Understanding your
Organization’s Options for
RFID Enabled Asset Tracking

CONTENTS   + INTRODUCTION                                   3
              +   BACKGROUND         ...


    The goal of strategic asset

                                           roughly 85% of the TCO being accounted for in the mainte...

                                                                                         • Solution...

                                     Solution Overview

    Each of our RFID enabled asset   When d...

    Figure 2: Solution Overview and Contrast
                          Overview                    ...

                                       a motion sensor which allows the device to go into sleep mod...

                                       real-time communications capabilities provide tracking and m...

     Other advantages of the Wi-Fi based RTLS based asset tracking include specific tracking

                                      Physical Solution Components

                                        in conjunction with traditional Wi-Fi–based tracking system...

     Physical Components
     This solution focuses on the deployment of a RFID enabled asset track...

                                       Sample Approach and Methodology

     VeriSign's proven RFID...

     + Phase 3 – Development
       • Analyze existing hardware and software infrastructure, as wel...

     Learn More

     To learn more about how Verisign RFID Consulting can help your company custom...
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Understanding your Organizations Options for RFID Enabled ...

  1. 1. W H I T E PA P E R Understanding your Organization’s Options for RFID Enabled Asset Tracking
  3. 3. W H I T E PA P E R Introduction The goal of strategic asset + Background management is to know that the right asset is being used in For the past 10 years, closed loop RFID enabled applications; including asset the right way, by the right management, port and access security, and work in process (WIP) tracking, have been operators, at the right time, in core offerings in the RFID arena. These solutions have been primarily made up of the right place, in the most cost proprietary RFID systems and infrastructure that were limited to tracking of high effective and profitable manner valued goods within a facility, campus or wide-area environment. However, with the possible. proliferation of Wi-Fi based communication systems in the enterprise, the emergence of e911 technologies in cellular networks, and the global acceptance of Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards; new solution options have emerged that enable organizations to deploy asset tracking and Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) in a more scalable, reliable, and cost effective manner. Although EPC based supply chain solutions have received much of the press over the past 5 years, many of today’s most successful RFID projects have been deployed within “the four walls” to enable asset tracking solutions. These solutions have been primarily passive based solutions enabling “chokepoint” visibility for the tracking of reusable and/or high valued assets within a facility or yard. RTLS applications provide a more granular level of asset visibility in addition to tracking the movement of assets, but have had a limited number of successful deployments due to higher costs. RTLS solutions have been used in many verticals, however, the main applications of RTLS solutions include military, healthcare, entertainment, manufacturing, port security, retail, transportation/logistics, postal/courier, and government verticals. The purpose of this document is to outline the RTLS solution options available to your organization through VeriSign. VeriSign can provide consulting services to assist your organization in their selection and deployment of a real-time location solution to track your assets. + The Benefits of RFID Enabled Strategic Asset Management The goal of strategic asset management is to know that the right asset is being used in the right way, by the right operators, at the right time, in the right place, in the most cost effective and profitable manner possible. A recent Aberdeen Group survey of more then 230 companies, across a wide variety of industries, found the following1: • In 50% of companies, logistics asset operations consume at least 5% of revenue • Theft, damage and misplacement greatly reduce asset productivity, with 25% of companies losing more than 10% of their container fleet each year • 17% of companies have logistics asset operations that consume more than 10% of revenue • 50%of companies have manual, labor intensive asset management processes • 75% believe existing manual processes and systems fail to meet operational 1 Aberdeen Group, “RFID-Enabled Maintenance requirements Logistics Asset Management: Improving Capital Utilization, It is now an accepted fact that when determining the cost of an asset to an organization, Increasing Availability, and the total cost of ownership of that asset must be considered. According to IDC, the Lowering Total Operational Costs” purchase price of an asset is only 15% of the total cost of ownership of the asset, with 3
