Monthly Archives

June 2018

One of our core areas at Digitalquill is designing and implementing RFID systems for businesses, big and small, all over the world. Many companies will ask “why do we need RFID systems?” If you currently use a barcode system in your business, then RFID systems offer a significant improvement at a relatively low cost.

RFID – Better than Barcodes

RFID is short for Radio-Frequency IDentification. It refers to very small electronic devices consisting of a chip and an antenna. RFID chips (or transponders) carry a small amount of data – usually less than 2,000 bytes. Essentially, the RFID transponder does the same job as a bar code or the magnetic strip on the back of a credit card – it provides the object with a unique identifier. You have to scan a barcode or swipe a magnetic strip to read the data: in the same wya, an RFID transponder has to be scanned to read the information it contains.

Why is RFID Better Than a Barcode?

The biggest advantage of RFID devices over barcodes is that the RFID transponder does not need to be carefully placed in a specific position near the scanner. If you’ve ever seen a cashier trying to scan a crumpled or torn barcode you will instantly understand why this is a benefit. RFID systems can actually work up to 20 feet away (if high-frequency RFID is used).

Although RFID technology has been available for over fifty years, it is now becoming commonplace as the cost to manufacture the transponders has fallen so they can be almost disposable items.

Digitalquill: Software Solutions and Bespoke Software development

Our team of highly skilled engineers manages many large software systems, we also have a range of software solutions which we provide as SaaS (Software as a Service) such as our Inspection Monitor, Asset Monitor, Rental Monitor, Access Monitor and more. Many of our systems include RFID technology.

Fire Door Inspection System

Fire Safety is one of our passions at Digitalquill, and we have a special announcement to make on #TestitTuesday next week. One of our most popular products is Fire Door Monitor – an app and optional hardware solution to help businesses check their fire doors and even alert them if they are left propped open. Here’s (almost) everything you need to know about fire doors.

Fire Door Monitor – Helping Businesses Stay Safe from Fire

fire door inspection

About three million fire doors are bought and installed in the United Kingdom every single year. The vast majority of these are made from timber. Fire doors are designed to be one of the first lines of defence against smoke and fire. Fitting correctly specified and maintained fire doors can be the difference between life and death for a building’s occupant in the event of a fire. Fire doors are frequently neglected or downgraded, and they tend to be propped open and badly maintained which reduces their effectiveness.

Did You Know…?

  • Around 2.5 million certified fire doors are bought and installed in the UK every single year
  • 75% of tradespeople have noticed a fire door that is blocked or obstructed when working with businesses
  • 58% have spotted accessibility problems with fire doors in commercial and public buildings
  • 63% say that the most common fault they see is fire doors that do not close properly

The Regulatory Reform Order 2005

The Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) also known as the Fire Safety Order (FSO) is the piece of legislation that businesses need to comply with. It was signed into law on 7 June 2005, and its provisions came into force on 1 October 2006. The responsibility for fire risk assessment in all non-domestic buildings falls to the ‘Responsible Person’ or ‘Responsible Persons’.

The RRO applies to you if you are:

  • Responsible for business premises
  • An employer or self-employed with business premises
  • Responsible for a part of a dwelling – if that part is solely used for business purposes
  • A charity or voluntary organisation
  • A contractor with a degree of control over any premises
  • Providing accommodation for paying guests

What Must the Responsible Person Do?

The Responsible Person must:

  • Ensure that a fire safety risk assessment is carried out and reviewed on a regular basis
  • Identify & record the fire hazards
  • Identify & record the people at risk
  • Evaluate, remove or mitigate fire safety risks
  • Prepare an emergency plan & provide training
  • Review & update the fire risk assessment regularly
  • Part of this risk assessment and fire management plan must consider the safe installation, maintenance & inspection of fire doors.

How To Check A Fire Door

There are five key areas to check on each fire door. You should record that the correct checks have been regularly done. These are only guides, the full 31-point checklist is documented in the RRO and is incorporated into Fire Door Monitor from Digitalquill: a fire door inspection system that records your inspections safely in the cloud – no more paper checklists and no worries about missing your inspection.

1 – Certification

Look for a label or plug on top (or occasionally on the side) of the door. Without a certification mark, you cannot be sure it really is a fire door. Use a mirror or the camera function on your camera phone.

2 – Gaps

Check the gaps around the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when the door’s closed. The gap under the door can be slightly larger (up to 8mm), but it does depend on the door. Ideally, you should not see light under the door. If gaps are too big then smoke and fire could travel through the cracks. Use a £1 coin to give a feel for scale, they are about 3mm thick.

