The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is a technology that uses connected smart sensors and actuators that enables industrial and manufacturing processes. This is also known as Industry 4.0,
IIoT enables machines and control systems to take advantage of real-time data so the operator can take decisions to improve manufacturing execution quickly and reliably.
The overall benefits of IIOT are improvements on the process and operational efficiencies, quality, predictive maintenance, improved field servicing, reduce downtime, energy management and best of all reduction in operational costs.
In line with the inclusion of smart sensors and actuators using a well-planned tracking strategy using RFID means that a process can be tracked from goods in, manufacturing through to dispatch and even onto final delivery means that a cohesive operation flow can be implemented.
RFID as a technology has enormous benefits in everything from Manufacturing, to Warehouse Management, Supply Chain Management, Logistics and right through into Healthcare.
As opposed to a Bar Code based system, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an effective and efficient way of automating a monitoring and tracking solution for asset management.
The disadvantage of Bar Code over RFID is that the reader of the Bar Code must be in line of sight. The Bar Code must not be damaged and there must be a decent amount of ambient light to be able to read the barcode.
RFID on the other hand is very good at the above but is also able to read a large number of assets very quickly and up to a distance of a few metres very easily.
The main disadvantage of RFID over Bar code is price. Bar code is considerably cheaper than RFID in implementation and the cost of transponders.
Real-Time Location Systems are also known as Real-Time Tracking Systems. This is a technology not unsimilar to that used in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
Whereas RFID typically uses a Passive Transponder (Active Transponders are also used in some applications). RTLS will only use an active transponder.
The major benefit of RTLS over RFID is the item’s tagging accuracy. RFID will be able to give you the last time that the item was seen at a particular point, but RTLS will give you a pin point position within a few centimetres as a live location.
The cost per point of an Installation between RFID and RTLS is considerably more expensive for RTLS.
RFID Transponders (tags) are used to find, identify and track items and in some instances people.
RFID antennas create an electromagnetic field which activates the RFID chip when it enters this field.
The RFID tag in effect is a "smart label" (think Barcode) that can store a lot of information from serial numbers, part numbers, descriptions and more. The major benefit of an RFID transponder is that the data can be changed and added to while the transponder is in operation. for example. if the item has a fixed number of uses before it needs to be serviced the Transponder can hold the first date that the item was put in to use but also be able to count the number of uses every time the transponder is activated.
Whereas a barcode may only have a limited application RFID transponders can be used in environments that would normally damage a label very quickly.
Using RFID IIOT in Healthcare is a very cost effective method for track and track of equipment used in Healthcare.
The major benefit is that RFID transponders are able to sustain high temperatures and can be used in autoclaves for maximum effect to sustain and improve cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.
RFID is a powerful tool for asset tracking, location and availability of equipment to drive efficiencies and reduce costs in a Healthcare environment.
One of the single biggest costs in any Hospital is the usage of garments in everything from the wards, A&E, Theatres and Estates. Hospitals by definition are extremely busy and the allocation of Scrubs can take up a lot of space, time and money to control.
This in turn can place a heavy load on the control of cross contamination between the staff, patients and visitors in the hospital environment.
By using an RFID based dispensing and soiled returns system for linens you are potentially able to minimise the cross contamination but also reduce the amount of stock of Textiles by as much as 40% on a day to day basis.
Using RFID for bulk laundry handling is a very efficient and effective way to increase linen throughput.
Automated track and trace solutions require and initial investment so that manual handling of bulk linen becomes less of an issue. The impact on the business means that there are less losses, tracking of customers order becomes seamless and increases throughput.
The major benefit of RFID based track and trace solution in a laundry environment is the increased throughput of linens as an automated solution means less manual handling of the orders.