Monthly Archives

August 2018

RFID Asset Tracking Drone

RFID systems allow us to complete large-scale repetitive tasks, that are extremely time-consuming for humans, more accurately and in far less time! But what if we could add drones to improve processes even more?

Drones, Another Use for RFID Systems.

It is now out of the realms of sci-fi and within the realms of possibility to have a large warehouse that is buzzing with drones that will take care of the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This is now becoming a reality in an  MIT trial, where RFID asset tracking is being combined with drones to increase productivity and allow employees greater time for customer service.

Using RFID Asset Tracking with Drones

Since the first proposed partnership between drones and RFID  systems was floated, it has been a challenge to create RFID-enabled drones that are small and lightweight enough to be safely flown within close range of workers. The new system, RFly, is now being trialled in Massachussets with a retailer. According to the report, the tiny drones fly around the warehouse safely while reading RFID inventory tags from over 10 metres away with a 19cm margin of error.

RFID Asset Tracking Drone

MIT News says: “Between 2003 and 2011, the U.S. Army lost track of $5.8 billion of supplies among its warehouses,” says Fadel Adib, the Sony Corporation Career Development Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, whose group at the MIT Media Lab developed the new system. “In 2016, the U.S. National Retail Federation reported that shrinkage — loss of items in retail stores — averaged around $45.2 billion annually. By enabling drones to find and localize items and equipment, this research will provide a fundamental technological advancement for solving these problems.”

Digitalquill – Experts in bespoke business RFID Systems

For more information on how RFID systems can help your business call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk.

 

Almost anything can have an RFID transponder attached to or embedded in it, but vehicles present a unique set of problems: they are made of metal glass and move around. Why would you want to use RFID Systems to track vehicles?

Tracking Vehicles with RFID Systems

Three of the most common reasons to use RFID systems with vehicles are access control, identification, and tracking.

Access Control with RFID Systems

With a system like Access Monitor you can control access points such as doors, roller shutters, vehicle barriers and gates through RFID technology. Staff gain access via an RFID transponder which can be affixed to a vehicle or integrated into an ID card or key fob – and the system can trigger the barrier’s opening or release mechanism through hardware integration with any number of access control points.

Using RFID to Identify Vehicles

Businesses such as car rental specialists can use a system like Rental Monitor to manage the rental of vehicles using RFID Systems. It is a powerful tool for managing the rental of assets and it integrates with RFID technology to allow items to be tracked, monitored, controlled and returned.

Tracking vehicles using RFID

By using tracking points at different locations on a vehicle’s route you can use RFID systems to understand the location of a vehicle in almost real-time. This is useful for example in delivery vehicles, where a system such as PODMonitor can be used to track deliveries and inform customers of estimated delivery times on the fly.

How to RFID tag a vehicle

There are various approaches to tagging a vehicle, for examples:

Windscreen Tags

An RFID tag on the windscreen can be scanned as the vehicle passes through a fixed point or scanned with an RFID reading wand by staff at control points.

RFID Hang Tags

Under the right conditions, RFID tags hung from a rear view mirror can be read at a distance of up to 20 metres. As they are temporary they can be moved between vehicles as the need arises.

Embedded Tags

Depending on the location of your readers, the vehicle can have RFID tags embedded almost anywhere in the bodywork or on the registration plate,

Tagging the Driver

The driver can be issued with an RFID identification card that is swiped or scanned as they move through access points.

Digitalquill – Experts in RFID Systems

If you have an RFID related need, call us for advice on an end-to-end solution incorporating software and hardware working in unison. Call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk.

RFID Systems

RFID SystemsRFID stands for radio frequency identification. It is a system that wirelessly transmits information about the identity of assets as a unique serial number. RFID systems are used in business to reduce time and labour and to improve data accuracy in real-time. An RFID tag consists of a microchip attached to a radio antenna. With the right RFID software, you can even connect your products to the Internet so that tracking information can be shared throughout the supply chain.

RFID Solutions to Business Problems

There are two common types of RFID systems in use: active and passive. Passive RFID tags do not have built-in transmitters and so they reflect back radio waves from a reader. Active RFID transponders consist of a microchip with an antenna. They are placed on or embedded in products. The information stored on the RFID tag is accessed with a reader that passes information to a computer system. Active RFID tags are commonly used for large assets such as cargo containers. Passive RFID tags, as they do not have power sources and transmitters, are less expensive than active RFID tags.

The Benefits of RFID Systems

RFID systems have a number of benefits over legacy systems such as barcodes. Most obviously, RFID helps to reduce labour costs by decreasing the need for manual checks and counts, and simplifying business processes and reduces inventory errors and inaccuracies. With greater stock control comes a reduction in theft, and the unique nature of an RFID code (which cannot be cloned) helps to prevent the distribution of counterfeit products.

How are RFID Systems Used?

There are many areas where RFID can improve business processes. For example:

Product Tracking and Supply Chain Management

By attaching RFID tags as labels during production, data can be read and used throughout entire supply chain to understand the location of items at any stage.

Inventory Systems

You can improve security and stock control with RFID as it provides accurate information about current inventory. Objects of any size and shape can be RID tagged, and RFID transponders are not subject to environmental wear and tear in the same way as printed barcodes which makes them ideal for tracking pallets and containers.

Asset Management

RFID technology works in conjunction with web-based tools to monitor your assets and make business decisions instantly. The linked RFID software can be used so manufacturers, contractors and others have an appropriate levels of access to update data about the asset, such as its inspection history, maintenance records and so on.

What Industries Use RFID?

Many industries across the world leverage the power of RFID systems to improve productivity. You will find RFID software in use in industries such as:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Defence
  • Fashion
  • Logistics
  • Medical and healthcare
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Retail
  • Transportation
  • …and many, many more

Digitalquill – Experts in RFID Systems

For more information on how RFID can improve your business, call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk.

 

 

Dixons Carphone hack

After a relatively quiet few months, data theft is back in the news. Retail giant Dixons Carphone has admitted that it had a huge data breach that took place last year involving 10 million of its customers, up from the original estimate of just over one million. Will the Dixons Carphone hack affect you?

Dixons Carphone Hack – Should you be worried?

The company, which operates as Carphone Warehouse and Currys PC World, has been investigating the hack since June. Personal information, including names, addresses and email addresses may have been accessed by the hackers, but bank details were not taken and so far there are no reports of fraud linked to the information theft. The hackers accessed to records of 6 million stored payment cards, but most were protected by chip and pin.

Dixons has been working with cybersecurity experts and has increased its security measures. The National Crime Agency is investigating the breach, along with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Dixons Carphone hack

An ICO spokesperson said: “Our investigation into the incident is ongoing and we will take the time to assess this new information. We expect the company to alert all those affected in the UK and to take all steps necessary to reduce any potential harm.”

Dixons Carphone chief executive Alex Baldock said: “Since our data security review uncovered last year’s breach, we’ve been working around the clock to put it right. As a precaution, we’re now also contacting all our customers to apologise and advise on the steps they can take to protect themselves.”

No Business is Safe from Hackers

How would your company cope if hackers accessed your company’s customer data? Even if your business is far smaller than Dixons Carphone and located in Hull, East Yorkshire or Lincolnshire doesn’t mean your data is safe from theft. If hackers steal your data it can affect your reputation, and you risk a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office under the new GDPR rules.

Digitalquill – Experts in IT Security

At Digitalquill we help businesses across Hull, and the East Riding keep their customers’ data safe from criminals. Whether you need help securing a wireless network, setting up the proper PCI-DSS compliant processes for handling credit card data, backing up your files or writing a security policy for your East Yorkshire business – we can help. For more information call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk.