Finding the Right RFID Solution – Technology, Software, ServiceBrett Wilkerson
Did you know that one of the first RFID systems was used in World War II? Known as Identify Friend of Foe (IFF), the system was used to help British radar operators distinguish between friendly and enemy fighter planes and bombers.
Today, RFID is used by a variety of industries such as pharma, retail, logistics, travel and agriculture. But to get the best use of the technology for your particular requirements, you need to find the RFID solution that fits your business needs.
The first thing you should do is determine your specific needs. Accurately defined problems are easier to explore and solve, saving you time and resources. Then you’ll be able to determine what RFID technology, software and solutions you’ll need. And MSM Solutions can help.
RFID is available in three frequency types with their own limitations and benefits.
Low Frequency (LF) operates at 135 kHz. While exceptionally short range (about two inches) isn’t good for product tracking, it is excellent for access control and card payments where you want to maintain security.
Hight Frequency (HF) operates at 13.56 MHz. The range is bit better at five inches but can be boosted to almost three feet with the right equipment. It’s a good solution for small items in automated lines.
Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) operates between 902-925 MHZ with a range up to 10 feet. Due to its long reach, UHF is commonly used for inventory management. This is what MSM Solutions uses exclusively.
Tags and Readers
Once you decide on the type of frequency that best suits your needs, you need to determine if you want your RFID tags to be passive or active. The main difference between the two is the power source behind the RFID tag.
Passive tags lack a dedicated power source and rely exclusively on the RFID reader’s signal to power it. Because of this, they can be designed to be incredibly thin (like the label on a package) and are much cheaper to manufacture. Most passive tags run between $0.10 and $0.20 per unit.
Active tags are typically much larger and more expensive. Costing between $25 and $100, Active tags contain built-in batteries that extend their range and the speed at which they can be scanned.
Regardless of frequency or power source, RFID tags don’t work unless you have a device to scan them. From handheld devices to fixed units and antennas, MSM Solutions has a reader for every job.
Handheld devices combine the convenience of mobility with ease of use and connectivity. Fixed readers are built to work in a variety of environments delivering extremely high-performance read capabilities. RFID reader antennas play a critical role in any RFID application. Good for indoor, outdoor, near-field or far-field use, they can scan single devices or entire pallets packed with items.
Managing your inventory with RFID tags and readers doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a way to process the data. And for that you need software that’s capable of supporting your hardware.
Deployed globally and trusted by the world’s largest organizations, PortalTrack empowers you by tailoring your RFID applications for real-time monitoring and reporting.
- Give your inventory individual identities so they can account for every item.
- Track items quickly and efficiently so you can ensure everything is where it’s supposed to be.
- Perform inventory counts so you know what you have in real-time.
- Customized reporting, metrics, dashboards and facility mapping give you verifiable data.
- Access PortalTrack through any web browser for easy access anywhere you go.
The MSM Service Solution
While some RFID service providers are happy to sell you the equipment and software and send you on your way, at MSM Solutions, we believe in partnerships. We take you through the process step-by-step. That’s why we meet with you to determine your needs and requirements before we do anything else. Then we determine the goals you need to meet to find success and develop a phased project plan to bring them to fruition.
To get an understanding of what this process looks like, check out how we helped Randa, the world’s largest men’s accessories company, get real-time visibility in their fulfillment center so they could better manage their inventory during peak seasons.
By partnering with MSM Solutions, you can get the technology, software and services that will solve your RFID challenges and satisfy even your most critical requirements. To find out more about how we can help you find the right RFID solution for your business, drop us a line.