How Does RFID Asset Tracking Work?
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How Does RFID Asset Tracking Work?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-03-16      Origin: Site


RFID technology now makes it possible to track any asset, whether mobile or stationary. RFID systems track objects by attaching tags to them.

Many asset tracking applications use this technology, including tool tracking, vehicle tracking, and inventory management.

RFID asset tracking is discussed in this article, as well as some of its benefits and challenges.

RFID Asset Tracking: What Is It?

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a revolutionary tracking technology that uses tiny radio tags to identify and track assets automatically. Contactless technology uses radio frequencies to communicate between tags and readers.

RFID tags are the heart of an RFID system. They contain a microchip that stores information about the asset. The data can include the asset's location, history, or owner, as well as a unique identifier.

RFID systems work best when the tags are read by RFID readers. This device emits radio waves and reads the data on the chip of the tag. Data from the reader is then sent to a computer, which can track the asset in real-time.

RFID technology has several advantages over traditional asset tracking methods, such as barcodes. The speed and distance at which RFID tags can be read makes them ideal for tracking moving assets.

RFID tags can also be read without being in line of sight of the reader, thus increasing their flexibility. As RFID tags communicate with the reader via radio waves, barcodes require a clear line of sight to function, while RFID tags use radio waves.

RFID Tag Types for Assets

A variety of RFID tags are available to suit different tracking applications. Following is the classification:

Functionality (power source)

  • Tags that are active

Active tags are commonly used on mobile assets, such as vehicles. Batteries power the tag's circuitry, allowing it to broadcast a signal periodically.

As a result of this consistent signal broadcast, active tags are much easier to track. Their long read range of up to 100m makes them ideal for tracking long-distance assets.

Active tags, however, are more expensive and require more maintenance than passive tags. Periodically, batteries need to be replaced, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Due to the battery, active tags are also bulkier than passive tags. As a result, they are less suitable for tracking smaller assets.

  • Tags that are passive

The most common type of RFID tag is a passive tag. Instead of a battery, RFID tags are powered by the energy emitted by the RFID reader.

Passive tags are much cheaper than active tags because of this. Smaller and more durable, they are ideal for tracking smaller assets.

Passive tags, however, have a shorter read range than active tags. They can only be read from a distance of 10 meters.As a result, they are not suitable for tracking assets over long distances due to this limitation.

Passive tags can also be read only when they are within the range of an RFID reader. For their location to be updated, they must periodically be brought close to the reader.

Frequency-based classification

  • Tags with low frequency (LF)

The 125KHz RFID cards operate between 30 kHz and 300 kHz. In use for decades, they are the oldest type of RFID tag.

The short read range of LF tags can limit their use for assets. In a warehouse, for example, they are ideal for tracking assets near the reader.

Moreover, these tags are not affected by metallic or other materials that can interfere with RFID signals. As a result, they are well suited to tracking assets in challenging environments.

  • Tags with high frequencies (HF)

Radio frequencies between 3MHz and 30MHz are used by HF tags. The tags can be read from a greater distance than LF tags. Consequently, they are ideal for tracking assets over long distances, such as in supply chains.

In addition, these tags are inexpensive, making them ideal for large-scale deployments. In addition, they are small and have different form factors, so they are easy to attach to assets.

HF RFID cards, however, are more susceptible to interference than LF tags. The reason for this is that they operate at higher frequencies, which are more easily disrupted by metallic materials.

  • Tags with ultra-high frequencies (UHF)

Radio frequencies between 300MHz and 3GHz are used for UHF tags. Among all RFID tags, they have the longest read range. They are ideal for tracking assets over long distances, such as in a supply chain.

860-960MHz UHF RFID cards can also be read very quickly. Real-time tracking of large numbers of assets is therefore possible with them.

Nevertheless, UHF tags are more susceptible to interference than LF or HF tags. Due to this, they are not suitable for tracking assets in difficult environments (metallic & wet).

Get a metal mount RFID tag if you want to benefit from the benefits without compromising on functionality. Despite being modified for even the most challenging environments, these types still offer all the features of UHF tags.

RFID Asset Tracking: How Does It Work?

Asset tracking with RFID tags helps organizations keep track of their valuable assets. A step-by-step explanation of RFID asset tracking follows:

  • RFID tags can be purchased. Tags must be chosen for your assets. You must choose the RFID tag that is most suitable for your needs since there are different types. UHF tags are ideal if you need to track assets over long distances, for example.

  • RFID tags should be attached to assets. You must attach RFID tags to your assets once you have chosen the right tags. For small tags, adhesive can be used, and for larger tags, screws can be used.

  • RFID readers should be installed. An RFID reader is required to read the tags attached to your assets. For you to choose the right RFID reader, you must critically evaluate your needs. Handheld RFID readers are ideal for tracking assets in real-time. Alternatively, if you only need to track assets periodically, you can use a fixed RFID reader.

  • Asset tracking software can be used to track assets. The next step is to add your assets to an asset tracking software once you have attached RFID tags to your assets and installed an RFID reader.

  • Real-time tracking of assets. Real-time asset tracking is now possible with asset tracking software. You will be able to see the location of each asset and when it was last viewed using the software.

The process of tracking assets using RFID tags is quite straightforward. A RFID solution provider can guide you through the entire process and ensure that your tracking system is up and running smoothly if you find it daunting.

RFID Asset Tracking Benefits

RFID tags for assets have many benefits, including:

  • Efficiency has been improved. With RFID asset tracking, you can keep track of your assets and improve your organization's efficiency. When assets are needed, you can locate them quickly.

  • Costs are reduced. RFID asset tracking can save you money in several ways. The cost of replacing lost or stolen assets will be avoided, for example. In addition, you can reduce the amount of time you spend searching for assets.

  • Accuracy has been improved. You can improve the accuracy of your inventory records by using RFID asset tracking. The reason for this is that you will be able to scan your assets quickly and easily, eliminating the need for manual counting.

RFID Asset Tracking: What are its shortcomings?

Although RFID asset tracking offers many benefits, there are a few drawbacks to consider, including:

  • There is interference. Other electronic devices can interfere with RFID tags. Certain environments can make it difficult to track assets. In order to reduce the risk of interference, RFID tags can be tailor-made by manufacturers.

  • Implementation costs are high. RFID asset tracking has one of the biggest potential drawbacks: its cost. This is due to the fact that you will need to purchase RFID tags, readers, and software. RFID asset tracking can often provide efficiency gains and cost savings that offset the costs associated with it.

  • Training costs. Training employees to use RFID asset tracking is another potential drawback. RFID asset tracking usually comes at a low cost, and the benefits usually outweigh the training costs.

RFID asset tracking can be useful for any organization, despite these potential drawbacks. It is important to weigh the costs and benefits before implementing it.

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