  4. 4. W H I T E PA P E R roughly 85% of the TCO being accounted for in the maintenance and operations lifecycle of the asset2. Using an RFID enabled asset management solution to reduce the TCO of your assets can have a great impact on your bottom line. RFID enabled asset RFID enabled asset management solutions have the greatest impact on TCO because of their ability to management solutions have the automate and enable processes throughout the maintenance and operations lifecycle. greatest impact on TCO Some of the specific RFID enabled asset management systems benefits include: because of their ability to automate and enable processes • Improved organizational productivity through an increase in asset availability throughout the maintenance and asset utilization and operations lifecycle. • Maximized equipment uptime through optimized asset turnaround times, cleaning and maintenance cycles, billing cycles, and capacity planning • Increased control and visibility over assets • Reduced operational costs through inventory reduction and increased labor efficiencies • Increased asset visibility resulting in reduced shrinkage, charge-backs and demurrage fees • Decreased capital expenditures on unneeded assets from more efficient equipment sharing and rental operations • Minimized legal liabilities • Increased revenue from new potential services and value added application enablement + Objective VeriSign has deployed multiple RTLS and asset tracking solutions and has a broad understanding of the key benefits and disadvantages associated with the solution options available in the market today. This document will provide a high level overview of four different asset tracking solutions approaches as well as compare and contrast the benefits and short comings of each. VeriSign will work with you to architect and implement a custom RTLS solution designed to meet your specific requirements while providing the most cost effective and scalable solution capable of growing with your future needs. Upon a full review of your requirements, infrastructure and location, VeriSign will recommend the best solution option (one of the four solution listed) to deploy for your organization. Some of the advantages of our solutions include: • Experienced RTLS and Asset Tracking Integrator – The Verisign team has designed and deployed asset tracking systems using active and passive RFID, Wi-Fi, and Assisted GPS technologies for government and private organizations worldwide. Our asset tracking clients include retailers, manufacturers, hospitals, the US Government, and large transportation and logistics companies, to name a few. In addition to this, our team also has considerable experience in asset management and ERP integration, customization and configuration experience. VeriSign offers our clients unsurpassed experience to get the job done right, in the most cost effective, accurate and efficient 2 Federal Electronics way. The key benefits of our expertise include: Challenge, “CE Total Cost of Ownership Guidance”, • Project Risk Mitigation – Our experienced team will deliver a cost effective, www.federalelectronicschallenge.net innovative, and accurate solution that meets or exceeds your requirements—all /resources/docs/costofown.pdf while staying on time and on budget. 4
  5. 5. W H I T E PA P E R • Solution Scalability – VeriSign will work with you to choose a solution that provides you the greatest flexibility, expandability, and processing capability. Our solutions are easily scalable to accommodate functional, geographic, and inventory/asset volume Verisign will work with you to expansion. architect and implement a • Tailored Solutions – We do not use a “one size fits all” approach to asset tracking custom asset tracking solution solutions. We utilize an extensive methodology that is designed to develop designed to meet your specific requirements while providing customized solutions to meet your needs. the most cost effective and • Solution Future Proofing – Utilizing adaptable software solutions, we will meet all scalable solution capable of of your current requirements, while providing the capabilities to expand this solution growing with your future needs. in the future. As discussed above, the chosen solution will utilize VeriSign’s proven RFID adoption methodology which has been used with several government, port, and aerospace facilities in the deployment of their inventory and asset management solution systems. A high level overview of our project methodology is given below in Figure 1. Figure 1: VeriSign’s RFID Adoption Methodology Phase 1 Phase 2 Vision, Planning, & Solution Definition Pilot Implementation & Support Business Case, Detailed Solution Closed Loop & Deployment & Feasibility Study Vision & Design Definition Production Pilot Support - Formulate strategic vision for RFID Solution definition is intended to: - A Feasibility