Military Equipment Tracking – Defence Materiel Sustainment
Military equipment tracking in the air, land and sea armed forces is a big undertaking, that requires careful monitoring and a thorough plan to be successful. Many of today’s military and defence force organisations are dealing with increased equipment demands while infrastructure is reaching (or exceeding) useful life.
Defence materiel sustainment is about the maintenance and support of a defence’s fleets of specialist military equipment. Effective sustainment of naval, military and air assets is essential to preparedness and to enable organisations to conduct operations efficiently.
But with a constantly shifting supply chain and a lack of effective military inventory systems, delays and difficulties in logistics, operations, and other areas of business are inevitable.
Accurate Visibility into Resources
Military sector requirements evolve quickly, so keeping up with the latest obligations can be a challenge. Part of the difficulty comes from the need to maintain visibility of equipment, and know which items are ready for deployment, at any given time.
One of the best ways to improve visibility is to uniquely identify your property, plant and equipment, operating materials and supplies with a combination of RFID tags and/or barcode labels. Then keep your equipment register up to date with easy regular full and spot location equipment audits using a mobile device (online or offline).
In every troop deployment this century, DoD has been plagued by a major difficulty—the inability to see assets as they flow into a theatre and are in storage. This situation has led to direct and significant degradation in operational readiness.
When assets in the pipeline are not visible, they are difficult to manage. Property is lost, customers submit duplicate requisitions, superfluous material chokes the transportation system, and the cycle continues.
Military Equipment Tracking and Auditing
The ability to scan items in the field, and maintain up-to-date visibility in your equipment management system, provides the best possible platform from which to support operational objectives and other organisational needs. Work done on a mobile device should be able to quickly update the equipment database to:
- Improve inventory management and strategic purchasing
- Enable a clean audit/valuation
- Enable speedy and precise automatic data capture
- Enable capability-based operational readiness
- Lower life cycle management costs
- Enable reliable accountability and visibility
Access to Data with Limited Connection
In challenging environments where a connection is restricted or is non-existent, you need the capability to go offline in a non-connected state and store equipment data locally on your device.
For military and defence operations, using cutting-edge technology to maintain end-to-end visibility into available inventory and equipment is critical. Understanding where your items are located helps you to optimise their usage, and make informed decisions regarding deployment, maintenance, and storage.
Hardcat equipment tracking solutions for the military supports both Android and iOS mobility, in both connected and disconnected states. Data is downloaded to the mobile unit in a disconnected state allowing crews to perform audits, with the files being returned to base for processing into the Hardcat system. Users are able to complete inspections, view detailed equipment history, and easily track parts and labour in real-time or off-line mode.Hardcat MiCatX smartphone application
Operational Equipment Readiness to Support Activities
Having equipment data that you can trust is the only way to ensure that your equipment deployment can be fulfilled reliably and that you have equipment in good condition and available when you need them.
Conducting spot location audits (inventory counts) and comparing these figures with those in your equipment register improves your database accuracy at that location.
Making this a routine process and implementing improvements along the way will improve your equipment register accuracy and prepare you for full audits, making them quicker and easier to conduct.
RFID Equipment Tracking Technology
Valuable and mission-sensitive assets such as hard drives and other sensitive I.T. equipment need to be kept on careful watch. On the market, there are very small/thin passive Ultra High Frequency (UHF) transponders that can be affixed to hard drives, memory chips and other storage devices.
RFID technology contains two parts, namely, the tag and receiver modem. RFID tags can be attached to any type of item, even metal surfaces and key personnel you wish, to track and monitor their movement in real time. Scanning or reading RFID equipment tags can be performed via two pathways:
RFID tag tracking via fixed readers (automated)
When an RFID tag comes in the range of a receiver (usually fixed to doorways), the tag gets activated and transmits its unique identification (UID) code to the receiver module. This fixed reader then passes this information onto the Hardcat software that records the location movement in your equipment database.
RFID tag tracking thru handheld readers
For mobility, a hand-held RFID reader can be used so that you can scan your equipment’s RFID tags on foot or while driving past in a vehicle (long-distance handheld readers). Different handheld scanners read RFID tags from varying distances, whilst scanning more than one tag at a time will reduce the manpower and time taken to keep your equipment register up-to-date.
