Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has changed how companies in different sectors manage and monitor their valuable assets. Businesses can easily keep track of their expensive equipment, products, and other important materials by leveraging RFID asset-tracking technology. Read on to learn more about how RFID asset tracking works and its potential benefits.
Why Is Asset Tracking Important?
For most organizations, managing and locating valuable assets is a necessary challenge. Asset tracking consists of tracking the movement and location of physical assets, such as equipment, tools, and inventory.
One of the primary reasons why asset tracking is crucial to facilities management is that misplacing vital equipment can lead to costly delays, missed deadlines, and wasted labor. Faulty tracking methods, like spreadsheets or barcodes, can lead to errors and inaccurate data, often resulting in lost assets. Losing assets can be a significant problem for businesses, especially those in the manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation industries.
Asset tracking assists businesses in keeping track of their assets and minimizes the risk of losing them. With accurate asset tracking, companies can reduce costs and increase productivity. Additionally, asset tracking can help businesses make informed decisions about maintenance, replacement, and disposal, saving them money in the long run.
What Is RFID Asset Tracking?
RFID asset tracking is an effective tool for businesses that need to track their physical assets. RFID asset tracking uses radio frequency technology from RFID tags and readers to improve efficiency over traditional tracking methods. RFID tracking automates the management and locating of physical assets across an organization, meaning there is no longer a need to rely on manual tracking methods, such as serial numbers and spreadsheets.
In a nutshell, RFID tracking involves loading an RFID tag with data and attaching that tag to an asset. The RFID tag usually features the asset’s name, condition, quantity, and location. An RFID reader captures the data stored on the tag using the tag’s radio waves. Next, the reader collects the data into an asset tracking system, where it is monitored, sometimes in real-time. This asset-tracking method enables organizations to locate misplaced assets and maximize inventory accuracy. RFID technology provides accurate tracking data for fixed and mobile assets, significantly cutting down the need for manual labor. RFID asset tracking helps businesses streamline asset management processes and increase operational efficiencies.
How Does RFID Asset Tracking Work?
RFID asset tracking uses radio frequency identification technology to automatically track and manage physical assets. RFID technology includes several components that work together to provide accurate tracking data for fixed and mobile assets. The components include RFID tags, antennas, RFID readers, and a computer database with asset-tracking software.
RFID tags are electronic devices that store data with an Electronic Product Code (EPC). They come in three different types: passive, active, or semi-passive. Passive tags require no internal power source and use the energy from the RFID reader to power the tag. On the other hand, active tags rely on a battery for power and can transmit a signal over longer distances. Semi-passive tags are a combination of the two, as they use an internal battery to power the tag’s circuitry but still rely on an RFID reader for communication.
RFID tags must be attached to a physical asset or product. When the item is in the proximity of an antenna, the antenna recognizes the signal of the RFID tag. The RFID reader is connected wirelessly to the antenna and receives the data found on the RFID tag. The RFID reader transmits this data to an asset-tracking database, where assets are stored and evaluated.
The tracking software stores all the information captured by the RFID reader, including the asset’s location, condition, and quantity. The asset tracking software can then provide regular updates on the location of assets.
Types of RFID Asset Tracking Tags
RFID tags come in three classes: passive, semi-passive, and active. Each type of RFID tag has unique features and benefits that make it suitable for different applications.
Active RFID Tags
Active RFID tags use batteries to transmit a signal continuously. Active tags typically track assets in real-time, such as vehicle tracking, tolling, and container tracking. Active RFID tags have a signal range of up to 150 meters, depending on the frequency. They are more expensive than passive RFID tags but offer greater functionality.
Passive RFID Tags
Passive RFID tags do not have an internal power source and require signals from RFID readers or antennas. Passive tags are great for tracking inventory, supply chain management, and access control. Passive RFID tags have a lower signal range than active RFID tags but have a longer lifespan. They are also small, lightweight, and inexpensive compared to active RFID tags.
Semi-Passive RFID Tags
Semi-passive RFID tags feature an internal battery, antenna, and RFID chip. Semi-passive RFID tags have a lower signal range compared to active tags but offer extended functionality. The battery in a semi-passive RFID tag enables the use of extra features like real-time tracking and sensors. Semi-passive RFID tags are effective within a close distance of a tag reader and typically monitor environmental conditions, such as temperature-controlled transit and storage.
How Pycube Can Help
For many companies across different industries, RFID technology has simplified asset tracking and management. By using RFID tags for asset management, companies can easily keep a pulse on their expensive equipment, products, and other pieces of the supply chain. RFID asset tracking technology can help reduce labor costs and streamline operations, making it a noticeable upgrade from traditional barcode scanners and spreadsheets.
With SyncSens, Pycube’s RFID asset tracking solutions, you can track the movement of physical assets throughout your facilities and use this data to improve efficiency across inventory management systems and your entire business. Contact us for more information to get started.