Study is designed to - Generate detailed technical - Launch production RFID solution implementation - Detail how the to-be process will answer the following questions: requirements to internal and - Monitor key performance metrics - Create business case to look like based on the feasibility - Can RFID work effectively within external component providers and validate key user demonstrate solution viability and study my facilities given the current level Create and implement alpha, beta requirements; Revisit identify potential solution - Capture the key functional of wireless/broadcast activity? testing plans organizational and IT components requirements for the solution - Will RFID be compatible with the - Provide pilot project management assessment to determine Key Activities - Identify business application - Derive use cases based on various product categories and - Build and deploy closed loop pilot, compliance and acceptability of opportunities / compliance requirements gathering exercise environmental characteristics? based on signed-off documents. solution within organization; requirements - Finalize RFID Architecture that - Will RFID continue to be effective - Launch closed loop pilot modify as required - Obtain high-level mgmt buy-in identifies the key hardware and under the various material - Provide initial project status - Determine which existing and software components, including handling techniques applied during report documenting initial new processes will benefit from integration points normal course of business? business case assumptions RFID enablement - Create a go forward plan for - Production Deployment Plan - Perform organizational and IT RFID initiatives based on the - Identify future features readiness assessment solution - Create critical success criteria - Finalize KPIs & CSFs for Pilot - Comprehensive, Corporate-Wide - Functional requirements - Spectrum Clearing of all key RFID - Final Solution Architecture - Deployment Rollout plan Business Case, including validated - Use cases operating environments, including - Process and Technical - Updated Organizational costs and benefits, and NPV - High-level software and hardware selected lab locations, Requirements sign-off assessment Deliverables - RFID System and Solution RFID architecture - Recommended Tag placements - Alpha and Beta testing plan - Updated solution requirements Requirements and Design - Detailed Key Performance and product compatibility analysis - Internal Pilot Plan and Launch document - High level project plan Indicators and Critical Success - Recommended Process - Deployment training plan Factors Modifications - End user document generation - Detailed pilot plan - Support training - Future feature list 5
  6. 6. W H I T E PA P E R Solution Overview Each of our RFID enabled asset When determining the best solution for a particular customer, VeriSign works directly tracking solutions provides a with the customer and partner organizations to determine their exact requirements and different cost benefit case then designs the most cost effective, scalable, and extensible solution capable of meeting based on your organization's specific environment, assets, their needs. and requirements. Part of our methodology includes mapping your requirements against our solution matrices to determine which of the four technologies would best fit the needs of your organization while providing the most economical and scalable solution. Each of these alternative solutions accomplishes the task of tracking and monitoring the location of assets within your compound, facility, or supply chain, but each provides a different cost-benefit case based on your organization’s specific environment, assets, and requirements. Consideration of each solution can be weighted against the solution functionality and capabilities, existing infrastructure “leverage-ability”, required process transformation, and total cost of ownership. Also, if the application requires the specific advantages that span multiple solution types, it is possible to combine technologies into hybrids to achieve the appropriate solution for your exact scenario (e.g. a hybrid A-GPS and passive RFID positioning tag for specific kinds of high-risk or high-visibility assets). This section outlines four solution options and contrasts the “pros” and “cons” of each of these solutions. The four solutions options include: • Assisted-GPS Real-Time Location tracking • Wi-Fi-based Real-Time Location Tracking • Out-of-Band Real-Time Location Tracking • EPC based Passive RFID Tracking Solution VeriSign is prepared to work with you to determine which of these solution options best meets your asset tracking solution requirements. Our four solutions span asset tracking from within the four walls to full real-time location tracking across North America. We are confident that our knowledge of all the available solutions will enable us to deliver you the most cost effective and scalable solution capable of meeting and exceeding your requirements. Detailed on the next page in Figure 2 is a high level summary of the key advantages and disadvantages of each solution option. A more comprehensive overview of each solution is included in the following sections. 6
