RFID Asset Tracking Systems: Active vs. Passive RFID

RFID Asset Tracking Systems: Active vs. Passive RFID

active vs. passive rfid

Not certain whether to use an active (RTLS) or passive RFID asset tracking system?


Many companies have heard of real-time locating systems, but may not be certain whether to use an active or passive RFID tracking system. Each type of asset tracking system offers its own benefits. Active systems offer real-time monitoring of assets, while a passive system is useful for tracking item level ownership with minimal hardware needed. Understanding when to use active RTLS is straightforward.

What Is Active RTLS RFID?

This RFID asset tracking system uses a tag containing circuitry, chip, and battery to track assets. Active RFID tags send out identifying information via radio frequency signals nearly constantly. This information is picked up by fixed RFID readers, the location of each asset is calculated, and sent along to Litum’s RTLS asset tracking software to interpret. This allows manufacturers to track assets with RFID tags as they are moving around the floor from dozens of meters away.

Best Uses of The Active System

Since an active RFID asset tracking system sends out a regular signal, it’s useful for real-time monitoring and tracking of assets. Airports, manufacturing facilities, and many more can use active RFID tags to track employees, assets, tools, and equipment.

Other uses for an active asset tracking system include:

Why Use Active RFID Asset Tracking RTLS Systems?

Naturally, the uses for an active RFID-based asset tracking system can also be completed by a group of experienced employees. So, why choose an active system that may have a more expensive initial setup?

Small businesses may be interested in RFID asset tracking. But, may not have a good idea of how an RFID-based asset tracking system can help them yet. Here’s why:

Passive RFID tags are simple to use and inexpensive to purchase. However, they are quite limited in their application. They only ‘ping’ and are visible to the RTLS software when they receive a signal from a mobile or fixed RFID reader. Otherwise, they’re invisible. You’ll have to go searching for an item or tool that is misplaced in a large warehouse.

An active asset tracking RFID tag contains a battery and retain their charge for months at a time. This allows you to maintain constant surveillance of assets on the floor with minimal effort needed for recharging tags.

Businesses also cut down on man-hours and time wasted by not having to go searching for lost items or even people. Active tags can also be outfitted with panic buttons so that workers in hazardous environments can signal for help.

To find out more about how Litum can help improve your operations, contact us now.

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