Digita’s IoT network provides an easy and inexpensive means of locating lost or stolen tools and vehicles.

Construction sites and workplaces across the world spend unreasonable amounts of valuable time looking for lost tools and other items – so much so that Finnish company Kiho set out to develop a new technology for businesses to locate items of all sizes, from handheld equipment to vehicles. The locator functions by means of the so-called Internet of Things, in other words Digita’s IoT network.

Lari Tirkkonen, CBDO at Kiho, explains that in the past, locators were used mainly to track expensive vehicles. With Digita’s network, however, the technology has expanded to items such as handheld tools.

“Any item can be located. The battery-operated locator devices are easy to install and cost-effective. In other words, even less valuable tools and items are worth connecting.”

Tirkkonen says that in many businesses, lost items amount to a surprisingly large expenditure. Mobilising personnel resources to search for a lost item is anything but inexpensive.

“For example, if a company has only one laser measuring tool in use, losing it will result in a very costly chain reaction: the employee in need of the device will call five others for assistance, after which all six will spend half the day searching for the item. Compare this with the average cost of a single employee’s work day. The time wasted on the search is incredible valuable. Often, the search also turns out fruitless and a new tool must be leased or purchased. By equipping devices with IoT-connected locators, this chain reaction can be avoided.”

Tirkkonen points out that until a locator service is in use, businesses may not even be aware of lost or stolen equipment and machinery.

“Companies are then puzzled over the high equipment costs,” Tirkkonen says.

Simplifying simple tasks

With the use of Digita’s network, Kiho collects data transmitted over the Internet by devices and provides its clients with a cloud-based user interface that allows data to be used for reports, payrolls and invoicing.

“We help simplify simple tasks by eliminating the need to manually input figures and information. No more need to draft reports, pore over forms and worry about losing data,” Tirkkonen explains.

“By connecting equipment to Digita’s network, their utilisation rate is improved and maintenance and inspections optimised. For example, trailers are able to themselves request a tyre change or mileage maintenance.

A container equipped with a locator, for instance, can announce its location to the supplier in order to be retrieved as soon as it is emptied. This improves the utilisation rate of containers and reduces capital expenditure.”

AI and processing vast amounts of data

Due to the enormous volume of data collected for analysis, Kiho employs the use of artificial intelligence.

“With data flowing from each and every drilling tool, humans can no longer keep up with the analysis. For this reason, we have brought AI on board. It allows us to sift massive data flows to detect and highlight issues that are abnormal and require human attention. We can also use AI to combine data from several sources. For example, we can detect if a device connected to Digita’s network is moving away from a site without any of the company’s employees nearby.”

Kiho also strives to continuously discover new productive uses for the collected data. Data produced by devices connected to Digita’s network is shared between companies.

“A single Digita device may provide benefits for one or several of our clients. What’s important is to ensure that all data from various sources is available through a single service in a standardised format.”

Efficiency increased by up to ten percent

Kiho is able to present tangible figures on how its services have improved work efficiency.

“In the forest industry, for example, real-time working hours monitoring revealed how much lumber forestry machines were producing. Thanks to monitoring, efficiency was improved by up to ten percent, hugely increasing profits,” Tirkkonen says.

In addition to the formidable figures, Kiho has received much praise for its services. As Tirkkonen describes it, the services provided by Kiho both simplify clients’ work and afford more free time.

“An earthmoving business owner called us saying that at no price would he go back to dealing with mountains of red tape. He complained about needing to work long hours into the night trying to untangle papers and reports. By reducing the time wasted on paperwork and worrying, we effectively sold the business owner more free time. Another entrepreneur messaged us telling that for the first time in his life, he was on holiday in Spain instead of sitting at home writing invoices.”