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Doing RFID the Right Way

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Installing RFID or radio frequency identification systems for tracking can drastically improve a company’s production and efficiency.  However, these systems cannot just be thrown into a production facility without lots of research.  Finding the specific locations and optimal points to place RFID chips is essential to improving the efficiency.  RFID are helpful because they improve productivity, allow for more reliable tracking of parts and inventory, and they allow better maintenance to be tracked in both the past and keep data flowing to warn of future issues.

Here are some important mistakes to avoid when beginning to install RFIDs:

  • RFID’s are not universal: Although RFIDs are very beneficial and can improve an industry, they do not work for everyone.  An important step to remember, is to plan out prior to investing in RFIDs, how they will benefit your company.  This technology needs to be researched in order to find where it can best be used.  Operations, maintenance, quality checks, are all different aspects that an RFID can improve, but the cost of this technology is not small, so proper preparations should be made.
  • Return on Investment: Cost and profit are essential for a business to flourish.  So when making a large investment on technology such as RFID it is important to plan ahead.  Determine the return on investment can help a company decide if it is necessary or valuable to add in RFIDs.
  • IT is essential: Many companies will neglect to bring in IT and work with them to research RFID.  Without IT being involved, they will not be able familiar with what systems are being incorporated and there will be miscommunications when issues begin to arise with integrating new technology.  IT will also be able to find the locations and parts of the industry that could use the most improvement which will help find the focus for the RFIDs.
  • Finding the correct type of RFID: RFID requires using a proper frequency and active or passive.  This technology utilizes radio waves, but depending on the type of work being done in a facility, the right frequency needs to be chosen.  Inefficiencies can happen if RFID has too short of a range or does not allow transmission through the area around it.  There are also battery life to consider and if it is less expensive to replace the tag or the battery for active RFID systems.
  • Proper tags for industry: Industry facilities can have rough terrain or high pressure systems so choosing an RFID that can last and work in the facility is important.  RFID tags need to be tough enough for the harsh temperatures, water, high humidity, or in an enclosed metal area.  All of these factors could reduce the efficiency of the tag, thus causing the project to be less profitable.

By following along with these ideas in mind and trying to avoid mistakes of not planning ahead, RFID can greatly improve your company.

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