RFID and RentalPoint

RFID support in RentalPoint is available.

Overview

RFID in theory can enhance equipment tracking by complementing the existing bar code tracking capabilities of RentalPoint,  it will not replace barcode tracking and is not intended as a primary system.   The application for RFID is to improve the accuracy of the equipment tracking,  this can be achieved by attaching RFID tags to some or all equipment,  if attached to all or most equipment it is possible that RFID may detect some unplanned or undocumented equipment movements either in or out of the warehouse.   it also may speed the handling of cables and other small items that often get overlooked.

According to the experts RFID does not capture 100% of all tags/equipment passing the scanning point,  for this reason alone it should not be solely relied upon for equipment tracking purposes.   Equipment would still have to be bar code scanned individually,  for example when picking an order before loading onto a truck,  then once all the barcodes have been loaded into the RentalPoint system, the equipment would pass the RFID scanning point which may be an arch or a doorway,  the RFID tags would then be downloaded and a check done in RentalPoint to ensure any additional equipment caught by the RFID scan is recorded.   Since the RFID scan does not indicate the direction (whether it is going out or in to the warehouse), of the equipment or who is scanning it,  a video surveillance system should be used as backup.

The point that equipment is bar code scanned and RFID scanned is different,  barcode scanning is before and during  the equipment picking process and RFID is after / when it is being loaded onto the truck.   RentalPoint's barcode scanning interface assists operators in the picking process by helping to identify and improve the accuracy of the picking process,  RFID can therefore supplement this process by identifying any equipment that has been missed or is simply too fiddly to barcode scan such as cables.

RFID may help speed the check in / return process,  for example all equipment could be RFID scanned and then once loaded into RentalPoint only the equipment missed by the RFID scan would need to be found and bar code scanned.

The actual implementation of any system may vary greatly from what is described here,  this should be used as a guide only.

Summary

RFID tracking can enhance asset control,  but it does not replace bar code scanning,  the two (bar code scanning) and RFID scanning must work hand in hand.

The major challenge for RFID is reading tags inside a roadcase,  this is because of the high density of tags/equipment in the case and the case itself may block reception of some tags.

Please see the summary of work flow steps below,  to summarise,  the equipment must be bar code scanned as it is loaded into the roadcases before it goes out and the roadcases need to be unpacked and bar code scanned on return.

 

 

For pricing please see you local Symbol retailer XR450 Fixed RFID Reader

 

Motorola’s XR450 RFID reader is an industrial-class, fixed RFID reader designed for business-critical, dense-reader deployments. With both mono-static and bi-static antenna operation capability, it has the flexibility to meet a wide range of application and environment needs.

The XR450 fixed reader provides ease of integration and rich application support while reading tags reliably and efficiently. It provides comprehensive application flexibility, including support for direct application hosting; standard back-end platforms from IBM, Microsoft, SAP and others; and the ability to interact with industrial automation equipment such as conveyors.

 

AN400 RFID Antenna

The AN400 antenna offers a new level of operational efficiency in areas previously too large to accommodate RFID technology. Its wide read field and high-speed RF signal conversion allows fast and accurate communication of EPC-compliant passive tag data. The high-performance area antennas are easy to mount on ceilings and walls to create superior read zones around shelves, doorways and dock doors – anywhere boxes and pallets are moving into and out of a facility.

Note: 4 or more Antenna's are recommended

 

  Others

For pricing please see you local Symbol retailer

CBLRD-1B4002400R RF Cable 240" ; Cable Type LMR 240
50-14000-159R PWR:SPLY:90-264VAC,24VDC,3.0A
AXB-XR450-30 3 Year Advance Exchange. Includes Comprehensive Coverage.

RFID tags

Check out these links

Confidex Tag product portfolio

RFID Fixed Asset Tags 95

RFID_Hard_Tag_Product_Sheet

Steelwave micro_small

 

Summary of work flow

So to summarise the work flow involved in implementing an RFID system in RentalPoint :-

Order picking process

1. Pick and barcode scan equipment and place in cart,  hold in staging area in warehouse

2. Load barcodes into RentalPoint

3. RFID scan equipment and load into truck

4.  Load RFID scanned equipment into RentalPoint

5.  Account for any additional / unexpected scanned equipment

6.  Print delivery docket with all equipment

Return / check in process

1. Print collection docket and send with driver to collect

2. Unload truck into warehouse staging area and RFID scan equipment

3. Load RFID scanned equipment into RentalPoint

4. Locate and Barcode scan any missed equipment,  load into RentalPoint

5.  Print missing equipment docket or invoice