  7. 7. W H I T E PA P E R Figure 2: Solution Overview and Contrast Overview Key Advantages Key Disadvantages - A tag leveraging - Asset continues to be tracked - Cost may be prohibitive for A-GPS Tracking outside of the facility/yard and large volumes of tagged cellular and GPS triangulation Solution is placed on each Asset. regardless of transport assets. mechanism. - Ongoing operational costs in - Unlike traditional GPS, A-GPS the form of airtime charges. provides location data even - Battery Life may be an issue. when obstructed. - Simplified deployment schema and little onsite infrastructure requirements. - A tag leveraging - Typically greater accuracy in - Non-Standards based solution Out of Band proprietary based location outdoor systems then standard results in a proprietary Real-Time solution is placed on each Wi-Fi based tracking deployment, locking you into Location Solutions asset within the facility/yard. packages. one vendor. (UWB, TDOA, etc) - Some systems can leverage - Existing WLAN infrastructure wi-fi infrastructure with an can not be utilized leading to a overlay of proprietary HW higher cost of ownership. for increased accuracy. - Visibility is lost outside of the facility/yard. - A tag leveraging Wi-Fi- - Infrastructure & deployment - Additional WLAN deployment Wi-Fi-based based location services is cost savings and lower total may be necessary to provide Real-Time placed on each asset within cost of ownership due to ability required accuracy. Location Solution the facility/yard. to leverage existing WLAN - Outdoor or open space infrastructure. accuracy can be an issue. - Visibility is lost outside of the yard. - A reusable, rugged passive - Lower-cost tag option - Asset location visibility is EPC RFID-based RFID tag is used to identify - No batteries in the tag to provided by RFID enabled Tracking assets as they pass through replace - rugged EPC tags choke-points. (Assets must RFID enabled choke-points. will last for years. pass through a series of RFID-enabled chokepoints for visibility). - Asset visibility is lost outside of the yard. No real-time visibility capabilities. + Assisted-GPS Tracking Solution Solution Overview An Assisted GPS (A-GPS) Tracking Solution provides real-time location tracking anywhere the device goes, even if the item or asset leaves your compound. An A-GPS solution will continue to report location information, even where the tag is obstructed from line-of-sight view to the sky (this can include underground locations as well as other traditionally non-GPS capable areas). This feature is extremely valuable, as it provides increased safety and security knowing that if an asset is moved or removed in an unauthorized fashion, it can be tracked wherever it goes. Also, since the tag (device) is not removed from asset as it exits the facility, it will continue to report location data and the tag can be retrieved. An additional benefit to this solution is the minimal infrastructure requirements, because it utilizes GPS satellites and cell tower triangulation for location determination. However, depending on the total tag quantities required for your assets, this can become an expensive option. The effectiveness of this solution also is dependent on cellular coverage in and around your compound, which can be quickly and easily evaluated. The solution consists of a stand-alone Assisted-GPS device, which is attached to each asset. This device provides LAT/LONG information for each asset, which is then mapped to the exact layout of the facility. Certain versions of our device have 7
  8. 8. W H I T E PA P E R a motion sensor which allows the device to go into sleep mode and be awoken whenever the device and associated asset is moved. This motion detection occurs in real-time and does not require any infrastructure on the asset handling equipment. The key advantage of the A-GPS solution is its ability to In addition to tracking standard assets, these solutions are used to track people, packages, track, in real-time, the and shipments; to enable value added services and features for service based movements of tagged assets organizations; or to secure the shipment of high valued goods in transit. anywhere they go, either inside your facility and anywhere in The key advantages of this solution, as outlined on the previous page in figure 2, your North America. include a simplified infrastructure and the ability to track items if moved outside of your organization’s facility or compound. This solution should only be considered if your assets can or will leave your facility, if real-time tracking is required but it is not possible to deploy the infrastructure across the entire tracking area, or if it is essential to your organization to have knowledge of assets “en-route”. The disadvantages of this type of solution include the high cost of the tags and the recurring air-time costs. See figure 3 below for the architecture of a typical WiFi Based Location Tracking System. Figure 3: Assisted GPS Tracking Solution 1. Cell phone uses GPS satellite positioning 2. Cellular tower signals are used to also fix position using Location Based Services 3. An assistance server is used to assist with position location determination Physical Solution Components • A-GPS tracking tag/device - This solution uses a small battery powered device with a GPS transceiver and embedded cellular modem. Optionally a motion sensor can also be embedded into the device to maximize battery life and auto update the system with location information only when an asset has been moved. The system’s 8
