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RFID Asset Tracking: How Does Asset Tracking with RFID Work?

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RFID Asset Tracking: How Does Asset Tracking with RFID Work?

Key Takeaway

  • RFID technology significantly improves asset management efficiency by providing real-time data, enhancing accuracy, and reducing manual labor. Asset tracking with RFID uses radio frequency signals to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects, facilitating seamless inventory control and asset management across various industries.
  • Tracking assets is an important part of running an efficient, streamlined business, especially if your organization has a lot of inventory, equipment, tools, or machines. In the past, tracking assets involved manual documentation and inventory checks, which was a time-consuming and error-prone process.

    Fortunately, modern asset tracking is much easier thanks to technologies such as durable barcode labels and radio frequency identification (RFID).

    Asset tracking with RFID enables businesses to track assets in real-time and reduce errors while saving time and effort. RFID asset tracking can certainly improve your business, but some organizations are hesitant to embrace new ways of tracking assets. Learn how the asset tracking process works with RFID and why RFID is a solid choice for modern asset tracking.

    What Is RFID?

    what is rfid for asset tracking

    Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags originated around the end of the Second World War. However, the history of RFID development is complicated, and no single person is considered to have invented the technology.

    RFID tags fall into either active or passive categories. Active RFID tags use a small battery for power, while passive RFID tags use the radio energy itself, both for power and communication.

    There are three categories of RFID tags that can be either active or passive:

    • Low frequency (LF RFID)
    • High frequency (HF RFID)
    • Ultra high frequency (UHF RFID)

    LF tags are typically used to track livestock or to open gates and doors. They must be in very close proximity to the reader to function.

    HF tags are used for things like tickets, payments, and moderate amounts of data transfer, but they suffer a slight sensitivity to radio interference.

    Finally, UHF tags can work from up to around 15 feet away. The downside is that they are extremely sensitive to interference.

    How Asset Tracking with RFID Works

    Traditionally, you would tag assets with barcodes or QR codes to scan them into an asset tracking system. RFID tags work similarly, but they remove the need to scan information manually, which can help you save a lot of time.

    When you perform asset tracking with RFID (or perform inventory management with RFID), you attach an RFID tag to an object. The tag contains a microchip and an antenna, which uses radio waves to communicate with a reader.

    The reader sends out a radio signal that activates the tag, and the tag responds by sending back a unique ID number. This ID number is used to identify the asset and automatically track its movements.

    Asset tracking might sound complex, but it’s actually much more convenient than a traditional check-in/check-out asset tracking system. Just follow these steps to implement asset tracking with RFID labels:

    • Tagging assets: The first step is to tag the assets. You can attach RFID tags to assets with adhesive, screws, or cable ties, depending on how you use the asset and the asset’s surface material. Remember to securely attach the tag to the asset so it can’t fall off or become damaged.
    • Installing readers: Once you’ve tagged the assets, you’ll need to install readers in strategic locations so they can read the tags as they pass by. Readers can be fixed or portable, depending on your needs. Fixed readers are typically installed at entry and exit points, while portable readers can be used to scan assets if you’re in the field.
    • Collecting data: As assets pass by the readers, they collect data from the tags and transmit it to a central database or asset tracking software. This data includes the asset ID, location, and time stamp.
    • Processing data: Next, the asset management system processes the data to generate reports, alerts, and other helpful insights. You can use this information to track asset movement, monitor inventory levels, and optimize operations.
    • Taking action: Based on the information generated by the asset tracking system, businesses can make data-driven decisions in less time. For example, if inventory levels are low, the system will tell you to place an order to replenish stock. If an asset is missing, the RFID asset tracking system can alert the appropriate person to locate it or order a replacement.

    5 Benefits of Using RFID for Asset Tracking

    benefits of using rfid for asset tracking

    Spreadsheets make it difficult to manage your inventory and assets accurately. If you’re trying to improve the asset management process, RFID labels are a solid choice that comes with many benefits, including:

    • Real-time tracking: RFID technology enables you to track assets in real-time, providing accurate and up-to-date information about asset locations and movement. This real-time tracking enables businesses to respond quickly to issues, such as missing or misplaced assets.
    • Reduced errors: Equipment failure and human error are common with manual inventory checks. But RFID technology eliminates these errors by automating the asset tracking process and providing accurate and reliable data.
    • Increased efficiency: RFID technology can increase operational efficiency by reducing the time and effort required for asset tracking. This increased efficiency can result in cost savings and improved productivity.
    • Improved security: RFID technology provides a record of asset movement, which can help prevent unauthorized access. It also provides a helpful paper trail in the event of an audit.
    • Scalability: RFID technology is scalable, which allows businesses to track assets at scale. As your business grows, you can easily expand an RFID asset tracking system to accommodate an increasing number of assets.

    However, keep in mind that RFID isn’t the best tracking technology for every application. In some cases, durable barcode labels are a more suitable choice. For military asset tracking, for example, durable unique identification (UID) labels are a better choice, particularly for meeting MIL-STD-130 and MIL-STD-129 specifications.

    Is RFID is Here to Stay?

    Person with gloves handling an RFID tag with RFID symbol overlay

    Asset tracking with RFID technology is a game-changer for businesses looking to streamline their operations and reduce errors. With an RFID system, businesses can track assets in real-time, reduce errors, increase efficiency, improve security, and scale their operations.

    As RFID technology continues to revolutionize the asset tracking industry, businesses need the right tools to streamline their operations. Whether you need to track inventory in a warehouse or monitor equipment on a job site, Camcode’s RFID labels and durable barcode label solutions can help you achieve real-time tracking, increased efficiency, and improved accuracy.

    Don’t miss out on the benefits of RFID technology: upgrade your asset tracking system with Camcode’s RFID labels.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Questions about the article? Let us help!

    Our sales engineers are experts in automatic asset tracking, tagging and identification,a nd can answer all your questions. Get in touch now.

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