Going Green with Xerafy for RFID

Posted by Ken Lynch on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 @ 09:57 AM

Tags: RFID, Asset Tracking, Tool Tracking, RFID tags

Dennis KhooThe following guest post has been provided by Dennis Khoo, CEO and Founder of Xerafy.  For more information about the powerful combination of ThingMagic RFID readers and Xerafy RFID tags, please contact sales@thingamgic.com or sales@xerafy.com.

There’s a lot of enthusiasm around going green lately.  From recycling paper to reducing carbon footprints, companies are now very aware of the impact their business can have on the environment. Yet, have you ever considered how RFID technology would be able to support the green initiative?

RFID has been around for a while, you have probably use it today when you get out of the car park, check out a library book, gain access to your office and maybe to make a payment for your coffee. RFID is used to track many things from retail clothing to livestock. It’s a technology that can provide organizations with unprecedented improved visibility and traceability of items throughout their journey in the value chain.

At Xerafy, in addition to our green logo, we like the fact that our RFID technology is not only allowing businesses to be more efficient but also allowing companies to reduce waste, over consumption and limit the carbon footprint. By enabling more industries to use RFID with the smallest and most rugged tags on the market and working with partners like ThingMagic, Xerafy empowers our customers to do the following: reduce, reuse, and recycle with RFID.

Reducing consumption - RFID tracking of tools and equipment increases product utilization and reduces theft, loss, and requirements for redundant supplies.

Reuse of containers – Tracking returnable transit containers with RFID can ensure containers are returned and managed.

Reuse of tools, and equipment – Utilizing RFID tracking for maintenance and repair calibration records ensures that parts last longer and are verified for quality checks.

Recycle – RFID tracking of parts from point of manufacture to end of life can allow customers to return to manufacturers to recycle or ensure proper disposal is taken.

Xerafy is committed to bringing innovative tag solutions to help our customers meet their individual needs and help the environment.  We have a suite of different EPC UHF tags built for industrial markets for reliable identification of on-metal parts, embed-in-metal assets, and versatile tags that can perform over a wide range of materials including metals and plastics. Let us know how your company has helped the environment with RFID on our Facebook page.

Xerafy

 

 

 

Do you have a market-changing RFID product or a unique RFID-enabled solution that has produced a nice ROI for your customers?  If so, please let us know and we'll consider it for ThingMaigc's RFID Blog!

Construction Management with RFID

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Aug 11, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

Tags: RFID, Tool Tracking, Construction

Tool Tracking, Heavy Equipment Management and Next-Generation 4-Dimensional Building Information Modeling

Construction companies and maintenance organizations face a unique set of asset management and operational challenges during the best of times.  Given the tight economic and budget conditions we face today, keeping a closer eye on the location of tools and equipment, and ensuring a safe working environment is more important than ever.

Having access to timely and accurate information about the location and status of critical assets such as tools and equipment are directly related to the successful completion of a project and a company’s bottom line.  With the advanced technologies and innovations in the construction industry, it has become both technically and economically viable to integrate the use of automated data collection methods – like RFID - into daily operations. 

Deploying an RFID system involves individually tagging each tool or piece of equipment and then outfitting warehouses, trucks or kiosks with RFID readers.  A comprehensive RFID system can be implemented at a low cost to the customer and provide significant improvements across all areas of the construction process.  Here are a few examples:

Tool Tracking on Vehicles

Normally, trucks leaving work sites have to manually take inventory of all their equipment. More often that not, a piece of this equipment is inadvertently left behind, forcing the company to pay to replace it.  Other times an assignment might call for a specific tool or piece of machinery that has been misplaced.  Looking for the missing item wastes labor hours and wages paid during the time spent searching.

With an RFID-enabled tool tracking solution, employees loading a truck headed to a work site can take inventory in a matter of seconds and retrieve any misplaced or forgotten items.  Upon completion of the job, inventory can be taken again to prevent leaving valuable tools behind.

OK – you didn’t think we could go too long without mentioning Tool Link in our 100 Uses of RFID campaign did you!  Ford Work Solutions™ Tool Link™ uses UHF RFID technology to tell you what's in your truck and what isn't.  This solution is a prime example of the growing number of innovative solutions where users and consumers can naturally interact with RFID and sensors and where the technology is so integrated and transparent that it disappears into its environment. 

Construction Site Tool Tracking

Atlas RFID, a professional service agency dedicated to improving business processes in all fields of RFID, has created a tool tracking solution using ThingMagic USB Readers.

