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Juniper Putting RFID to Work to Track Products, Assets

The networking-equipment manufacturer is using a mix of passive and active tags at sites around the world, to manage such items as test equipment, prototype circuit boards and servers.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Apr 21, 2010Fluensee, an asset-tracking platform provider based in Denver, Colo., announced that networking-equipment manufacturer Juniper Networks is using Fluensee's RFID-based asset tracking solution to track and manage a variety of important company assets in locations around the world.

Juniper Networks, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., makes networking equipment and solutions that support a range of applications and software for enterprise users. It first began working with Fluensee in 2009 when it deployed active RFID tags to track high-value equipment in its Internal Product Group (IPG) department, which develops and tests new networking products. It later started attaching passive RFID tags to circuit boards used in prototype products. Now, it has begun attaching passive tags to servers, laptops and other IT assets at its data centers around the world.


Fluensee's Tim Harvie
In all, Fluensee is tracking nearly 40,000 individual items, using a mixture of active and passive RFID technology. The assets are tracked and managed using Fluensee's Web-based AssetTrack software platform.

"Juniper is a rapidly growing company in the networking-infrastructure industry," says Tim Harvie, president and CEO of Fluensee, which made the announcement during the RFID Journal LIVE! conference held last week in Orlando, Fla. "They wanted to protect the investment they make in prototype circuit boards, lab equipment and IT assets, by tracking them and maximizing their utilization."

Thanks to the asset-tracking system, Juniper has been able to decrease the amount of time spent locating assets, while also improving their utilization. The RFID system also helps the company keep tight control over the circuit boards it develops for new products and ensure that the testing equipment it employs when designing new products are well maintained and calibrated, Harvie says.

The first items that Juniper began tracking were oscilloscopes, analyzers, signal generators and other equipment used by its Internal Product Group to test the performance of electronics and networking devices. "This equipment, as I understand it, can be very expensive—more than $40,000 for a single piece of test equipment," says Harvie. Juniper attached active tags made by RF Code to these high-value assets, and it uses the AssetTrack software to determine their location based on data collected by RF Code readers installed throughout its facilities. The RF Code tags operate at 433 MHz using RF Code's proprietary communication protocol and can be detected from up to 1,000 feet.

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