Asset Tracking Solutions

Losing your keys or your wallet is a pain, not only will it create additional stress but it eats up valuable time as you have to cancel your cards to protect yourself, just to end up finding them the next day. It's no different if a customer has an urgent job they need you to complete or you have a team that requires some assistance and you have to find out where your equipment is so you can send it to them as soon as possible. 

Wouldn't things be a lot easier if you had updates on the current location on your most important equipment?

Picture of a large generator on a construction site tagged with a GPS asset tracker

GPS asset trackers and GPS tracking systems

You can track your assets in a variety of ways, for example, QR and RFID tags, these are both things that we will address, but the best way to track your high-value assets that are moving is by utilising a GPS asset tracking solution.

GPS asset trackers will be placed on the asset you want to track, you can track a range of things, you can go from something as simple as measuring equipment to a full industrial generator, all you require is a simple magnet self-install. 

The trackers we use are:

  • Simple to install
  • Entirely waterproof (with an IP67 rating)
  • Able to last up to 1 year (on standby)
  • Able to be charged wirelessly

GPS asset tracking is incredibly powerful, not only able to track your high-value assets when they are on the move, but have full coverage from anywhere in the world.

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Picture of a GPS satellite in orbit for asset tracking

The Global Positioning System (GPS) utilises a network of satellites that transmits unique data to a GPS receiver which then triangulates the position of your asset, you can then see this location through our desktop or mobile app on the Google maps integration that we have. 

There is no need for data transmission on the user's side, it operates entirely independently from the internet to telephone signal. It is accessible to anyone that has a GPS receiver. 

By using several satellites that are designed for GPS asset tracking, they will be able to fully determine exactly where the tracker is. You can also rest assured as our asset-tracking devices have complete coverage from anywhere in the world.

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picture of a theodolite being used which is tracked by an asset tracking system

Types of asset tracking

As the frequency that the assets are moving around (the more they are being used) the faster you will find that the trackers will need to be recharged. Without a charge, the tracker won't be able to transmit their location. 

We track a variety of different types of assets, this includes:

  • Equipment tracking: This type of tracking allows you to track the real-time location of your heavy-duty equipment. This includes, but is not limited to, loaders, cranes, bulldozers and excavators.
  • Trailer tracking: Your assets can be moved around as they are required, but you still need to know exactly where they are. No matter where your containers are transferred, you will have knowledge of their location all from your main office. Just use the desktop or mobile app.
  • High-value asset tracking: Peace of mind for yourself and your employees as you know the right tools are at the right site when they are required. This ensures that the work being done on that site won't be stalled.
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Other types of asset tracking that RAM Tracking does not provide

woman scanning a barcode tracking an asset

RFID asset tracking

RAM Tracking currently specialises in only GPS asset tracking, although, there is another type of asset tracking that can be used for internal spaces:

There are two types of RFID tracking systems.

  • Active RFID: This is where you have a tag that contains a miniature antenna and a Bluetooth chip, this chip then "activates" when a reader comes near to contact springing it into life. When this RFID becomes active it will continue to transmit its position until it is out of range needing a power source of its own.
  • Passive RFID: This requires a reader to scan its barcode or QR code (this is similar to what you would find in a book in a library) it does not have a battery of its own. The electrons in the RFID stickers flow which then transmits a high-frequency response. 

It is important to keep in mind that QR code inventory tracking will generally tend to be the most cost-effective of the options available to you when it comes to this kind of inventory application, however, that reduced cost also brings limitations. 

Picture of a man going through the warehouse scanning the assets currently housed.

QR code vs active RFID asset tracking

  • Barcodes or QR have a large limitation that they require a line of sight for scanning, whereas utilising an RFID tag allows you to just pick up the signal when it is within range. 
  • In terms of data, scanning a code is read-only and cannot be changed, however, RFID allows you to update the information in real-time.
  • The speed that RFID codes can be read ranges from a matter of milliseconds to typically half a second per tag due to only needing to be within range, additionally, it can read several tags simultaneously. However, barcode readers take a second or more to complete a read.
  • Whilst barcodes and QR codes are much cheaper due to only needing to be printed off, they will wear quicker in comparison to RFID tags as they are protected by a plastic cover.

In both instances, the most important element is having close proximity. So, if you are looking for warehouse inventory, management or monitoring assets within a series of buildings on site, this is a much better option in comparison to GPS tracking systems. If it is likely that your assets will move a distance away, then asset tracking comes into its own as all tagged assets can be tracked quickly and easily.

image of an RFID tag used for asset tracking

Issues and challenges with RFID tracking systems

Issues that RFID tends to face are usually to do with collisions:

  • Reader based: This is where one reader clashes into one another. There is one straightforward solution however, this is a simple anti-collision protocol, which makes the tags take turns effectively to the reader in question. 
  • Tag based: If there are too many tags that are transmitting altogether, you simply need to choose a reader that only reads the RFID tags one at a time. This will fix your problem. 

Additionally, you may also face security issues, this is because anyone with a reader is able to access the tag information. For some businesses or governmental departments, this is a serious concern as the items that you have tagged may potentially give someone easy access to consumer data. However, you can resolve this as RFIDs can come with additional protection at an additional expense. This can make RFID tagging a cost-prohibitive method depending on how many items you need to tag - tagging a 25 may not be an issue, but tagging thousands of assets within your inventory will really stack up.

image showing the frequencies of different RFID tracking systems

RFID asset tracking system types

  • Low frequency has the shortest range. This will provide you with roughly a few centimetres to no more than 1.5 metres worth of range. This is an important aspect depending on if you can get up close to your inventory.
  • High frequency allows you to not require getting very close to your inventory, this system type typically extends to around 3 metres. 
  • Ultra-high frequency extends that bit further, giving you a reach of up to 6-7 metres, again giving you a bit more freedom.
  • Microwave frequency offers the longest reach for RFID asset tracking system types with an impressive reach of around 10 metres.

It's important to keep in mind that the further the reach that is offered the more costly the asset tracking system will be. 

RAM specialises in GPS asset tracking only, however, we do have various vehicle tracking options when it comes to tracking your fleet of vehicles. We cover any type of commercial vehicle, whether you are looking at van tracking and truck tracking to company car tracking. It all depends in what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a demonstration of our tracking software solutions, please feel free to get in touch! 

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