Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects automatically. The tags contain electronically-stored information. Unlike a barcode, the tag does not need to be within the reader’s line of sight, so an RFID “tag” can be embedded in the tracked object.
RFID tags have been used in many industries. Examples include an RFID tag attached to an automobile during production to track its progress through the assembly line or RFID-tagged pharmaceuticals that can be tracked through warehouses. RFID is even used to reunite pet owners with lost pets.
The item above has both an inventory tag with a QR-Code and a wireless RFID tag
Alford is pioneering the use of this technology in the events industry in several ways. Tagging gear with RFID tags eliminates the need to physically check off gear when loading trucks, removing human error and giving operations the confidence that all equipment requested is on the truck and returns to the warehouse after a show. These streamlined processes will save countless man-hours and time that used to be spent confirming truck loads and hunting for misplaced equipment. RFID also provides virtual inventory tracking. In other words, by using remote RFID readers, operations can track down equipment.
RFID technology is capable of much more. Future features may include remote truck readers to confirm all gear has been loaded back onto trucks on show site, allowing operations to track gear anywhere. Operations could also view what gear is where using RFID to determine where it may need to go for another show, saving time and trucking costs by shuttling gear close to the next venue rather than shipping directly from the warehouse. In addition, this can help reduce time searching for gear. This is possible by using a hand-held RFID device and permanent RFID portals to track every item in a case without ever opening it. With a dedication to detail and innovation where it counts, our operations department further improves our efficiency and money. It saves us time and Alford to continue leading the way in operational excellence.
Operations loading in a truck with the equipment being scanned between two RFID scanners
The scanner above, when activated, will scan anything with an RFID tag on it as it passes through it, for example, on and off a truck.