Where’s my stuff?
This is one of the most common question in the warehouse industry. To trace what comes in, what goes out and how many do I need is the constant in the manufacturing world. That is why tracing is key and the fastest and the more reliable the process is the better.
What is Asset Tracking?
Asset Tracking or Traceability is the ability to trace (or track) the movements and processes through which a particular product has traveled. It is the ability to track an asset and all the progressions that the asset goes through, from the acquisition of raw materials through production to consumption. In other words, traceability allows us to have knowledge and control at all times of when and where a product was manufactured, what phases or places it has traveled in the distribution process, and finally by whom and where it is purchased, utilized, or consumed.
RFID asset tracking is a popular method used by companies to track and manage asset across locations. Apart from being used in a wide variety of applications, one of the most common use of RFID is in asset tracking .
How does an RFID Asset Tracking System Work?
The RFID identification systems of products, merchandise, packages, etc., allows the manufacturer to give a unique ‘registration’ to each item, box, or pallet to initiate its traceability, establishing a system that allows us to recognize each piece individually and thus build their traceability along the chain. With the help of SmartX HUB RFID asset management systems, tracking assets is a matter of linking an item to a location.
A fully integrated asset tracking solution tracks and monitors assets in real- time. The RFID tracking system system is powered by three key components:
- RFID Tags
- RFID Portal and
- an Asset Tracking Software.
So What is so Different about an Ultra RFID Portal - Plug and Play?
Our superior Ultra RFID portals require no adjustment during or after installation. Literally just plug the portal into your reader on site and you are ready to go! Our portals are up to five times faster to install than a typical patch portal, these are the first truly plug&play portals available.
Each Panel embeds patented wave antennas in a composite material that can be enclosed in any one of a variety of structures that best fit the facility’s needs. Because the wave antenna can be embedded it stays precisely in alignment even in a rugged environment. Wave embedded antennas provide controlled reads with a desired narrow illumination path of approximately 100°. This becomes ideal for any exit and entrance application since there may be tags in close proximity that are not passing through the exit or entry and these tags will not be read.
These three components work together to track assets globally or locally, and should be customized to meet the needs of any business environment. An Asset Tracking System lets you know exactly where your assets are in real-time through the following process:
RFID tags are physically placed on the item or assets.
The RFID readers are installed in strategic points so that they can “read” the signals emitted by the RFID tags.
The RFID tags assigned to your assets are imported into an asset tracking software. Through an interface to track and locate specific assets on the site from a laptop, remotely in your web browser or even while on the move using your mobile device.
What to look for in RFID Asset tracking systems?
RFID assets Tracking systems are increasingly gaining more popularity in the manufacturing industry. The technology has many benefits in the manufacturing industry including:
- Tracking of items, containers, and pallets from production to supplier and final destination in real time
- Returnable and reusable rack tracking, (Supplier sends parts to the manufacturer in returnable, reusable crates. These crates are tracked in real time to ensure they are returned from manufacturer to supplier)
- Record keeping of the journey products
- Detection of errors and problems
- Notifications and alerts in real time if articles leave the warehouse without authorization
- Control of the location of products within the warehouse
- Visibility of work in process and traceability of production workflow in real time
- Validation and verification that right parts and right counts are being used in the manufacturing process and right products are being shipped, and
- Quality control tracking
The path that the product follows, from production to retail, provides valuable information in times of Big Data. As a result of this new available information and with the help of business intelligence or data mining applications, manufacturers can now handle alternative and variable solutions for just-in-time and just-in-sequence production processes. With RFID, today the manufacturer can obtain and utilize deeper knowledge of production control, process optimization, and quality control.