Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that uses a tag and reader to locate an object. While RFID was originally developed for military use, there are many practical applications. RFID is currently used to track equipment in healthcare, transportation, distribution, and manufacturing industries. For companies that have not used RFID, it can seem challenging to implement. The best way to start is by defining goals.
What are you hoping to accomplish with asset tracking? Many organizations want the ability to track assets, but the reasons for tracking differ. An auto repair shop that has high turnover may want to use RFID equipment tracking to prevent theft of tooling from former employees. An aviation maintenance facility may want to use RFID to ensure that tools are not left behind on aircraft, creating a safety hazard. Both are repair facilities that need to track tooling, but they have different RFID needs. In the auto repair example, the goal is theft prevention. The RFID solution will need to incorporate tracking which employee is in possession of tooling, knowing this beforehand will help the auto repair facility prevent tool theft.
The first step is to determine the scope of the RFID tracking. The process for using RFID asset tracking to locate 1,000 lb. molds in a manufacturing facility is much different than that of making sure that hand tools are not taken out of a large maintenance hangar. Will RFID be reserved for large, expensive pieces of equipment or used for all tooling? The size of the tooling can prohibit certain types of tags. How far does the equipment travel? Special considerations are undertaken for equipment that is used at multiple facilities. Document the answers to the previous questions.
Most facilities do not have the resources to implement an RFID program in-house, necessitating the use of an RFID equipment tracking partner to help with the process. Not all RFID companies are created equal. Search for a company that takes the time to understand your processes, can meet your goals, and is able to work within your budget.
If you have any questions about RFID asset tracking, contact e2b calibration.