RFID Tags give identification to things. Once identified, the tag can be used for many different purposes.
Let’s look at an example.
- An RFID Tag is installed in a fire door for the purpose of identifying the fire door. The fire door is located on the toilet entry door in a commercial high rise building.
- The building has on site security guards who during the course of their day undertake patrols throughout the building.
- There are cleaners on sub contract at the building to ensure that the toilets are cleaned on a regular basis, the paper and soap is replaced and available and the toilets are cleaned.
- A building manager is also located at the building and regular performs audits of sub contractor performance such as fire service companies, security personnel and cleaners.
With the RFID Tag in the fire door we have not only an identification of a door but also the identification of a location.
The fire service technician can scan the RFID Tag and be displayed a maintenance routine for the fire door, a security guard can scan the same tag to confirm he has patrolled the specific location, the cleaner can scan the RFID Tag on entering the toilet area and then on exiting the toilet area showing how long they were cleaning the toilet area and the building manager could scan the same tag and obtain the details of the last inspection/patrol or attendance of sub contracted service providers. An alternative for the building manager is to see all this information which can be remotely fed back to a central data store so at any time they can assess the performance of the sub contracted service providers.
If we look at the situation at the moment, a fire service company may place a bar code or other identifier on the door, the security company may place a touch tag on the wall adjacent to the door, the cleaners have a piece of paper on the back of the door and the building manager needs to review all returned information such as event logs and service reports to know what has or has not been done or if the information is required sooner attempts to contact the sub contractor supervisor via phone or email to find out what is going on.
The other disadvantage as there is no common link between the different identifications such as the fire companies label, the security guards touch tag and the cleaners piece of paper. Reconciling all the information from various service providers can be nearly impossible.
If all services utilised the same common RFID Tag, the building manager would have a simple means to know precisely what occurred at a specific location or to a specific asset.
One of the benefits of this type of arrangement is minimising the unsightly marking of things and standardising the means of identification. If the building owner mandates the use of RFID Tags for identifying things within their building they can reuse the RFID Tag for other purposes such as those we have detailed in this example.
Another benefit is that a change in the service provider does not mean yet another numbering system and yet another unsightly label. Data from one service provider for an asset can be easily matched, via the RFID Tags unique ID, to the data provided by another service provider giving a more robust and clearer picture of the status quo.
This is by no means a comprehensive look at what can be achieved with RFID Technology and if you want to know more about the potential benefits of this technology contact me to discuss or leave your comments below.