RFID applications are advantageous across a broad range of industries. With technology providing new and exciting opportunities for increasing organisational, financial, and operational performance.
Focusing on organisational efficiency and effectiveness, RFID technology is superior to barcodes in its ability to provide source automation features that increase the speed and volume of data collection for analysis.
Very low cost in RFID infrastructure maintenance
Except for the initial cost of installing an RFID application (RFID tags and readers), there is a very low cost involved in maintaining your RFID infrastructure. The requirements for using RFID technology will vary depending on your business situation.
For example, some organisations use RFID tools for:
- Automating existing manual processes
- Logistics and supply chain visibility
- Item level inventory tracking
- Materials management
- IT and equipment tracking
- Tool tracking
- Document tracking
- To increase profitability from assets
- Compliance and audit reasons
Choosing tags for your RFID application
With passive RFID tag solutions, the reader and reader antenna send a signal to the tag, and that signal is used to power on the tag and reflect energy back to the reader. Passive tags are usually smaller, less expensive, and more flexible than active tags. This means they can be attached or even embedded on a wider variety of objects. Passive UHF tags are commonly used for item-level tracking.
Hardcat RFID applications in the real-world
The types of organisations using RFID in their environments vary. From supply chain management to laboratory sample tracking and operational safety equipment control.
Here are some examples of how Hardcat solutions and RFID is used in real-world applications. So use these applications to spark your creative juices, and use RFID in your own solutions!
Healthcare RFID applications; asset audits
With approximately 880 movable assets, this organisation opted to tag all of their assets with UHF RFID tags. They use one RFID handheld ATiD scanner to conduct monthly asset verification exercises, which now take approximately two to three hours.
With the exercise covering the entire building, Hardcat has increased our asset audit process efficiently and significantly.
Read more: healthcare asset tracking
Bio-products RFID applications; movement tracking
This institute uses a combination of RFID tags and barcode labels on their 4500 plus assets. They utilise fixed RFID readers with the Hardcat “Sentinel” software at certain key areas (entrances/exits) to manage the movement of specifically identified critical assets between identified locations. They also employ handheld RFID scanners to conduct planned and “spot-check” verification exercises.
The Hardcat “notifications” feature alerts key personnel to the movement of these assets for security, tracking and reporting purposes.
Read more: RFID asset tracking – sentinel
Law enforcement RFID application; equipment tracking
Several major Australian police forces are using Hardcat RFID solutions to increase efficiencies when it comes to tracking, auditing and creating daily visibility of their critical ‘armoury’ assets (weapons and other operational safety equipment items).
The Hardcat RFID solutions used is a combination of ‘fixed RFID’ antennas and readers as well as mobile readers. This allows them to not only conduct the day-to-day tasks that police forces have of ‘issue and return’ of firearms and the like but also for speed when it comes to ‘auditing’ thousands of firearms within an armoury.
One major Australian police force with almost 10,000 strong officer base estimated that the cost of conducting these crucial functions manually cost the force over $3.5Million per annum in lost time that could be used to put officers in the community.
Read more: law enforcement asset management
Law enforcement RFID application; self-issue and self-return kiosk
One major Australian police force will be using the Hardcat system as a wall-mounted solution to create a “self-issue and self-return RFID Kiosk”. Then, depending on the size of the station and number of officers during shift changeovers, they will be able to speed up the process of issue and return by provisioning as many ‘kiosks’ as they like to have concurrent transactions occurring.
The ‘Kiosk’ will save an enormous amount of time and create visibility of the transactions (what is being scanned in and out of the equipment room and to whom) for verification.
100% accuracy whilst creating efficiency and allowing more time for police to do what they most prefer – being out in the field assisting the public.
Hospital RFID applications; medical equipment locator
A children’s hospital employs the Hardcat handheld RFID solution on their more expensive, as well as mobile equipment. The value of the assets managed by the Hardcat solution exceeds a half-billion Rand.
Being imperative we can locate specific critical equipment, the Hardcat RFID “locator” feature goes a long way in ensuring items are found quickly.
Read more: medical equipment asset management
Energy sector RFID application; tools and container tracking
A major global power generation organisation prior to Hardcat was losing almost $100K worth of valuable tools and equipment for every project. Hardcat implemented a pilot RFID solution, where fixed RFID readers were placed outside their shipping containers, and every piece of equipment that went into each container was RFID tagged and registered in the Hardcat asset register.
Prior to the shipping container being transported to the project site, the assets were registered against the specific container and project/site. During the pilot project, the fixed RFID readers outside the container tracked every piece of equipment coming in and out of the container providing superior audit and equipment visibility.
The project team are now able to conduct daily speedy audits using mobile RFID scanners to quickly identify any missing equipment and locate them. When the shipping container came back, they were quickly able to identify what was missing and where it was last seen.
The Hardcat RFID solution result is hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings each year.
Read more: RFID asset tracking – sentinel
Research facility RFID application; sensitive documents and samples
A major research facility is using RFID asset management to successfully track their sensitive documents and medical product samples, throughout its large facility. Every item has to follow a strict auditing process within the company, and also for the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
Hardcat’s RFID software and fixed readers immediately recognise the actual movement of documents and provide real-time reporting with a complete audit trail.
Read more: why is document tracking a challenge