Many maintenance operations choose to use barcodes to label their assets and spare parts. They can prove to be effective in clean environments, but when it comes to harsh environments found in maintenance operations even the most robust of these barcodes can suffer.
In these cases ultra-durable RFID tags can offer a solution.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) as defined on Wikipedia is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.
Set up correctly, the RFID will work alongside the maintenance software in the following manner. When an RFID tag is scanned it returns a unique serial number to the scanning device. These serial numbers are typically pre-programmed in by the tag’s manufacturer. To allow for identification the serial number would have been registered alongside the corresponding asset/part in the system. The maintenance software then searches through the systems register of assets or inventory and returns the information for the matching item.
The equipment required to use RFID tags with your application include:
Although there are standards in place for RFID, there are some differences between the various manufacturers’ products. For maintenance Asset tagging NFC (Near Field Communication) RFID tags are the most commonly used, which means that the scanner needs to be held in close proximity to the tag before it is read. This eliminates the confusion of identifying which tag is being read if you have multiple tags in the same physical area.
For more information on using RFID tagging with MEX download the MEX Maintenance Software RFID Fact sheet