Efficient Field Service with RFID : A Case Study
Internet of Things
Today’s buzz-phrase “Internet of Things” is often used to include a wide range of smart devices – your smart phone is one of them – and other technologies connected to cloud computing. The truth is, and experts still struggle to exactly define what Internet of Things is, that the combination of data captures on mobile smart devices, data management in cloud computing and real time reporting (to the management) is already a proven concept.
RFIDdirect Meeting the Challenge
Designing, implementing and managing mobile computing solutions for field service and sales operations is no small task. Mobile devices must work seamlessly in wired, wireless and offline environments. Mobile solutions must also be designed to address the inherently broad distribution nature of such operations. RFIDdirect has met this challenge by designing a generic solution, based on the use of RFID identification, which is customised to your needs and requirements. For organizations managing field service and/or sales operations, mobile solutions can provide a powerful competitive advantage. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) creates an even more powerful and advanced solution for automated data collection, processing and tracking in a wide range of industries. State-of-the-art RFID applications allow companies to improve, streamline and maximize their competitive advantages, including service management and automation.
RFID in Maintenance and Field Services
In a successful application to manage and document the mandatory maintenance of fire shutters in air-conditioning and heating ducts, fire doors checks, smoke detectors and fire extinguisher checks, Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport AG enables RFID for identification of the assets and buildings. RFID applications are a simply part of the everyday business for Fraport AG, and have been since 2006.
Focusing on safety-relevant maintenance, RFID can be used in a targeted way to increase productivity and accuracy or record keeping. For example, ensuring maintenance is done in compliance with regulations by dedicated and qualified engineers. The result is the cutting down on back-office costs for managing and tracking execution of work, whilst reducing the quantity of paper-based processes.
RFID helps the client maintain a complete view across their entire operation, monitor asset life cycle and locate reoccurring faults more quickly through reverse traceability.
Each hand-held device (the photo shows a standard Samsung Galaxy 7 smart phone fitted on a Zebra UHF RFID scanner) connects to a Web-App, activated by the touch screen on the phone. Scanning the operator’s personal ID-batch, confirming that he/she is the person carrying out the inspections that day; the system produces a list of assets to visit that day on his screen.
Arriving at the asset’s location, the operator scans the tag fitted on the main entrance, a list of equipment required and the criteria of how the asset is to be inspected is shown on the screen. Then, scanning the actual asset using the touch screen again, the operator can then easily execute the checks/service and quickly fill out the correct documentation. The work is completed by scanning the item tag again, and finally, scanning the main entrance tag again to log the start and finish date and time of the event. Only after this whole action has been undertaken successfully, the work will be recorded as completed.
By linking the maintenance engineers’ on-site work more directly with facilities management software, the RFID system will reduce errors, paper workload and labour time.
The Economics of using RFID
In a usability study of Barcode and RFID, users were asked to play a game in which they read RFID tags and Barcodes, 88% of the participants found RFID easier to use than barcodes. On average it took users 74 second longer to read a barcode than an RFID tag. (source: www.advancedmobilegroup.com).
The Danby Group provides an excellent cost comparison between RFID and barcodes with their asset tracking solution experiment. In this experiment they tracked 100,000 assets with each technology and measured the impact on labour costs. Take a look at the results below.
The true savings of RFID is in the automation of processes that would normally spike labour costs. When considering an RFID solution it may be useful to think about any processes in your business that are an unnecessary time waste for your employees.
The RFIDdirect Cloud based Application Manager can generate reports and with the API’s available for third party developers, link with almost any management information or production system.
What RFIDdirect can offer in this?
Whether your company is just exploring RFID options or has already done research, the industry-experienced RFID engineers at RFIDdirect will be there each step of the way, to ensure your company implements the best solution to meet your needs.
If you would like to discuss the potential application, no matter how big or small, we are here to help.
You can telephone us on 0845 249 0068(UK),
alternatively on 02821 748 3030 (Germany),
or email us via email@example.com
We are looking forward to hearing from you.