When the internet of things (IoT) was invented, one of the most revolutionary technological advances was the invention of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
RFID enabled technology offers extreme efficiency to businesses that handle massive volumes of physical assets on a daily basis. For this reason, RFID technology has spread like wildfire across many industries around the world.
What Is RFID?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that uses radio waves capture to capture digital data encoded in scannable tags, also called smart labels which are similar to barcodes.
RFID allows a device to scan data from a tag and save it in a secure database, located either in an on-premises server, cloud server or both.
A common example of RFID technology is a GPS tracker used by vehicle tracking companies to locate multiple lost or stolen vehicles simultaneously.
What Is RFID Asset Tracking?
In today’s world, RFID Asset Tracking has become the holy grail of technologies that bridges physical reality with virtual reality. It enables people and businesses to manage and locate their physical assets using automation instead of manual search.
Some of the things we take for granted in everyday life are backed by RFID technology of varying complexities. Common examples include high-frequency RFID scanners used to claim lost baggage at airports and compute large inventory volumes at warehouses of retail businesses.
RFID tracking vs Barcoding
RFID scanners are often confused with barcode scanners. Although both seem to function in the same manner, there is one fundamental difference between them.
Barcode scanners are designed to detect one item at a time whereas RFID trackers can detect multiple items simultaneously.
How Does RFID Asset Tracking Work?
RFID asset tracking systems, although expensive, are not difficult to run. They require a few pieces of equipment in order to function.
- RFID tags or smart labels
- an antenna
- an RFID scanner, either portable or stationary, placed at the asset tracking location
- a computer at the tracking location with RFID asset tracking software installed in it
After placing the equipment where it is needed, a few steps need to be followed for RFID asset tracking to work.
- each RFID tag is stored with data using a unique identifier called an Electronic Product Code (EPC)
- an antenna is used to detect RFID labels at far-off distances
- an RFID scanner and antenna are wirelessly connected to enable remote data recognition and storage
- data is transmitted through the RFID scanner to a secure database for storage, evaluation and other uses
Setting up and implementing RFID asset tracking systems is straightforward. However, the equipment used comes in various degrees of complexity for intended uses.
Passive RFID Tags
These asset tags have several key characteristics listed below.
- powered by RFID scanners only
- relatively lower signal detection range
- longer useful life
- small in size
Inventory management, personnel tracking and supply chain management are the most common areas in which passive RFID tags are used.
Active RFID Tags
This type of RFID tag lies at the other end of the spectrum. Let’s go over its key features.
- relatively higher signal detection range
- shorter useful life
- relatively larger in size
- heavier than passive RFID tags
Active RFID tags are mostly used for vehicle tracking, tolling and livestock control.
Semi Passive RFID Tags
As the name suggests, semi passive RFID tags are a hybrid of passive and active RFID tags. Their features are listed below.
- powered by a built-in battery as well as an RFID scanner
- limited useful life compared to a passive RFID tag
- lower signal detection range compared to an active RFID tag
Semi passive RFID tags are primarily used in environmental monitoring such as temperature-controlled transport where assets remain within the RFID reader’s range.
What are the benefits of using RFID Asset Tracking Software?
When it comes to businesses that operate at mass scales, RFID asset tracking software has several high-impact advantages that outdo barcoding by every means. Let’s go over them.
RFID asset tracking is designed to detect physical assets located as far as 250 feet away from the RFID scanner. This is what enables businesses such as car tracking service providers and logistics companies to locate vehicles at far off locations.
RFID wins over barcoding in this area. Barcoding only permits one item to be scanned at a time whereas RFID asset tracking technology is designed to scan hundreds of smart labels simultaneously.
High-volume Data Processing
RFID asset tracking software can recognize and store large amounts of data within minutes, saving businesses a great deal of time and human effort compared to barcoding.
Unlike barcoding, RFID asset management comes with highly secure systems that are encrypted and password-protected, preventing unauthorized user access.
High label durability
RFID labels are durable enough to withstand and even work in harsh weather conditions such as thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. This makes RFID asset tracking ideal for cars and other vehicles exposed to adverse climates.
Last but not least, RFID technology only requires a one-time setup with rare postoperative interventions whereas barcoding requires repeated manual input to generate, tag and scan labels.
What are the common uses of RFID Asset Tracking?
RFID Asset Tracking Software is used in many different industries for various purposes. Here are some common uses of RFID asset tracking:
- GPS tracking to detect lost or stolen vehicles within defined radii
- Personnel tracking to monitor the whereabouts of people in high-security zones
- RFID inventory management at retailers’ warehouses
- Baggage identification and tracking at airports
- Monitoring of product flows in supply chain management
How to choose the best RFID Asset Tracking Software For A Business
Choosing the right RFID Asset Tracking software comes down to matching the technology with the needs of the business. Ideally, businesses should choose one that’s integratable with business intelligence software to enable ad hoc reporting of the data stored in the RFID asset tracker’s database.
One undeniable benefit for businesses that acquire such advanced technology is that they’ll be equipped to make informed decisions quickly, as and when needed.
In case you’re wondering which business intelligence software businesses should opt for, DotNet Report serves as the ideal one for RFID asset management.
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Conclusion (50 words)Are you looking for a business intelligence engine to integrate with your RFID asset tracking software? Schedule a demo with DotNet Report now!