RFID Art Tracking for Instant Inventory
High end inventory assets, such as valuable works of art, require constant monitoring. Until now, the only way to perform such function was with the use of cameras. Unfortunately, cameras cannot see all, nor can they report what is on hand, or if something is being tampered with. Today with the SPT’s RFID Art Tracking applications, you can complement your camera system with an all-encompassing “true real-time” asset management/theft deterrent system. Strict inventory control can greatly reduce or even eliminate fraud and theft. With the SPT system in place, artwork and other high valued assets are constantly monitored/identified whether on display in the gallery, stored in the storeroom, transferred offsite, or sold. Appropriate safety precautions will quickly alert management to any tampering of assets.
Active RFID and Barcodes for Art Tracking
As each additional piece of art is received in the warehouse, specific details of the piece are entered into a database and assigned to an RFID tag encoded with a pre-encoded number. The tag is attached to the artwork with a Velcro strip. To ensure the tag will not be randomly moved between art pieces, each Velcro strip has been embedded with a magnet that works in conjunction with an internal magnetic switch. The tag’s memory will record each time a tag is removed and the magnetic seal or switch is broken, leaving a traceable history of a sale or transport to another gallery. Additionally, each piece of art is assigned a bar code that is specifically assigned to a tag and recorded in the back-end database. Antennae installed throughout the gallery ensure that the web-based inventory is recorded every ten minutes, six times an hour, providing multiple users within and outside of the gallery with extremely accurate inventory data. Gallery managers can request art pieces for their customers from other galleries with ease and assurance, knowing each piece’s position within the company’s various locations, within a ten minute period of accuracy, because the RFID art tracking system enables its user to run automated inventory counts at any moment.
“We used to take inventory once a month —though, in reality, it was more like each quarter or semi- annually,” Sutton says. “And there was a high error rate between what the database said was in each store and what was actually there.” “Now that Silent Partner Technologies developed an art tracking system for The French Art Network that uses active RFID tags and interrogators, our inventory is constantly up to date, while also helping to protect the items from thieves.”
– Jack Sutton, Owner of the French Art Network
Theft Deterrence System
Once a piece of art is purchased and an employee scans the bar code and removes the RFID tag, the art asset tracking software immediately identifies the tag, matching it to the specific piece sold. If the tag is removed but the bar code is not scanned, the software triggers an alert and an email is immediately sent to the gallery manager. The manager is then on notice to search for the artwork based on its last known location, just minutes before, and investigate whether an unauthorized removal of the RFID tag has occurred or whether the piece has been sold. The RFID art tracking application also identifies when a tag is removed from one piece of art and attached to another, lower cost piece, in an attempt to purchase the piece at the lower cost.
Read more about Art Asset Tracking, Silent Partner Technologies and active RFID in the RFID Journal Article.