Many construction, HVAC contractors or repair service companies with multiple trucks/vans require an accurate count of their expensive tools on these vehicles. Currently companies are using either pencil and paper, or maybe bar code. Pencil and paper is obviously very labor intensive and time consuming. As for barcode, it is awkward or impractical to read all the barcodes as you move and use the tools. When using barcodes, the operator will have to find the barcode somewhere on the tool. Depending on site condition or work environment, the tool or equipment will need to be cleared off the dirt so that it can be scanned. However when you do this often, you will notice that most of the barcodes will be damaged, or the barcode has fallen off all together. Today, RFID software and tags & readers can provide a 100 percent guaranteed tool tracking solution to manage these very expensive and mission critical tools in a mobile environment.
RFID is an excellent mobile tool tracking technology for operations that require specialized or mandatory equipment on a job site!
With RFID, no matter how dirty a tool or equipment will get, you will always be able to read the identity of that tag directly through all of the dirt. Tool specific RFID tags are meant to outlast your tools and are extremely rugged. Unlike barcodes that typically can come off, industrial tags can even be “welded” on. That is as permanent as it can get! With a good process, proper placement of the tags on the tools, you can count hundreds of these tags in seconds as opposed to hours. You’ll never leave your tolls behind at a job site.
With the above process in place, you can now count and validate everything on a truck before a driver leaves, and most importantly validate what the driver has or does not have upon his return. Inventory in just a few seconds! Lastly, if active RFID technology (long range up to 1,650 feet) lends itself to your tools, by just pressing a button, you can count everything on the truck in 1-2 seconds. Before leaving the area where your employee is working, he takes an active PDA and validates if everything is on the truck before departure. If the results determine that they are missing something, they take out their long range PDA and through audible and visual cues these device will help find the missing tool.
RFID equipment tracking is critical to a company’s bottom line. Having instant access to accurate tool and equipment information about the location and status of these critical assets directly impact the successful completion of a project or job. With RFID technologies and software in mobile tool and equipment tracking, it is both technically feasible and cost effective to implement the use of automated data collection processes into daily operations.
Deploying an RFID system involves individually tagging each tool or piece of equipment and then outfitting warehouses, trucks, or kiosks with RFID readers. A comprehensive RFID system can be implemented at a low cost to the customer and provide significant improvements across all areas of the construction process.