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GuardRFID Brings RTLS to Remote Locations

Solar-powered readers and exciters are designed to be easy and low-cost to install in areas where there may be no power or internet connectivity, to enable the locating of individuals or things within a meter or less at a distance of up to 400 meters.
By Claire Swedberg

One common use case is worker safety in the oil and gas industry. Simply deploying a passive RFID system with zones and gates typically requires fixed infrastructure to read ID badges as they pass through portals. Alternatively, companies must use handheld readers to interrogate tags on badges when staff members enter or leave an area during emergency mustering. This does not provide real-time location data, however, and can require the cost of the wired readers or the labor associated with employees reading badges.

With the GuardRFID system, companies place the readers around an area, as well as exciters at specific locations within a span of one-half to 10 meters (1.6 to 32.8 feet). In an open space, the SPTRs can read GuardRFID tags at a distances of 400 meters (1,312 feet). In heavy industrial environments, such as robotized car assembly plants, read distances of 50 to 100 meters (164 to 328 feet) are more common.

The solar-powered readers and exciters enable the locating of individuals or items within a meter or less at a distance of up to 400 meters.
Companies can pinpoint an employee's location at a work site, as well as identify when that individual has entered an unauthorized zone, or where he or she is in the event of an evacuation. Readers and exciters are also placed at muster locations to automatically detect personnel who have made it to these sites.

In addition, the GuardRFID 433 MHz ST-3 tag comes with distress buttons that an individual wearing that tag can press if he or she requires support. That alert, along with the RTLS data about the location, can enable GuardRFID software to identify where that individual is located, so that personnel can be dispatched to that location to provide assistance. An acknowledgement can also be transmitted to the tag to inform the user that the signal has been received.

In another use case, the technology can be used to track assets at such locations as laydown yards or construction sites. In this scenario, a company can not only identify in real time where its assets—such as high-value equipment—are located as they are stored in or moved throughout a yard, buy also receive alerts. A user attaches an active GuardRFID tag to an asset. The tag can be programmed to transmit only when it is in motion, or when it is being excited by the SPTE, in order to preserve battery life. Alerts can identify when an asset is moving, or if it has left its expected zone. Additionally, the software enables users to set a window of time during which an item should not move (such as outside of business hours).

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