Atlas RFID Atlas RFID Atlas RFID

Atlas’s Asset Management System (AMS) not only tracks tools and equipment, but also the personnel involved.  In addition to the loss prevention and elimination of inefficiencies, Atlas AMS also has the ability to check compliance with safety regulations and inspection.  When tools are passed by the self-service kiosk, this data is displayed up on the user friendly touch screen, allowing a worker to take action if required.

Heavy Equipment Management

Heavy equipment providers that lease cranes, bulldozers and other machinery are testing or deploying RFID to keep track of assets and monitor their use in order to maximize lease revenues. In addition, these companies are testing RFID to keep tabs on workers to ensure both safety and productivity.

RFID and Sensors for Maintenance and Building Information Modeling

The integration of RFID and sensors into building material is finding its way into Building Information Modeling (BIM), allowing construction firms to generate and manage real-time building data during its life cycle to increase productivity in building design and construction.

For example, tagging of building components allows one to perform authentication and lifetime maintenance of construction materials such as concrete blocks, steel beams and piping.  RFIDS in environmentally stressed materials can be monitored for the lifetime of a building, measuring strain, temperature and moisture to deliver a profile of building with very high resolution in real-time for real-time control.

Let us know your thoughts on how RFID and sensors can be used in the construction industry.  Please share your success stories with us.

Enterprise Asset Management with RFID

Posted by Ken Lynch on Tue, May 11, 2010 @ 04:58 PM

Tags: RFID, Tool Tracking, Asset Management, Industrial Automation

ARC Advisory Group recently published a report titled "RFID Enables Improvement for Mobility and Enterprise Asset Management", in which they cite a "rapid uptick" in end user plans to implement RFID solutions for enterprise asset management (EAM).  According to a survey of 65 companies, ARC reports that a growing number are planning to move away from using bar codes in favor of deploying RFID to help manage their corporate assets.  Of the survey respondents - representing more than 1,300 facilities - 12 percent indicated they were already using RFID, while 20 percent said they have budgeted to add RFID to their EAM systems this year.

RFID-enabled applications identified by ARC as being available to users to help improve their asset management and maintenance include inventory management, recording asset history, data acquisition for condition monitoring, and location tracking.  According to RFID Journal's coverage of this report, one application that stands out is the use of RFID for inventory management or tool tracking because of the durability of RFID tags compared to bar coded labels in industrial environments.

Enterprise asset management and tool tracking are applications that ThingMagic is very familiar with.  Tool Link, an innovative solution offered by Ford Motor Company and DeWALT, includes ThingMagic's rugged RFID readers and tags and is available in 2009 and 2010 model Ford pickups and vans.  ThingMagic is also partnered with Atlas RFID, supplying the RFID technology to power the Atlas RFID AMS (Asset Management System) - a comprehensive, automated asset data collection and management system that promotes the safety and security of personnel, tools and equipment. Further, Element ID, a provider of high performance RFID readers and specialty industrial automation equipment/systems, recently announced the integration of the ThingMagic M5e embedded RFID module into their UHF Series Appliances for tracking high value assets throughout a building, such as IT assets, or lab or hospital equipment.

The bottom line - Big gains in productivity are economically feasible TODAY by using low cost Passive RFID and complimentary visibility technologies.  No application is too challenging, so if you want to explore how to implement RFID to improve the management of your assets, contact ThingMagic.

Ford Transit Connect Family One: RFID-Enabled Concept Van

Posted by Ravi Pappu on Tue, Apr 07, 2009 @ 06:43 PM

Tags: RFID, Tool Tracking, Ford Tool Link, Ford Transit Connect

At the recent New York Auto Show, Ford revealed an RFID-enabled concept van for consumers called the Transit Connect Family One Concept.

Based on the existing Transit Connect work van, the Transit Connect Family One is a forward-looking concept vehicle that combines high-tech and high-touch amenities to keep a youthful family connected, engaged and entertained.

The Transit Connect work van is a big hit in Europe, where it has been on sale for several years. Despite its small size, the Transit Connect has a large and flexibility cargo space. It also is fuel efficient, delivering 24 mpg. This makes it ideal for a wide variety of business hauling needs. The Transit Connect work van will go on sale in the U.S. this summer.

The Transit Connect work van will offer the RFID-based asset tracking system Ford Tool Link by DeWALT as a factory installed option. ThingMagic worked with Ford and DeWALT to design and develop Tool Link and the system uses ThingMagic UHF RFID readers. In addition to Transit Connect, Tool Link is available as a factory installed option on 2009 Ford F-150 pickup trucks.

While the Transit Connect Family One is a concept car and may or may not come to market, it is interesting to see Ford thinking about adding RFID to consumer vehicles. This is another example of RFID technology moving beyond industrial applications and entering consumer markets.

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