for your remote locations, providing you with truly global coverage for all your automotive sites.

The more gateways, the larger the area that can be covered and the more zones that can be defined on your sites. We will work with you to determine what is required for you to manage all the assets on your individual and multiple automotive sites. A real-time interface will show all the assets you have in each designated zone on each of your sites. The size of the zones can be tuned and adjusted, depending on the number and spacing of the gateway.

The Orion tags can transmit in both digital and analogue mode for passive and active asset tracking. In the analogue mode, you can use a hand-held directional scanners to actively track individual items that have been lost or stolen.

How Orion Data Network works

The Benefits of Orion’s Broadcast Network

Orion runs on a broadcast-based network; a fact that brings 3 main benefits to your automotive company that solutions running on a control channel network do not have.


The system is fully scalable up or down and you do not get the overlap issues that you get with control channel networks which significantly slow them down when you try to scale them up.


Orion uses Received Signal Strength Information (RSSI) for active tracking purposes. With RSSI the location of your automotive asset is calculated from the strength of the Wi-Fi radio signal being sent by the tag attached to the asset. RSSI, doesn’t require any additional network equipment, and is not dependent on line of sight to find your lost or stolen assets. It’s therefore very useful in automotive manufacturing environments where there can be a lot of obstructions.


The majority of the client investment is in the device end, the tag, so the entire system is very cost effective. Also, because the tags are broadcast and not listening for control channels, they have a very predictable battery life, which means you can reliably employ scheduled maintenance. On a control channel network, battery life at the device end can vary by up to 300%, which means batteries last for very different durations in the field, making scheduled maintenance impossible.

Device Size & Battery Life

We create different types of device in a wide variety of packaging materials and sizes, so that they can be fitted to all your different automotive assets in a huge range of environments, with the right sized battery for the required usage. A penny cell battery may last 6-9 months, an AA cell 12-18 months and a D cell 5 years or more. Therefore, the larger the asset and the tag device, the less times the battery will need replacing or recharging. The Orion system sends alerts when a battery needs changing. Tracking devices can weigh as little as 28 grams and last for several years on a single charge, and report in real-time with a range of up to 10 miles from each Gateway.

Orion Applications in the Automotive Industry

Factory and Manufacturing Benefits

When Orion is utilised at the manufacturing stage and built into the vehicles or attached to components, you can keep track of the vehicles and component parts across all dealerships throughout the country. This allows you to streamline your processes and ensure that spares are available for construction, testing and maintenance purposes. Using Orion solutions in the automotive assembly line reduces the need to handle and move components around reducing the risk of damage and loss.

Automotive Customer Value

Orion can be used to improve your customer experience by identifying customers’ vehicles when they arrive for maintenance, upgrades or special services. You can identify the customer and view their history and requirements over the Orion Data Network and where necessary match them to a loan vehicle while theirs is being repaired. Adding value to your customers in this way puts you head of the competition while also making customer interactions much faster and easier for your employees.

Automotive Logistics

Orion can be used to simplify long range and global vehicle transportation and fleet logistics. You can get real time route optimisation and vehicle and driver performance reports delivered direct to your mobile device and set geofenced parameters and alerts if vehicles move outside the designated area.
In each part of the automotive supply chain, utilising the Orion Data Network solutions results in more efficient operations, process automation, accurate real-time analytics for better business decisions, an enhanced customer experience and a considerable competitive advantage.

NFC Group and automotive industry

Features of Orion Date Network for the Automotive Industry

The Orion Data Network is the most cost effective and reliable asset tracking solution on the market.

Orion offers you Real-time visibility (RTLS) over your Automotive assets across the entire supply chain.

Orion is scalable so that you can track assets in individual Automotive factories and plants and across multiple locations.

The low-frequency Orion RFID technology enables you to reduce your carbon footprint.

Orion enables GPS location to within 5 meters of your Automotive assets.

Ethernet (wired) 3G or 3G Router (Wireless).

Each Orion Gateway creates a local hotspot and controls key access points.

GPS tags for real-time tracking of vehicles Automotive assets and people and Non-GPS tags for tamper alerts and Automotive logistics solutions.

Switch tags for Automotive plant smoke detectors and fire systems.

Tags for monitoring Automotive asset temperature.

Benefits of Orion Data Network in the Automotive Industry


Forms the backbone of your digital transformation giving you the competitive advantage.


Enables you to make informed business decisions based on real-time data.


Provides time and cost savings by enabling better route planning, faster procurement, optimal deployment and streamlined inventory and maintenance.


Decreases your overall business risk ad lowers your insurance premiums.


Gives you a fast return on investment as quickly as within 3 weeks and a better return on your Automotive asset investment.


Enables you to comply with laws, guidelines and Regulations.


Faster delivery, time to market and time to profit.


Improves testing and quality assurance.


Ensures the safety of key personnel who work in remote areas or at night.


Improves your user and customer experience.


Prevents theft and greatly increases the likelihood of recovery in the event of damage or theft.


Reduces downtime.


Creates a connected and fully integrated supply chain with responsibility and accountability that enables optimal asset utilisation.

Contact NFC Group


Our experts are waiting to answer your enquiries and help design a solution for you.

Call on 0330 223 5000

NFC Group location


Smarter Technologies Group 1 Austin Park, Yeoman Road, Ringwood, BH24 3FG, United Kingdom

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