3 – Seals

Look for any intumescent seals around the door or frame. Check they’re intact with no sign of damage. The seals will expand if they’re in contact with heat, and it will stop the fire (and in some cases smoke) moving through the cracks.

4 – Hinges

Check all hinges are firmly fixed (three or more of them), with no missing or broken screws. Be sure the door has been properly maintained, and in the intensity of a fire will perform properly. Simply open the door to view the hinges.

5 – Closure

Check the door closes firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame. A fire door only works when it’s closed. A fire door is completely useless if it’s wedged open or can’t close fully. To test: open the door about halfway, let go and see what happens when you allow it to close by itself.

Fire Door Monitor – The Fire Door Inspection System

Digitalquill’s Fire Door Monitor is a complete fire door inspection system. Using RFID systems, your responsible person can be alerted by our fire door inspection software whenever a fire door is propped open for too long, so you can keep fire door discipline even if you cannot be at every site 24/7. Using our fire door inspection app, you can record 31-point checks on fire doors, and add or amend checks to suit your business. Call us on 01482 424402, email office@digitalquill.co.uk or visit our website for more information.

 

waste management rfid systems

waste management rfid systemsWaste management is becoming more important. Campaigns such as Stop Plastic Use are encouraging consumers to use less plastic and to recycle what they do use. Waste industry officials say that RFID systems are becoming a more and more common way for waste management to track containers to make sure the right waste is recycled and reused, in the continual battle for zero waste to landfill.

RFID Systems to improve Waste Management

A growing use for Radio-frequency identification (RFID systems) is for pay-as-you-throw waste recycling programs. You can attach RFID tags to assets such as bins or recycling containers and collect data that tells you when the bins are full, so the waste management company can be automatically alerted when it is time to send a truck to empty them.

RFID systems are a powerful inventory management tool. They provide secure service verification as RFID transponders cannot be cloned – and they can supply waste management companies with a whole host of data. RFID systems for asset management are being more widely used in the waste and recycling industry for tracking, managing work and ensuring that regular repairs or replacements are done on waste containers. RFID can be used to manage trucks and track waste collection services in almost real time thanks to the advent of mobile data technology. Even the recycling trucks themselves can be RFID tagged to monitor them, or allow them access into and out of sites – and every RFID scan allows better asset tracking of the waste containers.

Why invest in RFID Technology for waste management?

RFID systems allow managers to monitor any number of aspects of work, including the progress against of a list of tasks or pickups, missed checks, staff productivity, the condition of the assets and much, much more. The best RFID systems can interface with other modules to improve service – for example, Digitalquill produce integrated cloud-based mobile enabled RFID software modules that cover every business need from staff time measurement to fire door monitoring.

Digitalquill – UK RFID Software Developers

At Digitalquill we are experts in RFID systems. From our base near Hull in East Yorkshire, we deploy agile RFID-based software solutions to companies across the world. Call us on 01482 424402 or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk to find out how we can help your waste management business to become more productive.

Digitalquill’s Fire Door Inspection System was developed from recommendations from fire authorities and helps businesses to the requirements of the ‘Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and BS 9999.

Fire Door Inspection System

Fire Door Monitor is the most advanced Fire Door Inspection system on the market, using RFID systems to streamline and automate inspections and notify authorised persons when a fire door is been left open. The system operates with NFC, so there is no need to invest in new hand-held devices: your inspector can use an existing NFC-enabled mobile phone to complete inspections.

Secure Fire Safety Record Keeping

All records of checks are kept in the cloud, and updated whenever a data connection is available. This means a lost device need not mean lost data. Inspection schedules can be set up and managed within the system and management alerted if inspections are missed. Notifications can be made by email or SMS.

Fire Door Inspection App

Fire Door Monitor can be expanded to report on popped-open fire doors with magnetic catches being installed onto each fire door – so they can only be opened for a maximum specified time before an alert is sent to the fire officer.

Simple Fire Door Inspection Software

The process for users is straightforward:

  • Open the Fire Door Inspection App on a smartphone
  • Scan the fore door when prompted
  • Answer a series of questions by tapping a tick box on screen
  • If the check is a “fail”, give a reason why.
  • A ‘Fail’ generates a notification for further action to be taken.

If you wish, a unique embedded RFID transponder can be used to identify each fire door. Because they cannot be cloned, the transponder scan proves that the door was visited. If an area was failed in the last inspection, the app shows an icon onscreen to allow the inspector to see why it failed and check that the relevant remedial action has been taken.

RFID transponders are unobtrusive and easy to install. They are either a small disc 20mm across, or small glass device embedded in the door frame. Therefore, the system respects your corporate environment while keeping your staff safe.

Digitalquill – Experts in Fire Door Inspection Systems

Call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email support@digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.