What is RFID?


How it Works

RFID tags are placed on the assets to be monitored. Depending on the asset type and application requirements, the tags may be active or passive RFID. Active tags have a battery, beacon on a periodic basis, and can be read from distances of several hundred feet depending on the antenna type and surrounding environment. Passive tags derive their power when they are within the field of the reader. While they are considerably less expensive than active RFID tags, they have considerably less read range capability, with most having maximum read ranges of 10 feet or less. Because of these differences in cost, read ranges, mounting locations and life span, among others, care must be taken and time invested to choose the proper tag given the application.

 

In an active RFID scenario, the area to be monitored is divided into zones and a reader placed in each zone such that when a tag is seen by a reader, its location is known based on the zone definitions. Resolution for the zones can vary and is adjustable via software based on the asset being tagged, antenna type and the make up of the surrounding environment. In a passive RFID application, portals would be set up at the entrances, exits or pinch points to a given area, such that the tagged asset can only enter or leave the area by passing within the field of the reader. Additionally, bar code readers could be used to capture asset information and provide to the system via the MRM software. This assumes that a bar code is placed on each asset, and that the operation or process provides means for manual scanning of the bar code.

Whether active or passive RFID, the readers receive the tag beacon and after some initial filtering for data management, transmit the tag information to our data capture software. This software runs on a personal computer/server and the communication from the reader can be via Serial, Ethernet or 802.11 wireless. A time stamp is assigned to the tag id information, and the software allows for additional levels of filtering, while ultimately storing the data into industry standard Microsoft SQL format. The MRM software then accesses this information from the SQL database to execute its monitoring, management and reporting functions. Using a complimentary EAI tool, MRM can be interfaced to a customer's ERP, WMS, security or other application, allowing the enterprise to gain visibility to, and make use of the captured information.

The RFID and Mobile Resource Management (MRM) solution offered by RadiantWave is capable of providing complete visibility for the improved management of mobile resources and assets, such as pallets, containers, totes, equipment, and vehicles. Running as a thin-client application, the solution has the ability to provide:

Real-Time Location of any mobile resource.
Current status and asset life history.
Automatic user-definable warnings and alerts.
Monitoring and enforcement of service schedules.
Tracking of assets through manufacturing or repair cycles.
Simple and effective exporting to Excel and Word.
Performance monitoring.
Comprehensive management information and dashboard.



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