RFID Asset Tracking is a technology that helps you monitor the location and status of your company’s physical assets. For the RFID tracking system to work effectively, RFID tracking tags must be attached to all of the physical assets you are wanting to monitor. Depending on the nature of your business, physical assets can be products, equipment, tools, animals, vehicles or even people, for example.
RFID asset tracking system helps companies improve the visibility of their mobile and fixed assets by enabling them to automate asset inventory audits, locate assets, and track the movement of assets in real-time. In the past, asset tracking has relied highly on manual processes, but with advances in technology, asset tracking software has become a huge advantage for businesses. It not only eliminates manual labour costs, but also reduces wasted time, energy and expenses.
At a simple level, RFID tracking systems consist of four components:
An RFID Asset Tracking Software like AssetTrak, Operates on radio frequency communication to receive data wirelessly from RFID tags. These tags are placed on the assets that need to be tracked. Inside each RFID tag, there is an antenna which a handheld reader or fixed reader can read from a distance. The information is then collected from the tags and is then transferred through a communications interface to a host computer system, where the data (for example: asset name, location, quantity, owner) can be stored in a database and analysed.
RFID tracking technology is used in different applications all over the world across many industries. The advanced technology provides exciting opportunities to enhance organisational, financial, and operational performance.
Active RFID tags include a transmitter and a battery as a power source, built together into a single unit. Unlike passive RFID tags that simply contain an antenna and a microchip without an internal power supply, an active RFID tag has its own power supply, which is usually an integrated long-life battery that allows the tag to transmit data continuously and uninterruptedly, regardless of whether or not it is in the field of action of a reader. Active RFID is commonly used for real-time location tracking.
In between active and passive RFID tags are semi-passive tags. Semi-passive RFID tags look more like passive tags in terms of size and ease of manufacture, but like active tags, they incorporate a power source — usually a small, eco-friendly battery — to improve data transmission. The end result is a tag that offers many of the benefits of active RFID tags, but at a price point that’s closer to a passive tag. Like active tags, semi-passive RFID tags are limited by battery life.
On the other hand, passive RFID tags rely on the tag reader to supply power. The energy to activate the chip comes only from the outer wave created by the antenna and the RFID reader in the vicinity. The reading range is limited by the transmitted power density needed to reach enough voltage for the tag to activate.
A low frequency RFID tag allows you to cover frequencies from 30 to 300 kHz (Kilohertz). They have a short reading range, about 10cm. They have a slower speed of reading than high frequencies. Low frequency RFID tags are well suited for environments with metal and water. The application for this frequency is commonly focused on access control and traceability of animals (livestock).
High frequency RFID tags cover frequencies from 3 to 30 MHz. They have a reading range between 10 cm and 1 meter. High frequency can be useful in moisture conditions, and they are also helpful in making payment and ticket applications. For quick data transfer, this technology can be effective.
Ultra-high frequency range covers from 300 MHz to 3 GHz (Gigahertz), however the UHF RFID standard only uses the range from 860MHz to 960MHz depending on the region. UHF RFID can cover up to 12 meters and transfer data more quickly than low & high-frequency RFID tags. Applications for this frequency are typically focused on Education, Field Service (HVAC, Refrigeration, Electrical), Construction, Manufacturing, Transportation and pharmaceuticals.
Managing your company's physical assets should always be a priority if you want to improve your business operations. However, it can be hard to achieve high success if you use manual tracking systems.
RFID asset tracking technology will give you real-time data on all your assets, thus improving your organisation’s efficiency.
Is it time to start using RFID asset tracking and inventory management in your business?
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