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RFID and the IIoT for Industrial Tool Tracking

Tool-tracking solutions based on RFID and the Industrial Internet of Things increase tool traceability and availability, reduce tool search times and bring down asset-carrying costs.
By Boris Shiklo

Implementation Examples
Some industry leaders are already using tool-tracking solutions based on RFID and IoT technologies to optimize tool management, control access to specialized tooling and bring down asset-carrying costs. Major industrial adopters of tool-tracking solutions include:

The Automotive Industry
Holt Cat manages tens of thousands of tools used for heavy equipment maintenance and repair. With smart tool-tracking solutions, the company has gained access to real-time data regarding tools' locations, movements and usage history. The solution paid off in fewer than eight months, allowed the company to optimize tool tracking and promoted tool sharing among more than 15 facilities.

Electronics
Motorola's Engineering Shared Services electrical lab uses RFID to monitor costly equipment worth more than $3 million in total (including oscilloscopes, function generators, calipers, power supply units, etc.). Along with location tracking, the company applies smart tracking technologies to control employee access to the tool zone.

Construction
Grunnarbeid, a Norwegian construction company, uses a smart asset-tracking system to track tools as they move at and between construction sites and a central equipment warehouse. The company keeps track of more than 1,000 high-value handheld tools. Using a smart tool-tracking system, the enterprise managed to reduce tool delivery costs by $4.3 million.

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