Briefly on RFID Technology
Managers who are considering a real-time location system (RTLS) for their facilities may be wondering whether to opt for active radio frequency identification (RFID) or passive RFID. The right answer depends a lot on your needs as a business.
Let’s start by learning a little more about each radio frequency identification technology.
The active RFID tag is a type of miniature transmitter that is constantly sending out a radio signal. It contains an internal power source, usually a small battery, that is long-lasting. Some tags can go as long as a few years before they need recharging or battery replacement.
Passive RFID labels or RFID inlays are more like a simple antenna with an RFID chip. When the passive tag comes within the range of an RFID reader that is transmitting a radio signal, this signal energizes the passive RFID tag’s antenna. Once activated, it sends out a reply including its unique ID number that is picked up by the reader.
The active tag also sends its signal out to an active RFID reader but does so using its internal power source.
Active RFID's Benefits for Tracking Movement
An active RFID tag offers multiple benefits for real-time tracking of people and assets, like vehicles or equipment. A business that handles sensitive data or performs tasks requiring specific personnel only can easily use active RFID to monitor the movement of workers from location to location.
More Accurate and Frequent Updates
It’s also very useful for monitoring location to within a sub-meter accuracy from a distance. For instance, if you have a large warehouse with many workers, the active radio frequency identification system has an easier time tracking all of them. Whereas a passive label would only register when a worker entered or left a new area through a gate, which could be tough to control in a facility that is large in size.
Improved Safety & Productivity
Companies that have fairly independent or isolated workers may also prefer the active RFID system for improved productivity and safety. With an active tag, you can observe whether a distant worker is moving around or remaining still for long periods of time, thanks to the embedded motion sensors. Remaining in a stationary position for a long period, unless part of the job, could indicate an employee who isn’t working or who is unconscious and needs assistance.
Litum experts can also help you incorporate alarms into an RTLS system that alerts the appropriate personnel when a particular worker hasn’t moved for a certain length of time.
Lower Maintenance of RFID
With an active RFID tag installed on moving vehicles and equipment, it is also possible to monitor the status of the asset. Litum can connect the system to other sensors that monitor heat, speed, and gas levels. This data can be monitored and transmitted by the RTLS system along with location information. Use it to determine when maintenance is needed or when a piece of equipment is on the verge of breaking down.
Active RFID is better for businesses that need more frequent updates on the position of personnel or assets. It can also be helpful for emergency situations, especially when an isolated worker could be in trouble.
If you are considering the installation of an active RFID system, contact Litum today to ask for sample active tags, schedule a demo, or get a free consultation. Our experts can help you further decide on the type of readers and tags to use in your facility.