  9. 9. W H I T E PA P E R real-time communications capabilities provide tracking and movement information to a backend software system. The A-GPS’s standard battery life is approximately 20-30 days depending on frequency of locates. However, alternate power sources are Key advantage the Wi-Fi based available that can extend tag life. GPS accuracy varies based on whether the device is RTLS solution is the lowered obstructed or has line-of-sight to the sky, but a conservative estimate is 20-50 meters. total cost of ownership • Ruggedized enclosure - A small plastic sleeve that fits the GPS tag/device resulting from the ability to leverage your organization's can be used to attach the device onto the asset; we typically use a box with a current Wi-Fi infrastructure. dust/sand/water-proof casing and a magnetic mount for easy attachment and removal to metal assets. For tracking people, a small enclosure has been designed with an arm strap to enable easy “attachment” to the person. • Cellular network service - A 1xRTT or GPRS/EDGE network plan is required to transmit data from each device. Coverage of the various wireless carriers will be studied and the optimal wireless carrier will be selected. • Backend software system - Each device is setup in the system and a hosted application receives the data in real-time from the wireless network. The layout of your compound is overlaid on the mapping screens of the application to provide effective location information for employees. An interface will be created between this system and your backend systems to exchange device & asset associations and location information. Robust geo-fencing capabilities exist within the software to demark the areas which the components are approved for specific asset and asset storage. Alerts may be setup in the software based on pre-determined business rules, such as violations of geo-fences, low battery status, etc. Extensive reporting capabilities exist within the software. + Wi-Fi-based Location Tracking Solution Solution Overview The Wi-Fi based RTLS solution tracks the unique locations of assets within the four walls of your compound while leveraging the existing WLAN infrastructure deployed within the yard. The Wi-Fi based RTLS solution can provide the following information: • The location of any given asset within the yard at anytime • A complete history of asset movement within the yard • Exception-based reporting by creating geo-fences around assets within the Wi-Fi based RTLS—if the asset leaves the designated area or yard the Wi-Fi based RTLS can notify key personnel using various communication methods (i.e. audible alarms, IM popups, emails, text messages, etc.) • Motion based alarms indicating the asset has been physically moved or if the tag has been removed from an asset. The Wi-Fi based RTLS tags have motion sensors • Personnel can locate a specific asset by paging the asset tag (flashing LEDs) • Operations can play back history (bread crumbing functionality) to see where and when assets or other tagged resources have moved within the yard • Resources and contractors in the facility can be tagged as well using the Wi-Fi based resource tag. This tag allows for increased safety and security functions including two way voice and 9-1-1 or emergency call capabilities • Management can play back history of the security guard and/or 3rd party worker movements during a shift in case malicious incidents arise 9
  10. 10. W H I T E PA P E R Other advantages of the Wi-Fi based RTLS based asset tracking include specific tracking and security functionality that allows for application customization based on the your needs: • The customizable tag functions combined with the powerful application software result in a high performing tracking solution capable of proving asset and personnel negligence • The Wi-Fi infrastructure required can be used for data and voice communication in addition to the tracking solution • The Wi-Fi based RTLS tags have battery alarms to avoid potential loss of asset visibility (the Wi-Fi based RTLS tags are rechargeable and have long battery lives) • The Wi-Fi based RTLS solution can leverage any existing WLAN coverage (additional Wi-Fi maybe necessary to improve data, voice, and tracking capabilities) • Magnetic mount capability can be offered as part of a weatherproof plastic case, making the tags easy for