Xerafy makes IT asset management easier

it-blogFor information technology, past asset-tracking processes – like bar code-based asset tracking processes – are no longer timely or accurate enough to mitigate the risks of non-compliance with the growing list of regulations governing enterprise information and assets. RFID increasingly is the answer for these tracking and regulatory requirements.

Not only do RFID solutions take the time, cost and risk out of IT asset tracking and reporting needs, but with the help of Xerafy — and its experienced network of system integrators and solution providers—solutions are available for identifying servers, storage devices and networking equipment, tracking computers, laptops and smart phones, and working with IT hardware suppliers to source tag equipment for their customers. Continue reading

Passive UHF Overcomes Active RFID Limitations in Healthcare

passive-vs.-active-for-healthcareXerafy works with a lot of healthcare professionals in hospitals, labs, surgical instruments services and other organizations. We’ve learned there are several important misperceptions about RFID technology in the industry. Specifically, many people are unaware of the differences between passive and active RFID technology, and thus have a limited view of what RFID can do.

Passive RFID tags transmit their data using power generated by the reader. The tag is not an active transmitter, and thus can be extremely small and durable. Active RFID tags broadcast their own signal and require a battery to power the transmission. The battery adds size and cost the tag and creates a maintenance requirement, because batteries need to be replaced periodically. The Wi-Fi tags that are commonly used in real time locating systems (RTLS) to track IV pumps, wheelchairs and other large assets are a good example of active RFID technology.

Because Wi-Fi RTLS is so well known, it has become synonymous with RFID in the healthcare industry. That is an unfortunate misunderstanding because active RFID is unsuitable for tracking surgical trays and instruments, meeting UDI traceability requirements and many other use cases. Passive UHF has several important advantages over Wi-Fi and other active RFID technologies commonly used in healthcare RTLS systems. Continue reading

RFID vs. Bar Codes: Let’s Take it Outside

BARCODE-vs-RFIDThere are many aspects to the RFID vs. bar code debate, too many to cover in this blog (although we already provided an overview on the topic, covered hospital considerations here and have posted about data center advantages). Let’s narrow the debate and consider applications where items need to be located and identified outdoors, such as asset management at oil & gas operations, or tool tracking at construction sites.

These applications typically only require a serial number to be encoded to link to a database, so either RFID or bar code are suitable. Beyond that there are some important differences between the technologies, most of which favor RFID. Continue reading

New DoD Rules a Reminder of RFID Opportunity

military-aircraftThe U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is cracking down on counterfeiting by requiring its electronic parts contractors to verify the authenticity of the products they supply. The tougher new rules that went into effect earlier this month require DoD suppliers to put processes in place to detect potentially counterfeit electronic parts. Consistent with other U.S. government identification and traceability program policies, the new DoD rules do not require any specific technology to be used to verify part authenticity. This creates a new opportunity to apply RFID part identification and traceability solutions, similar to those that are required and being put in place in the commercial aviation industry (see our white paper for more background).

RFID tags can encode a serial number for lifetime identification, provide encryption and other security to protection the serial number from being copied or altered, and can offer additional, secure memory for users to update the part’s maintenance history, parent-child relationships with other components, or other variable data. Xerafy RFID tags provide the added advantages of enabling lifetime identification because they are extremely rugged and offer a variety of attachment options. Of course, Xerafy tags are also among the few that will work reliably when applied directly to metal. Continue reading

Building the Case for RFID in Construction

Nipic_2004813_20131029094434592000The construction industry is very cyclical but one thing remains constant: companies lose a lot of tools and materials at job sites. Theft, loss and waste are a common problem, and a large one – the construction industry loses between $300 million $1 billion every year because of equipment and tool theft. Power tools, hand tools, compressors and even metal that can be sold for scrap are all popular targets. These and other assets can all be tagged and protected with RFID.

With the construction industry coming out of its latest down cycle, it is time to consider new methods to protect profitability as growth strengthens. RFID is a very fast, very effective technology for automating tool check-in and check-out processes. Software applications that can run on rugged handheld computers or even smartphones at job sites can provide real-time status updates on where all tools and assets are at any time. RFID systems can also provide unattended monitoring and security for tool cribs and trailers. Tags and readers can also be embedded into buildings or buried in concrete to provide discrete, unattended monitoring. Continue reading