Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has been in existence or some time. However, it isn’t until recently that RFID is being utilized in facilities management. Misconceptions of high costs or complicated implementations have kept this technology from being effectively utilized to its fullest potential. In this first of several articles, we sit down to discuss RFID trends with Pat Garrity, Project Manager and Sales Engineer with Eagle Technology.
How does RFID work for Facilities Management?
RFID is a technology that can be used for location tracking and a multitude of other aspects. For example, Wal-Mart uses it to control their inventory. Through a program interface they know how many pallets are on the loading dock or the exact quantities of a specific product. These can be updated in real time from the same interface to get very accurate counts or reports. RFID surpasses barcodes in the sense that inventory handlers do not need to “scan in” the location when inventory is moved.
For facilities management that use a CMMS for work order generation, there could be a lag time from when the work order is printed to when it gets into a technician’s hands. In that time, the asset may be moved or it might have already be put out of service by another technician. RFID integration coupled with an online solution would help make the process more efficient by providing a real-time location tracking and eliminating the need to search for or find mobile assets.
An example of a mobile asset would be a hospital wheelchair or utility cart. RFID can provide helpful locations, but also a security function. Imagine an alarm triggered when an asset is moved outside a specific area or outside a specific building. When it comes to maintaining assets or facilities, RFID has the potential to be a fantastic resource.
In our next article, we’ll review the differences in active versus passive RFID systems and how the costs of implementation have been drastically reduced with new technology and smarter processes.
Have a question about RFID? Contact our RFID expert, Pat Garrity directly, or call one of our other team members at 1-800-388-3268 (North America) or +1-262-241-3845 (outside North America). We can discuss how an RFID solution may be right to help with your facilities.