Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Aruba and ZF integrate asset tracking

Steve Rogerson
August 21, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise subsidiary Aruba and Openmatics, ZF's connectivity specialist, have joined forces to integrate their asset tracking and IT infrastructure capabilities with the goals of simpler logistics management and cost savings of up to 20 per cent.
In production and logistics, the networked dispatching of vehicles and intelligent systems to control goods has become a key success factor for many companies. Openmatics provides several benefits in this area with its asset tracking system DeTagtive Logistics. Aruba brings wifi access points to the partnership.
“Through this cooperation, we have moved one step closer to our vision of an intelligently networked world,” said Thomas Rösch, chief executive officer of Openmatics. “With Aruba, we have found an agile partner that perfectly complements our connectivity expertise.”
The DeTagtive Logistics concept works independently from vehicle and component manufacturers. It optimises processes in industry, retail and logistics and makes them transparent. In particular, it enables efficient yard and process management.
BLE tags – small Bluetooth radio units that track inventory or asset movement – help with this.
Currently, these data capture a dedicated network of tag finders that are used in the entire plant. Openmatics and Aruba are now leveraging the opportunity to reduce costs for asset tracking using Aruba’s wifi access points. These are used instead of the previous finders to gather data and forward it to the DeTagtive cloud application for processing.
When this collaboration is complete, companies can access the network as well as the asset tracking using a shared IT infrastructure. This can reduce cabling, installation and work costs, which can help users experience cost savings of up to a fifth.
This technology can deliver benefits for companies that wish to take advantage of Aruba’s proven infrastructure.
“In many companies, especially in the automotive industry, Aruba’s access points have already become standard,” said Rösch. “Now, they can quickly and easily upgrade their existing infrastructure and thereby use the innovative asset tracking from Openmatics.”
Openmatics and Aruba offer additional advantages in terms of a rapid return on investment, as no new hardware and software components are required for integration. One software update is sufficient. ZF is already using this at six locations with another four at pilot phase.
In 2016, ZF chose Aruba as its strategic supplier following a global wifi tender for the entire company.
“We are currently in the process of globally migrating our approximately 230 locations in 40 countries to Aruba,” said Alexander Piplies, IT project manager and wifi expert for ZF’s IT organisation. “This provides us a wifi infrastructure that optimally supports business and process requirements as well as new innovations.” 
ZF has a global workforce of 146,000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries. In 2017, it achieved sales of €36.4bn.