Almost daily we are asked if some can use RFID to track their items. The answer is yes, but we have to determine what they want to label and what their expectations are. We have found that one of the best solutions to use RFID instead of barcode is asset management. We recommend RFID for asset management when you have a lot of assets that need to be discovered and a small staff to do the work. It is also very good for companies that have racks of servers or computer equipment where there may be limited space to place a barcode, or if the barcode is behind cables that have to be moved out of the way in order to be scanned. You do not want an inexperienced person in your server room moving cables around with the potential of bringing your system down. However, we always approach each solution from the point of the customer, and to make sure that the software will manage their expectations.
As we consult with the customer we determine the type of assets to be labeled, the number of locations, and how often they will be doing an asset discovery. Since there are many different RFID tags that will and will not work on assets, knowing the correct tag to use, will be the difference between success and failure. We recommend a RFID tag survey before you order any tags. The survey will determine what the best tag to use is and what is the optimal mounting location on the asset. Since RFID signals cannot penetrate metal you need to make sure the tag is placed so that it can receive and send the signal from the reader.
An easy way to think about RFID and how it works is to think about a flashlight and a mirror. If you shine a flashlight at a mirror, it bounces the light back to you or away from you. The same can be said about RFID signals. That tag has to be visible to the signal and it needs to be able to send the signal back.
As with any solution, proper planning will make the application meet your expectations and provide you with a solution the is functional and one that will allow you to grow.