The major benefits of using RFID tags is that they do not require line of sight to be registered, can be hidden inside assets and can be placed on metal. Being able to read/scan more than one tag at a time reduces audit and inventory count times.RFID parachute tagging reduces audit time by over 90%
RFID Sentinel for Container Contents Tracking
RFID sentinel for assets, personnel and equipment tracking solutions help to manage information such as item quantities, personnel assignments/movement and maintenance needs. The purpose of Hardcat RFID Sentinel monitoring systems is to track the movement of physical assets and personnel via RFID and GPS technologies.
Simply put, an RFID tag is attached to an item and a record is created in the asset register. This can be performed locally, on a server or in the cloud. The item is then deployed to a location. When the item is subsequently moved, the fixed RFID readers will pick up the item(s) RFID tag(s) and the person when they move out of the container. Signalling movement, Hardcat then records the check-out and creates an audit trail and chain of custody. This process is then recorded again when personnel return item(s) to the container, providing a further audit trail.
Hardcat Military Equipment Tracking Software
An excessive amount of a defence department budget is taken up with equipment maintenance, re-purchasing, loss, damage, and theft of critical assets and equipment. Hardcat’s equipment tracking solutions, with real-time data, reporting and alerts will help combat these challenges.
Hardcat software solutions enable you to save invaluable time and money and take full control and accountability for all your vehicles, equipment, key personnel, technology, boats/ships, medical supplies, container units and their contents.
Hardcat’s equipment management solution has been selected by the following maritime organisations due to its flexibility, ease of use and most importantly certainty when it matters. Having worked with maritime organisations for over 10 years, Hardcat knows what is required, just ask our clients.
Maritime Organisations Using Hardcat Solutions
Benefits of using Hardcat Military Equipment Tracking Software
Using manual equipment tracking processes, such as spreadsheets (which are proven to be prone to human error), will result in the various departments spending more on new equipment items that were not needed, storing old inventory that is now out of date and ready for disposal.
Hardcat solutions will seamlessly link people, vehicles, equipment, vessels, and medical supplies, even in the most remote locations outside of cellular range.
Equipment information needs to be highly accurate and available to all relevant personnel, not just to people who are responsible for equipment and inventory stores. Automating your equipment tracking eliminates the risk of human error and the potential for fraudulent data to be entered.
To list some of the benefits:
- Preventative maintenance (predictive via sensors)
- Automated processes to eliminate manual data entry
- Increased visibility and accountability
- Integration with existing information systems
- Track any item whether it is I.T. equipment, tools, documents, people, armoury, boats, or vehicles
- Compliance with the acquisition, storage, maintenance, and disposal of assets
- Containers and their contents; tracking, monitoring movement
- Fuel and temperature monitoring via sensor tags
Use Cases for Hardcat Military Equipment Tracking Software
The ability of Hardcat to automate inventory and control processes, while maintaining accuracy and reliability, is a critical force multiplier across air, land and sea sectors, in supporting manpower efficiency initiatives.
To list some of the potential use cases:
- Issue and return tools, equipment and reusable PPE
- Identify installed instances of a component; for replacement/review due to a manufacturer alert
- Capturing job card information on the issuance of calibrated tools
- Hazardous material control
- Classified material accountability
- Calibration tracking
- Armoury and force protection equipment inventory and maintenance
- Ammunition administration and accountability
- Supply material storage and inventory
- Aircraft detachment pack-up-kit inventory
- Engine maintenance tool control program
- Computer and IT equipment inventory and control
- Repair locker inventory and maintenance
- Life-saving equipment inventory and maintenance
The Best Equipment Tracking Software for the Defence Forces
Create certainty around the tracking of highly sensitive items and valuable equipment. Tell us what you want to achieve, and we will deliver a demonstration relevant to your objectives and come up with a plan for everything you need to get started.
Hardcat solutions are MOTS (Military Off-The-Shelf) products that can be purchased and used immediately.
Highly Scalable and Easily Configurable
Call +61 3 9695 5400