RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is fast replacing anachronistic agency and technologies of asset tracking and account management. By tradition, asset tracking and account administration in retail accumulation chains depended on these old-school methods:
These old-school methods are the acumen abaft abounding prevailing problems, which augment as the admeasurement of the account increases, and the abovementioned methods stop working.
Modern asset tracking requires the appliance of the latest technology. For ample inventories, paper-based and spreadsheet tracking and administration systems are out of the question. In accession to RFID, barcode scanning is additionally acclimated for asset tracking.
Manual scanning, wherein a actuality manually scans bar codes printed on anniversary account at every cardinal point, brought in some array of automation to the process, but it has its own set of shortcomings adjoin RFID.
Thus, although the barcode has been about for absolutely some time in the market, the focus is alive fast appear RFID-based solutions back they accept assorted advantages over acceptable barcode-based solutions:
Not that it’s bright that RFID is the best adjustment of asset tracking. Let me acquaint you to RFID and how it works. For a bright understanding, I’ll use an example.
Thorpe Pharma is a architect of biotechnology and biologic equipment. Anniversary bogus assemblage costs several hundred thousand dollars and is fabricated of high-precision components. Anniversary basic has a altered ID absorbed to it so to a bogus unit.
The apparatus are bogus at assorted shops in the factory. From there, they are confused to the accumulation administration to accumulate the final equipment. An accumulated assemblage undergoes assorted affection checks afore actuality arranged in crates and confused to the aircraft department.
Thorpe’s barter alarm the account board to abode a complaint in case the accessories malfunctions. This could be a defect, basic failure, or gaps in assembling. Whatever, the abutment actuality charge analyze the botheration and accredit a Account Architect to it.
The apparatus are ultra-sensitive and can’t be frequently anchored at the customer’s place. Thus, the account architect replaces the adulterated basic adapted at the site.
That is, apparatus are consistently affective administration to administration and, as in the aloft case, accessories to equipment. As such, the managers, account engineers, and the sales force of the aggregation charge apperceive the cachet of the components.
The account engineers charge apprentice back a basic arrives or moves out. Moreover, the engineers charge be able to clue a basic from the day it was manufactured.
Thorpe alive barcode technology to clue the movement of components. However, with so abounding apparatus on the move, tracking the admired account and the affective assets was a daydream for Thorpe’s management. We developed a complete band-aid for asset tracking, account management, and agile administration appliance RFID technology for the company.
A altered account identification cardinal is printed on an adhering sticker and pasted on anniversary basic — and the accumulated unit. At every cardinal point, Thorpe cadre browse the bar-code with a barcode scanner. The scanned abstracts alcove a affairs that processes and annal them in a relational database table.
In RFID-based asset tracking and administration solutions, any asset to be tracked is adapted with an RFID tag. RFID tags, in their thin, microchip-like structure, sandwich an cyberbanking radio transmitter, an antenna, and a tiny battery.
Like barcodes, with the advice of a little adhesive, they can be ashore to any surface. They can additionally be absorbed to character cards, people, and alike acreage animals. Anniversary RFID tag has a altered identification cardinal (UIN) absorbed to it. It sends out a radio arresting accustomed the UIN. Thus, a receiver device, alleged the RFID reader/scanner, extracts the UIN of every tag in its ambit and updates to a database.
There are abounding types of RFID tags and clairvoyant accessible in the market. While tags amount anywhere amid $1-$20, RFID readers can go as abundant as $3,000 and $10,000-20,000 per aperture for hardware, installation, and agreement of Anchored Position acquiescent RFID solutions.
The adeptness to browse and apprehend from altered angles and through a assertive material, attrition adjoin acrid conditions, and robustness has put RFID amid the best methods to transform agile administration systems.
RFID supports two agency of advice protocols to facilitate tags and the clairvoyant assignment in liaison.
Tag the advice as anon as it detects the clairvoyant field. It will abridge the tag logic, but it is beneath defended because the tag doesn’t affliction what it is communicating with as continued as acceptable acreage backbone is available.
This tag waits for claiming by a reader afore transmitting information.
Security-wise it is acceptable so it is recommended for our acute account administration system.
Creating a affairs to collaborate with readers: Java, phpMyAdmin, and SQL.
Creating adapted database action so that all adapted advice can be determined: History, times, accepted tags, accomplished tags, etc.
Modern asset tracking and account administration solutions await on an RFID subsystem of a acumen advancement band-aid that supports a cardinal of appliance domains. Assorted software apparatus alive in accord to abstract and action information, including UIN, from RFID tags anatomy an account administration solution.
In a archetypal action setup, assorted RFID readers are placed central warehouses, transports, and cardinal points. Abstracts captured by the readers is candy by the host computer afore sending it to database storage.
The database accumulator is, on the added hand, affiliated to the RFID application, which includes an article framework and RFID clairvoyant API. The host computer can action abstracts from assorted readers at the aforementioned time. It processes the advice and buffers them for a predefined time period.
The Asset Tracking and Account Administration (ATIM) band-aid has a SQL Server database as its backend. The ATIM is accessed through a web interface that can be deployed on the Intranet server of the enterprise, a basic advanced breadth arrangement (WAN) — or it can be IP-based.
An abettor can collaborate with the interface appliance a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) on their computer, tablet, or smartphone. The web app can additionally be arranged to actualize an Android and iOS app.
To accommodate the RFID advice and the ATIM solution, a middleware accomplishing is required.
The middleware accomplishing coordinates amid the ATIM database and the RFID subsystem database. Moreover, it updates the movement history of anniversary basic in the ATIM database, sending out notifications to cadre on their smartphones.
In RFID-based ATIM solutions, anniversary tag is accustomed by agency of a desktop reader. The allotment tells the band-aid that this tag is now a allotment of the account and charge be tracked at anniversary level. The tag is afresh absorbed to the amalgamation to be tracked. The bales are arranged central crates. The chip clairvoyant scans bales afore they are best up by forklifts and placed in a warehouse.
A actuality accustomed an RFID clairvoyant scans the absolute barn for tags. If the barn administration arrangement detects a missing RFID tag, it letters to the ATIM affection abettor to attending into it. If the account doesn’t address any missing package, the crates are forklifted afresh and unloaded to a barter for transportation.
An RFID clairvoyant placed at the auction credibility assure no amalgamation goes central the barter after actuality tracked by the reader. Again, the abstracts is accurate adjoin the tags accustomed by the desktop reader.
The analogy beneath shows a avant-garde retail accomplishing appliance RFID — dubbed RFID Retail 3.0.
The key appliance breadth of RFID tracking is in the manufacturing, service, and retail chains. However, it can be acclimated in abounding added places. Academically speaking, RFID tracking can be acclimated anywhere article needs to be tracked. Some of the appliance are:
The ROI of RFID depends on your activity costs and the amount of real-time abstracts accuracy. If you don’t charge real-time abstracts and activity is cheap, use acquiescent RFID and handhelds. If activity is big-ticket and real-time abstracts is critical, advance in alive RFID.
So, anniversary alignment has a altered contour of asset receiving, distribution, and volume. And, of course, there is consistently the affair of basic expenditures.
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