Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is revolutionizing industries from fashion to manufacturing. Used effectively, this technology offers an efficient, accurate, and secure way to track and manage assets. RFID systems use radio waves to identify and track objects, which makes them ideal for any industry that needs to precisely manage inventory, track assets, or optimize the supply chain.
To start tracking assets, your business needs a robust RFID system and processes in place. However, building an effective RFID system requires careful planning and implementation. Follow these five steps to build an effective RFID system that can simplify asset tracking and help to streamline your business.
Before you install an RFID system, it’s a good idea to define your requirements first. What do you want to achieve with an RFID system? What systems or processes will it improve?
When you understand what the goal is, it’s much easier to determine the type of RFID tags and readers you need, the frequency of the radio waves, and the software required to manage all the data.
For example, in a manufacturing plant, the goal of an RFID system might be to optimize inventory management and streamline production processes. In a retail store, the goal might be to improve the accuracy and speed of inventory management, reduce stockouts, and improve customer satisfaction. These goals require completely different setups, which is why it’s so important to know your requirements before setting up an RFID system.
It’s also important to consider regulatory standards and requirements. RFID tags may not be suitable for all applications, and barcodes offer several advantages that may make them a better choice. For military asset tracking, for example, durable unique identification (UID) labels meet MIL-STD-130 and MIL-STD-129 standards, so they’re better suited for these applications than RFID. Once you know your overall business requirements, you can identify the features and capabilities you need from an RFID system or whether RFID isn’t the appropriate tracking solution for your application.
RFID tags come in three forms. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to choose the option that works best for your business:
If you need help choosing RFID tags, consider the types of items you want to track. You should also consider the environment where you’ll use the tags, as well as the range capabilities of the reader.
RFID readers are the devices that read the information stored on RFID tags. The type of reader you choose will depend on the range you need, the frequency of the tags, and the environment.
Fixed readers are ideal for tracking items in a specific location. These are stationary devices that you can mount on walls, ceilings, or other structures. Fixed readers are often used in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and retail stores to monitor inventory levels and track the movement of goods through the supply chain.
Handheld readers offer more mobility than fixed readers. They’re often used in logistics and transportation industries to track assets over a large area. Handheld readers are also useful for field service and maintenance applications, where technicians need to track the location and status of equipment and tools.
RFID tags are helpful, but they generate a lot of data. Your business needs some type of platform or process for managing all of this data. This includes software to manage inventory, track assets, tools, or equipment, and monitor the movement of goods through the supply chain.
The software you choose should be able to integrate with your existing systems, including your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, WMS (Warehouse Management System), or other inventory management and supply chain software.
Look for a software solution that can pull helpful analytics and generate reports. The better the reporting, the better the insights you can glean from your software to make more informed decisions about your assets.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate tags, readers, and software, it’s time to test the system. Start by testing the system in a small area or with a small number of assets. This makes it easier to pinpoint any issues and make adjustments before rolling out the system on a larger scale.
You might need to change the reader placement, adjust the tags’ frequency, or tweak your software settings. Once you optimize the system, you can roll it out to other areas of your business or expand it to cover a larger number of assets.
RFID can revolutionize your business, but you need a plan to find and install the right system for the job. Follow these five steps to design the perfect RFID system for your business.
Camcode is a leading provider of RFID tags, durable barcode labels, and other asset tracking solutions. We can customize the labels to meet the specific needs of your business. Our labels can withstand the harshest environments, making them ideal for use in manufacturing, logistics, and other industries. See the difference firsthand: Check out Camcode’s RFID specs now.