Fixed Asset Tracking has traditionally been a labour intensive and paper based process while Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has long been reserved for toll-ways billing and as an identification process for domestic pets.
When combined, these processes make for a powerful tracking and identification system.
Where bar codes made significant in-roads into the cost of Fixed Asset Tracking by improving the accuracy of information and provided for electronic and real-time data flows, RFID based asset tracking shows even greater returns in the speed of tracking and the amount of information that can be processed.
Imagine being able to walk into a room and be able to confirm the presence of all assets and have this data recorded electronically by simply walking around!
The use of RFID technology in Asset Tracking is very similar to Asset Tracking using bar codes. A RFID tag is attached to an Asset. The RFID tag stores a unique number that corresponds to a record in the Fixed Assets Database. During the tracking process a PDA styled device scans for RFID tags. This automatically tracks the Asset by updating date, time and location information.
Many RFID tags can be read simultaneously because the RFID solution caters for “anti-collision” activities.
RFID tags can be used on all assets however it is outdoors that RFID shows some real benefits over traditional bar coding as temperate, light, water and dust generally do not interfere with the ability to read the tag.
Bar codes work efficiently on those Assets where the bar code can be displayed however in situations where the storage or physical location of the Asset does not make for an easy bar code scan, the use of RFID is the appropriate choice as RFID does not require line of sight.
RFID is also likely to be employed in the Asset Tracking process when it is not ideal to have a visible bar code. This allows a tag to be hidden for security or aesthetic purposes. Art Galleries welcome this option as they manage expensive pieces of art that are continually being identified and tracked where a visible bar code would detract from or even damage the artwork.
Many benefits can be achieved by using RFID technology in asset tracking, many tags can be read simultaneously, operating costs may be reduces and profits increased and the tags themselves can be hidden in the case of artworks.
The Asset Tracking Tool (ATT) from TIG International is both bar code and RFID enabled with seamless integration into many world-class ERP application suites including SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft.