Radio frequency identification (RFID) can automate tool management and free up your employees to concentrate on their assigned tasks rather than wonder where the necessary tools are to be found. They are often combined with a real-time location system (RTLS) to maximize this benefit.
RFID solutions can help your organization by:
- Clearly identifying particular tools
- Making it possible to find specific tools on demand
- Tracking tools throughout a location and at its exit points
- Grouping tools into sets needed to perform given tasks
- Record which employees have which tools at which times
- Easily dispensing tools to employees in a single location
- Automatic scanning of tools so little to no data has to be entered manually
In addition, if your tools need to be maintained and calibrated, RTLS or RFID solutions can track the schedule for each that applies to a particular tool. Checking particular tools in and out can trigger updates to production status in ERP and other facility-wide business intelligence systems.
RFID and RTLS solutions offer additional benefits to manufacturing facilities that adopt them. For one thing, since RFID tags can be embedded in the tools themselves, they are unobtrusive. The cost of these RFID tools pales into insignificance when you put the relatively minor outlay for their purchase into the context of the ongoing expense that replacing tools lost or stolen by employees represents at many manufacturing facilities.
Also, since RFID tags are unique, they will allow you to track individual tools unlike bar codes, which can only confirm that a tool is of a certain type. In other words, while bar codes can tell you that two wrenches are both the same kind of wrench, RFID tracking can also tell you which of the two a specific employee used yesterday or the day before.
With the ability to dispense all types of tools and miscellaneous items, from large and bulky to small and delicate, RFID is all about simplifying tool distribution and management. An RFID reader and tool tracking software communicates with the RFID tags on devices, making the tracking process instant and simple so you can focus on more important aspects of running your business.