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Solving the ‘needle in haystack’ problem in warehouses

CoreRFID is working on new and more powerful ways to locate assets in larger spaces such as a factories, warehouses or construction sites.

The company is trialling other positioning technologies to track down items that may be beyond the range of RFID. Depending on the type of tag and reader, RFID systems can locate items within a range of around 50 metres.

Therefore they are ideal where assets are moving around and pass within range of a reader that will identify the tag attached to them – for example, along a production line or in and out of a doorway. Alternatively staff using handheld mobile scanners can be deployed to walk around the site.

However, where assets are static for long periods – such as tools, rental equipment and slow-moving stock – and where they are stored in larger area, they can be difficult to locate with a mobile scanner without having some idea of their location in the first place.

In an attempt to overcome this problem, some operators have tried using a grid system, where large buildings and sites are divided up into different sections with RFID readers installed at nodes in each grid. However this has proven to be an expensive approach and not always effective.

Now CoreRFID is carrying out trials using other types of positioning technology such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), GPS and LoRaWAN which have the potential to offer powerful performance, flexibility and accuracy over a longer range.

Richard Harrison of CoreRFID says: “The ‘needle in a haystack’ problem will be familiar to companies in many sectors. While RFID can be an effective solution, its limitations mean that it is not appropriate across larger areas and longer distances. We believe the solution could lie in combining RFID with newer types of positioning technology. While we are at the early stages of investigation, the initial signs are that the new technologies will be very effective. One thing is for sure – that finding an effective solution could result in huge efficiencies for warehousing, logistics and many other operators.”

For further details, contact Richard Harrison on +44 (0)845 071 0985 or email r.harrison@coreRFID.com.