A recent visit to the University of Sheffield got me thinking…

Having spent several days, whilst doing some recent work, exploring some of the sprawling University of Sheffield research sites, I began to wonder how on earth they keep track of their equipment. Honestly, I saw hundreds of huge, expensive machines and I dread to think how many smaller items there are that I didn’t see but still need accounting for nevertheless! Every chair, table, computer, on their own, would add up to an incredible number of items that need to be accounted for including their location.

We were there to create virtual tours of many of their buildings and facilities – in the new, international age of university learning, it’s not so easy for potential students to turn up for the ‘open day’, or to just ‘pop-in for a look around’, the a virtual tour is an excellent way of allowing these students to explore an building from the comfort of their own home. Our virtual tours are an incredible immersive way of allowing someone to view the interior of a space – in fact, they’re often described as second only to being there in person in terms of the experience. For more information on virtual tours, visit the 360 Virtual View website

However, how is everything logged and tracked by such a behemoth of an organisation? A company in France called TechnoMark may have part of the solution. They provide dot peen machines and a great range of other industrial marking solutions to help businesses and organisations keep track of their inventory. If ‘dot peen’ is a new phrase to you, you will have probably, nevertheless seen the results – it’s where a word, sentence or code is physically etched onto an item using ‘dots’. These marked, unlike stickers, are impossible to remove and also difficult to cover up, and can provide you with a unique identifier for every item that need traceability. Other ways to mark items include using lasers, and scribing, and long with a robust computer-based solution, provide a great option in terms of keeping tally of all your assets when you’re looking at this on a huge scale!