Real Time Locating Systems, or RTLS, which incorporate the use of RFID technology include asset tracking, inventory tracking, patient tracking & call, employee tracking and emergency evacuation, personnel tracking and accountability as well as countless other custom tracking applications. The common function of all systems, whether for people or items, is to keep track of the asset’s exact location in real time.
Protrac iD makes tracking and accountability easy using passive or active RFID tags which are affixed as labels to containers and assets, or worn as mobile pendants, lanyards or wristbands. They are read using hand held scanners or automatically by portal reader systems. Passive tags have limited application for automatic tracking since they are only detected when in close proximity to the reader and must also be orientated correctly to the reader. In contrast, Protrac iD’s Real Time Locating System active tags are ideal for automatic tracking, with the additional benefit of having the facility to monitor the environment and security.
RFID Asset Tracking Tags can be attached to high value objects such as museum artworks, hospital medical equipment, IT equipment and even people. For example, tags carried by staff can be monitored by an RFID system linked to a central security system to sound an alarm for monitored events such as tamper, vibration, patient wandering and safety, staff duress, etc. These same tags can even be used for access control, having the ability to effectively deny exit if activated to do so. This same RFID technology can facilitate the location of portable and shared equipment for tracking, work flow and inventory management on sites such as hospitals and universities.
This same technology that can collect centralised data on items can be used to generate a real time actual inventory of equipment at each location. RFID wristband technology worn by employees or carried as access cards can allow authorised access to sites by means of a smart door access system. The tag is used to provide automatic identification for the wearer for every visit or maintenance session. Together with product tracking tags, this allows the system to record exactly what equipment is repaired, removed, relocated, etc., with the further data of when exactly this happened and who was in attendance.
In typical transport industry applications, RFID Tags could be attached to semi-trailers and monitored by a reader connected to the prime mover’s GPS/GSM system. This would provide the identity of the trailer, or trailers, being towed. Alternatively, the RFID reader could simultaneously identify hundreds of individually tagged high value objects that are being transported by a single semi-trailer. Active RFID tags fitted with temperature sensors are able to provide the temperature of refrigerated loads in real time.
Readers attached to weighbridges can report the identity of a truck being weighed for applications such as mining, recycling, waste management and infrastructure development. These are just some of many examples of the use of RFID systems with industrial processes and heavy equipment.
In other applications, on the personal side, active RFID tags can be incorporated into staff badges and lanyards to monitor the movement of personnel around a facility, for visitor activity and as a conference RFID attendance system.