8th Day of Christmas: RFID

Using RFID for equipment tracking

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: RFID Scanning Capabilities.

RFID may seem complicated to start off with. There’s a lot of jargon like passive or active tags. With itemit, however, it doesn’t need to be complicated.

You may need RFID capabilities for a variety of reasons. It creates a much simpler equipment tracking process whereby it only takes a scan with a reader to pick up all the assets in the vicinity. Or, you might be tracking high-value assets in which the asset tag must be hidden. The benefit of RFID tags is that they can be read with no line of sight.


Equipment Tracking With RFID

If you are using RFID to track your equipment, you can use itemit. All you’ll need is a compatible reader which we can provide you with and some RFID tags, and you’re good to go!

When it comes to equipment tracking, RFID works in much the same way as QR Code asset tags. All you need to do is add the RFID tag to the asset and link it to an asset profile by scanning it. You’ll be able to link your RFID reader to the itemit app using BlueTooth and can scan from there. Much like with our QR Code capabilities, every time an asset is scanned the last seen location and the user who scanned the asset will update.


Why you Should Use RFID for Equipment Tracking

There are plenty of benefits when it comes to RFID scanning. The main one is the amount of time you’ll save using RFID for equipment tracking. As you’ll be able to track and manage your assets in bulk, logging whenever assets move will be a much faster process. Simply link up your reader and scan, and all the assets in the vicinity will be updated.

With equipment tracking, you might need a variety of different tags, and they may need to be stuck in complicated or difficult places. With RFID, you’ll be able to use tags with different durabilities that can survive all different types of weathering. Whether it’s for assets that are constantly under a lot of heat or for plant equipment tracking, RFID can help.

Equipment tracking with RFID is also a lot simpler as you can scan RFID tags from a larger distance with no line of sight needed. This means that you don’t have to see the asset’s tag in order to scan it, you need only be in its vicinity.


Other Tracking Using RFID

You’ll also be able to track and manage other assets using RFID. While RFID is helpful for equipment tracking, it can also be beneficial when it comes to tracking and managing high-value assets. Find out here how the Ministry of Defence are using RFID tracking with itemit to track and manage their high-value assets, such as paintings.

High-value assets benefit from RFID as you can hide the tag behind a painting, in a frame, or elsewhere. This means that you can hide asset tags if you don’t want them to be visible.

To find out more about itemit’s RFID equipment tracking capabilities, you can contact us or fill in the form below.


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Passive RFID Vs. Active RFID

Passive RFID Vs. Active RFID

Passive RFID Vs. Active RFID

Have you ever felt bamboozled by all the jargon in the RFID industry? You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand all the terminology. There are just a few things you need to know to make an informed decision as to whether you need passive or active RFID tags.

RFID asset labels

What Is A Passive RFID Tag?

A passive RFID tag, or more commonly known as the passive tag, is an RFID tag that does not contain any internal battery. Instead, it uses all the energy of the radio wave from the reader’s antenna to power its operation and to communicate back to the reader.

As there is no battery required, a passive RFID tag can last about 20 years and results in the lowest tag cost. The read range for a passive tag is typically about 3-5 metres in range, and therefore sufficient to cover a typical door, dock door or shop floor environment.

The term passive RFID tag is often used interchangeably with EPC Gen2 tags. EPC Gen2 is a widely adopted standard for passive RFID systems. If you would like to know in much more detail how RFID works, here’s an excellent paper for you to read.

What Is An Active RFID Tag?

An active RFID tag uses a battery for its operations, and therefore can continuously broadcast its presence even without a reader. As it contains a battery, this will need to be replaced regularly. A battery could last only a few days, or it could operate for a few years depending on its size. Active RFID tags can communicate at considerable distances.

Active RFID tags are those typically used in industrial environments, either for active RTLS tracking within a factory or open yard tracking. There are almost no standards for the usage of active RFID, and as a result, it is only used in specific niche industrial applications. This type of tag can vary significantly in price and can cost anything from tens of dollars to hundreds of dollars per tag.

So, What’s The Difference Between Passive And Active RFID Tags?

The most significant difference between active and passive RFID tags is that an active tag has a battery and a passive tag does not.

Although an active tag can communicate at a much longer range, a passive RFID tag is still the preferred choice as it is significantly cheaper with lots of options to choose from due to its widely adopted standards. Operationally, it is also less expensive to maintain as passive tags do not require battery replacements.

In most use cases, having a shorter read range is an advantage – this way, you will be confident that the tagged item is right in front of you or the reader. This is especially useful when performing a rapid stock check across multiple tagged items using a handheld RFID reader.

Other Things To Consider

Bluetooth beacons, or BLE tags, is a type of active RFID tag but somewhat confusingly, they are typically not referred to as such. BLE tags are much more consumer-oriented and can communicate with most modern smartphones. By utilising the smartphone as the reader, this significantly reduces the cost and complexity of the entire infrastructure. However, BLE technology is still in its infancy and requires a significant drop in cost for it to become ubiquitous.


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