Short for radio-frequency identification, RFID is a type of technology that enables the intelligent tracking of items via a tag. RFID allows the wireless use of radio frequency waves to transfer data from the RFID tag to an RFID reader to convey information to the user.
An RFID tag consists of an antenna for sending and receiving signals, and a chip or integrated circuit which stores information. By using an RFID reader, the tag is subjected to an electromagnetic interrogation pulse which powers the tag to transmit data back to the reader.
What are the benefits of RFID?
Some might say that an RFID tag is a more intelligent form of barcode. Certainly, as RFID tags have reduced in cost, they are increasingly seen as a good alternative to barcodes although they are more often used to track and trace high value assets. There are many benefits of using RFID tags over barcodes, including:
• Line of sight not needed: Unlike barcodes, an RFID reader does not need to see the RFID tag, it just needs to be within range of it. This range will change depending upon the device used to read the RFID tag.
• Reading multiple RFID tags at once: Whilst barcodes can only be scanned one at a time, RFID tags can be read together, collectively all at once.
• RFID tags are read/write: You can change data stored by an RFID tag as needed, unlike barcodes which once printed cannot be changed.
• Increased durability: There is flexibility in how RFID tags are produced. For example, a hard case can be incorporated to protect the antenna and integrated circuit from extreme environmental elements. Consequently, RFID tags have a much longer lifespan (of up to 10 years) than barcodes and can even be reused.
• Increased data storage capacity: RFID tags are capable of storing far more data than traditional barcodes, making them more useful across use cases.
• Better security: The data stored on RFID tags is encrypted, offering much higher levels of security than barcodes.
Why does this matter to emergency workers?
Due to all of the benefits listed above, RFID technology is perfect for tracking and tracing assets in emergency situations, as well as managing their maintenance.
And with the increasing pressures placed on global emergency services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, RFID presents a real opportunity to the sector. It can help to reduce the administrative burden of managing a fleet of emergency vehicles and improving turnaround times, ultimately giving emergency services workers peace of mind that they have everything they need to do their job well.
Introducing ACETECH™ Asset Intelligence
ACETECHTM Asset Intelligence incorporates RFID to take the effort out of managing assets across a fleet of emergency vehicles. By attaching RFID tags to critical items and installing antennas onto emergency vehicles, and in the depot where assets may be stored, the system can track the location of all your equipment.
Benefits of ACETECH™ Asset Intelligence
RFID is the leading technology that enables ACETECH™ Asset Intelligence to support emergency services teams worldwide.
The benefits include:
• Accurate visibility at any time of all assets, whether in the stock room at HQ or on the road. This means stock counts can be done at any time no matter where all your emergency vehicles are.
• Supporting stock management by keeping a close eye on stock levels to easily manage replenishment and keep track of your purchasing trends.
• Improve decision making with ACETECH Vehicle Intelligence which collects data to provide intelligent analysis of asset use, stock management and purchasing decisions.
• Easily locate missing assets with the help of a location beacon and a proactive alert system, saving time and money.
• Fast vehicle readiness checks with the help of RFID technology so emergency workers can be sure they have everything they need to do their job well, without having to manually check items off a physical list.
• Consumables temperature check via temperature sensors will alert you when consumables have been spoiled due to extreme temperatures – for effective performance and reduced wastage.
Ultimately, by using RFID within ACETECH™ Asset Intelligence, emergency workers benefit from peace of mind and a reduction in administrative tasks that often detract from the job they need to focus on. They are typically motivated to help, protect and support the public. And anything that helps to maximise the amount of time they spend doing this and reducing the hours spent on back-office operations is surely a good thing – for both the public and for emergency services workers.
Are you interested in finding out more about ACETECH™ Asset Intelligence to track and monitor emergency services equipment?
Call 00353 (0)5793 29 404