RFID: Your One-stop Asset Tracking Solution
By The Custella Team
Why is RFID Asset Tracking Essential?
Organizing and keeping track of valuable assets is a fundamental issue for most businesses. Oftentimes, looking for essential equipment can wind up causing inefficiency such as delays and buffer time, failing to meet customer commitments, and wrong forecast of labor.
Businesses have commonly addressed this obstacle by maintaining assets using spreadsheets and serial numbers, or tracking tools with barcode numbers. These methods, however, require manual labor. A more efficient way of asset management is by making use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to automate the tracking process of your assets.
Using electromagnetic fields to transfer data from an RFID tag to a reader, an RFID asset tracking system gets the job done in the fastest manner. RFID can ensure precise and real-time data for fixed and mobile assets be it for important items in multi-story buildings, large hospitals, factories, oil fields, and so forth.
The Two Types of RFID Tags
RFID tags are of two common types: active and passive. Whether you choose one or the other will depend on what your goals are and the type of attributes you are looking for.
1. Passive RFID Tags
These are one of the two types of RFID tags that are smaller and more affordable compared to active tags. Their read ranges are shorter.
How Do Passive RFID Tags Function?
RFID tags are essentially powered by the antennas which transmit radio frequency energy. The frequency from the antenna is used to energize the tag and send it back to the reader.
What Are the Usage of Passive RFID Tags?
Compared to the active tags, passive RFID tags are far more flexible and inexpensive. It can be stuck with a variety of objects. The UHF (ultra-high frequency) passive tags are normally used to track consumer goods and items of pharmaceuticals.
2. Active RFID Tags
The other type of RFID tag is the active tag. It is bigger and more pricey compared to passive tags. However, it has a wider range of reading capability – it can cover up to 100m. It is to be noted that active tags do not last as long as passive tags do.
Beacons and transponders are the two types of active RFID tags. Beacons transmit a signal at a predetermined interval and transponders prevent high battery usage by “waking up” when they get the radio signal.
How Do Active RFID Tags Function?
Oftentimes, active RFID tags have a built-in battery and its own transmitter. They are usually UHF solutions.
What Are the Usage of Active RFID Tags?
Active tags are able to analyze humidity, temperature, and light intensity. These features make them a perfect fit for adverse environmental conditions. Large objects are such as trucks and other vehicles are tracked using active RFID.
What is the Right RFID Tag?
Thanks to the advancement in technology, a multitude of tags are currently available that can be used in damp environments or metal objects. These tags can even withstand harsh environments, chemical pollutants, and extreme temperatures. So, so you have to select the right RFID tag based on your data necessities, types of items, and your environment.
Asset Tracking Automated
Staff can now simply scan multiple asset tags without the need to see them if there is a portable RFID reader built in a mobile computer. Initially, agents would have to point a scanner at the barcode label in order to get the result. This would turn into a grueling task, in some cases, when they would have to climb ladders in order to reach the assets that are difficult to reach. RFID makes life easier by enabling us to accurately scan from a distance. This also means an increase in efficiency – your employees can scan various objects in a matter of seconds.
In remote locations, it can be difficult to maintain a connection with a database or a back-end application to store information regarding items. To tackle this issue, RFID tags can come with larger built-in memory limits that can store information about the asset. This helps the field technicians to read and collect the data via a mobile computer.
Although barcoding, in contrast to manual labor, enables an efficient way of keeping track of assets, an RFID asset tracking system can provide more value over barcoding. Such benefits include:
- Scanning multiple items at the same time. A single employee can inventory the entire room within minutes.
- An improvement in the asset life cycle management because information can now be stored in the assets.
- GPS attached to RFID tags that let users locate items and receive data about asset conditions.
- Items located instantly with the help of a wireless LAN.
- Real-time notification regarding the unauthorized movement of assets.
The automated tracking system with RFID has made tracking of items easier than ever. It is the complete solution to tracking your inventory via an automated system which, furthermore, reduces time consumption and cost.
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