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Handheld RFID for field asset tracking
05
May '08
Tracient Technologies is supplying its Explore–R HF and Padl-R HF handheld RFID readers to Airfield, a Luxemburg based systems integrator, for its field asset tracking solution.

Operators need to accurately identify assets so that the required business process, for example vine pruning/ spraying, pipe maintenance/ removal, can take place. This is not always easy when the asset's identity details have been scratched, worn off or obscured by mud.

Another challenge is accelerating the process of recording asset identification information against the customer's asset register. The manual process is time consuming and creates an unacceptable risk of data entry error, especially through operators selecting incorrect asset records in the database / handheld application.

Thirdly, and most importantly in this instance, operators need to be able to write information back to the asset. For example: time of visit, operator's ID, nature of work carried out.

Arnaud Bellaire, Airfield's Director of RFID says “It is important for any business operating assets in the field to be able to accurately identify of each piece of equipment, regardless of its location. Identification errors can lead to unnecessary expense resulting from incorrect/ missed servicing, mistaken replacement, incorrect application of chemicals etc. It is also desirable to have the asset information stored on the asset so that any authorised visitor to the site can access and create up-to-date asset information, without real-time access to their enterprise database.”

Options that Airfield considered for their solution included Bar-codes and handheld computers with built-in RFID. Bar-coding was dropped due to dust and dirt covering the bar-codes and making the labels unreadable. The built-in RFID handheld computer option was dropped because Airfield wants their customers to be able to make use of their existing PDAs and mobile phones.

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