How RFID improves the safety of personal protection equipment

The barcode has been around for 50 years and has more than proven its usefulness. Even so, there are limitations to what we can do with barcodes. Fortunately, these problems are easily solved, thanks to new technologies such as RFID. RFID is, for example, a smart solution for taking inventory of PPE.

Valuable source of information

RFID tags can contain a large amount of data. In addition, every tag is unique. That means you can link specific information to each tag. Thanks to RFID, it is thus possible to add general information such as the supplier or serial number to each item of PPE. But you can also easily add more detailed information, such as identifying the user, the condition of the item and what damage has been noted.

Thanks to this specific information per item of PPE, the use of rejected or defective equipment by employees can also be avoided. In addition, a notification can be set up to let you know in a timely manner when the equipment’s certification expires or when the next inspection is due so that these dates are not overlooked.

Fast and reliable inventory count

Inventorying or tracking PPE is also critical for the safety of your employees. This can help prevent people performing tasks without protection, because certain PPE are not available or because items are forgotten. With RFID, you can say goodbye to paper checklists and human errors. Instead, you can check the inventory of intervention carts or warehouses in a flash.

RFID uses radio signals that are sent out via a small chip. Most tags are readable from 7 metres away in combination with the right mobile scanner. That means items no longer have to be in the direct line of sight for scanning. In addition, the tag draws power from the scanner, so that no extra battery is required. This makes the registration process much faster, more efficient and error-free. Your technology choices, of course, depend on your application and needs. Microtron is happy to guide you in your choice of the most suitable tag or reader.

Tagging difficult surfaces

If you are currently using barcodes, you will have already discovered that barcodes have some limitations. Barcodes are sometimes too large for certain PPE, they do not adhere well to the equipment or they quickly become unreadable due to dirt and wear. RFID tags are available in different shapes and sizes. There are, for example, tie wrap tags, hard tags, on-metal tags, clothing tags…  Thanks to the broad range of possibilities, practically every item can be tagged perfectly well with RFID. Which tag you should choose depends on a number of factors. How large is the PPE? What is the PPE made out of? In what environment will the PPE be used?

Effective total solution

As a one-stop-shop, Microtron stays abreast of the various options and innovations in RFID, barcodes and/or a combination of the two. Our experts can thus advise you objectively and offer a customized software package.  

Would you like to improve the safety of your PPE? Contact Microtron for advice tailored to your company.

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