One of the primary challenges for large organizations is to effectively track and maintain assets. Think about the last time you were in an airport, hospital, or large retail mall. The number of equipment, supplies, and parts necessary to keep large complexes like these maintained and running smoothly is mind-boggling. That’s why more and more facility managers add RFID technology to their computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to improve fixed and mobile asset management.
Enter Accurate and Complete Asset Data into your CMMS
The first step towards strategic asset management is to properly identity, label, and enter asset information into your CMMS database. Creating asset categories, with accurate data, will allow maintenance personnel to easily locate assets based on the criteria used to set up the database system.
Add Wireless RFID Technology to Improve Asset Management
The right CMMS can incorporate wireless technology to help make fixed and mobile asset management even more efficient and productive. Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology enables the transmission and receiving of radio waves between a tiny microchip (tag) that contains asset information and an RFID reader. Each tag holds unique asset data that can be read by an RFID reader for its identity, location, and status, and can keep track of the asset when it is moved or serviced. The tags vary in cost depending on whether or not they are passive (w/no battery), active (battery with continuous broadcast), or use a small battery that is activated only when an RFID reader is in proximity to the tag.
There are two types of RFID classifications. Fixed RFID means the reader has a set position. With mobile RFID, the reader is contained in a mobile handheld device. With mobile RFID, companies can automatically keep track of key assets as they move in and out of an area – whether it’s a stock room, retail store, factory, hospital, or busy terminal.
Mobile RFID can help facilities automatically track and secure critical assets—with very little manpower needed. Being able to cross-reference asset location, scheduled service work, and employee identification provides added security. If a tagged item is moved from an authorized area, RFID will automatically alert maintenance supervisors, avoiding equipment loss or security breaches.
Here are some additional benefits of both fixed and mobile asset tracking with RFID:
Increased Maintenance Productivity
Increased asset visibility means maintenance employees spend less time tracking down missing or misplaced mobile equipment—or locating the right fixed asset that requires service.
Automated Inventory Counts
By attaching tags to all assets, maintenance staff can use a handheld RFID reader and move throughout a designated area, automatically generating an accurate inventory count and relaying the data to the CMMS. RFID tags can be read in bulk, allowing for quick location of multiple boxed assets for streamlined inventory counting.
Improved Asset Maintenance
Streamlined asset tracking also improves overall asset maintenance, as fixed and mobile assets are easily located and included in an efficient preventive or demand maintenance schedule.
Improved Operational Efficiencies
Traceability of spare part inventories saves time and expense. Employees aren’t wasting man-hours searching for parts. Faster maintenance and repairs increases operational uptime and lowers costs. Being able to quickly key assets, and keep operations running smoothly improves productivity and performance.
Reduced Capital and Operational Costs
The overall asset Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) goes down when assets can be located, tracked, and maintained at peak efficiencies. Reduced asset losses reduce the need to replace equipment, resulting in direct savings to the bottom line.
Eagle Technology, Inc. is a leading provider of CMMS and EAM solutions for facility management worldwide. Eagle’s powerful Proteus software, combined with RFID and mobile technologies, can help you lower costs, reduce capital expenditures, and improve asset performance and longevity.
We hope that you found this article useful. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact one of our team members. Call us at +1 (262) 241-3845 or 1-800-388-3268 (Toll Free US and Canada).