Why should you investigate RFID tags for better asset management?
We have always been a big advocate for using RFID tags to help in managing assets. On this blog, I have discussed this topic many times. We believed that using RFID tags to track IT assets, such as laptops, printers, servers, and other equipment in data centers achieves great savings in material and labor. The theme in the RFID Journal Live! 2013 event back in April in Orlando validated our belief. There are different types of RFID tags – active, passive, or somewhere in between, at different price points and different form factors. So if you are thinking about ways to manage your assets more efficiently, you should really investigate them.
Tom O’Boyle, a respected industry veteran who recently joined our partner company Barcoding Inc., recently summarized that there are 5 advantages for using RFID tags vs. regular barcodes:
1. Line of Sight
RFID eliminates the need to position the laser of a scanner across the entire barcode allowing RFID to be used when the RFID tag is not in direct view of the scanner. This allows users to track and read assets in a sealed container, embedded within the asset, or underneath other products/assets in a stack. Barcodes need that Line-Of-Sight to perform the identification task.
2. User Intervention
RFID readers can be installed to read all the time, eliminating the need for an operator to actuate the scan function. Whether installed by doorways, garage entrances, or in open areas of manufacturing floors, assets can be read as they are moved, without the user action 24 hours per day. Barcodes must.
RFID tags can be read at phenomenal speeds. Asset inventory can be taken very quickly as one RFID handheld can count hundreds of assets in the same time it takes for a single barcode scan. Average inventory counts taken with RFID are 15x FASTER.
4. Authenticity / Anti-counterfeit Technology
Unlike Barcodes that can be copied and re-distributed, RFID tags have a chip specific ID value that can be linked with the user programmable ID value. Linking these values together eliminates the possibility of the RFID tags being improperly duplicated or their ID value being copied. Product Manufacturers, Tollways, and Retailers are embracing this characteristic and utilizing RFID to secure their products and services.
5. Writeable Tags
After deployment, RFID values can be written and changed in RFID tags without replacing the tags or removing them from the asset or product. This can be performed using RFID handhelds or installed readers. These tags can be “locked” and “unlocked” with passwords to eliminate unauthorized write operations in the field and protect the integrity of the system. Barcodes must be reprinted and replaced in order to change the value once deployed in the field.
Because of these unique advantages, the RFID technology can be cost efficiently applied in asset management for high value assets, distributed assets, and assets constantly being transferred. Some of the industries that have these asset types include Government Contractors who manage multiple projects on multiple sites, universities that have assets in distributed buildings and distributed sites, IT data centers, IT departments, Emergency Management agencies that support multiple jurisdictions.
To get a more in depth review on how the development of the RFID technology can make asset management more cost efficient, you can download our white paper. If you have any questions and would like to speak with our sales team, please call 1-866-845-2416.