7 RFID Tracking Facts you Need to Know
RFID tracking utilises wireless technology and radio frequency waves to transfer data and help businesses to monitor assets. Today, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) can be seen as a beneficial business technological and is often used to track and protect a company’s assets.
If you’ve used contactless payment or scanned your biometric passport, then you’ve also used RFID technology. Some supermarkets are even trialling the technology as an easier way to checkout your shopping.
In fact, RFID tracking technology is already used in lots of industries. Including:
- Industry and logistics
- Location and condition monitoring
- Fuelling automation
- Internet of Things
- Animal identification
- Smart buildings
- Pharmaceutical industry and healthcare
- IT and technology tracking
7 Key Facts About RFID Tracking
Managing and locating assets in the workplace can be challenging. And time spent hunting down essential equipment can lead to delays that lead to missed deadlines and wasted time.
But, is an RFID tracking system right for your business? Below, we’ve listed seven key facts about RFID tracking technology that can be found in most modern asset tracking software, to help you decide.
1. There are different types of RFID tracking technology
One type of RFID tracking technology is Passive RFID. This uses high-power readers that send out a low-frequency, high-power radio frequency signal to battery-free tags. The tag then transmits a coded message to the reader at another frequency.
Passive RFID technology is most commonly used to deter theft and keep track of inventory. It’s also a cheaper alternative to other RFID technology and has been available for longer.
Another type is Active RFID, which uses battery-operated tags that are in constant communication with access points or readers. These access points effectively “check-in” at intervals and transmit the location of each tagged item to a gateway.
2. You can use RFID asset tracking even if you’re not sure where an item is
If you need to monitor the real-time location of an asset within a building, most active RFID readers can detect a tag further than 100 feet away. Whereas passive RFID can usually only read tags around 3-15 feet away.
With clever use of a few reference points and a reader, you could even detect an area of around 10,000 feet with active RFID. This is great for tracking a shared resource or asset, or one that’s used in different locations.
3. Easier to use than barcode tracking technology
The challenge with barcodes is that they need to be scanned individually whilst in close proximity to the scanner. But, with RFID technology, this isn’t the case. RFID technology allows a batch of items to be identified as it moves past a scanning point or within reach of a mobile reader.
Though barcode tracking systems are an easier solution than searching for individual serial numbers on equipment, RFID is even simpler.
By integrating RFID tracking technology with a wireless LAN, assets can be identified and located remotely in seconds. This can cut down inventory times significantly and enhance productivity.
Unlike barcodes, information stored on an RFID tag stays “readable” in extreme production or operational environments.
4. RFID has been around for a while!
You may not know this, but RFID technology has been around for a while. In fact, it was first used in World War II to work out whether incoming planes were friends or foe.
The technology has since improved over the years, and the cost of implementing and using an RFID tracking system continues to decrease. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to do a full cost analysis before deciding to use a RFID system to ensure that you’re getting a return on your investment.
5. Different regions have different regulations when it comes to RFID tracking
Individual countries put their own rules in place to regulate the frequency and range of transmissions, power levels of radio frequency emissions and types of readers and tags. So, it’s important to check that any RFID system you put in place meets with local regulations.
6. RFID can improve an asset’s life cycle
You can store critical service information on the assets themselves with RFID. This means that you can manage an asset’s lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal, much more effectively. This means no more relying on manuals or serial numbers to try and glean that information.
You can even integrate sensors and GPS technology to provide data on asset condition, as well as location.
7. RFID could improve asset security
An efficient use of most RFID tracking systems is the ability to set your own parameters. This can allow you to receive real-time alerts if assets are moved to unauthorised locations or even removed from the building where they’re located.
Whereas, with a barcode or serial number system, you may not know that an asset had been moved or was missing until it’s too late.
Where do you go from here?
The next thing to do is to search, compare and shortlist the right asset tracking software for your business needs with our free questionnaire.