Managing and Tracking Fixed Assets Via RFID
Radio Frequency-Identification technology (RFID) involves a tag affixed to a product which identifies and tracks the product via radio waves. These tags can carry up to 2,000 bytes of data. This technology has three parts: a scanning antenna, a transceiver with a decoder to interpret the data and a transponder (RFID tag) pre-set with information. The scanning antenna sends out a radio-frequency signal providing a means of communication with the RFID tag. When the RFID tag passes through the frequency field of the scanning antenna; it detects the activation signal and can transfer the information data in holds to be picked up by the scanning antenna.
RFID are small tags having unique information granting assets a unique identity and setting them apart from each other. They can be attached onto any object very easily as there are many sizes and shapes that makes it compatible to fitting with any form of objects may be.
In contrast to the barcode, RFID can be read from a distance (about 300ft away) and regardless of the tag being exposed or concealed. It is not necessary for the tag to be aligned in a direct line with the scanner. Furthermore, RFID tag cannot be damaged under any harsh circumstances, as they endure high levels of pressure, temperature and environmental conditions making it easier to scan the tags.
RFID also posses the factor of being extremely secure, as the data can be encrypted, protected by a password or even has the “kill” feature to remove data permanently before violating the confidentiality of the information. Unlike the barcode, RFID tags contain vast more information like the manufacturer, the time for product maintenance, shipping histories and expiry dates.
By automating data collection, RFID technology vastly reduces both human effort and error. Because RFID technology reads multiple tags at once without requiring a direct line of site as previously mentioned, people are able to quickly and accurately locate assets without scanning labels one-by-one.
The ubiquitous bar code automated the process and allowed people to scan individual items using a handheld scanner. RFID is the next generation of technology and allows users to scan multiple items at one time and does not require line of sight. Unlike barcodes, RFID and Bluetooth Smart systems, including tags, readers and software, enable personnel to locate tagged items without climbing ladders, crawling under desks, or having to be in direct line of sight.
When talking about managing and track the inventory via RFID system, one must be fully aware of all the advantages of such a system. The evolution of asset tracking technology has made taking inventory faster and more efficient compared with the conventional methods where human error in data-capture limited the effectiveness and proved to be very costly and time consuming. However, with the implementing of RFID the case is totally different. Many companies are integrating RFID technology into their strategic planning because it proved itself in time reduction, accuracy (less than 1% error margin) and being cost effective which works perfectly for business owners. Implementing an RFID system helps improve the management process a great deal where every asset is assembled with an RFID tag that contains all the information. The information that is collected with RFID can lead to remarkable improvements as the tracking and handling of the assets can be done in real-time and with great accuracy. Needless to say that there are far more benefits obtained by RFID implementation into supply chain and logistics operations than just improving identification of fixed assets. With time, more people will be fully aware of the whole set of the advantages RFID system offers and how well they will be able to manage and track all sort of products with high efficacy and efficiency.