facility/yard personnel to attach, assign, and remove, if required • The Wi-Fi based RTLS tag is easy for facility & yard personnel to mount and remove onto any asset. Since it has a motion detector it cannot be transferred maliciously or accidentally without the Wi-Fi based RTLS providing a notification alarm Key advantages of this solution include a lowered total cost of ownership resulting from the ability to leverage your current Wi-Fi infrastructure. This converged data and RTLS infrastructure reduce the development and deployment costs and eliminate the support costs associated with internal training and maintenance of a new infrastructure. A typical short coming of Wi-Fi based RTLS solutions is the reduced accuracy of the system in outdoor deployments. See figure 4 below for the architecture of a typical WiFi Based Location Tracking System. Figure 4: Wi-Fi Based Location Tracking System 10
  11. 11. W H I T E PA P E R Physical Solution Components • Asset-mounted Wi-Fi based RTLS Tags - High-performance, re-usable ruggedized tags have been deployed by VeriSign in yard management projects. The Wi-Fi based The key advantage of an OoB RTLS tags operate via the WLAN network, allowing the RTLS solution to determine RTLS solution is its increased their respective location while leveraging the client’s exiting infrastructure. The tags accuracy, specifically in an can also serve a dual purpose in that they can be worn by staff, security guards, outdoor environment that is gatehouse attendants, 3rd party workers, etc allowing for a more feature rich otherwise not possible with a solution. Wi-Fi solution. • Ruggedized Enclosure - Similar to the A-GPS solution, a plastic sleeve that fits the Wi-Fi enabled RTLS tag is used to attach those items onto the asset; a magnetic mount can be used for easy attachment and removal. • Mobile handheld RFID reader (or Mobile Data Terminal) - As tags are placed onto the arriving assets, a mobile handheld is used to scan the tag and associate the tag ID with the asset ID. • RTLS Software - The RTLS software is capable of being overlaid on any Wi-Fi network, independent of the equipment vendor. The software is an enterprise class application, which includes mapping and geo-fencing capabilities, a web-based graphical user interface, and fully featured API and XML interfaces allowing for seamless and easy integration into your back end system. In addition to the physical tag options, our Wi-Fi based solution also has a soft client “tag”, or software that can be loaded on any Microsoft based Wi-Fi enabled to device to track them. These devices include laptops, tablets, handheld devices and smart phones. + Out-of-Band Real-Time Location Solution Solution Overview Similar to the Wi-Fi based tracking solution, the Out-of-Band (OoB) Real-Time Location solution provides real-time location information through the use of signal triangulation. The main difference between the two solutions is that the Out-of-Band RTLS utilizes a proprietary infrastructure to track the movements of the tagged assets. The solution consists of a stand-alone OoB tag, which is attached to each asset. This tag provides location information for each asset, which is then viewed on a map of the exact layout of the facility. Certain versions of our device have a motion sensor integrated into the device, allowing the device to go into sleep mode and wake whenever the device and associated asset are moved. The OoB tag communicates with a proprietary RF/sensor network that is deployed around the yard and would track the movements of all tagged assets in the yard. There are several core technologies are that are typically used in these OoB solutions; Angle of Arrival (AoA) systems, Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) systems, Time of Arrival (ToA) systems, Time of Flight (ToF) systems, Round Trip Time (RTT) systems and Symmetrical Double Sided Two Way Ranging (SDS-TWR) systems. The two most common of these OoB systems include the AOA and TDOA based technologies. AoA based systems utilize an algorithm that calculates the exact location of an item by cross referencing the angle of the arriving message from the tag. Most AoA systems operate in the 5 GHz frequency band. Depending on the sensor/reader density, this can result in a solution capable of providing extremely fine accuracy within a 3- dimensional space. TDOA systems operate on a similar principle to AoA, and utilize a mechanism that calculates location via a time based algorithm. These systems tend to operate in the 2.4 GHz range and are not as accurate as the AoA systems nor are they capable of 3-D positioning. Today, only TDOA solutions have been designed to work 11
  12. 12. W H I T E PA P E R in conjunction with traditional Wi-Fi–based tracking systems to enhance the accuracy of those systems in an outdoor environment, however, this still requires the deployment of an additional sensor network, “overlaid” on the Wi-Fi network. The key advantage of an EPC based RFID asset tracking The key advantage of the OoB RTLS solution is the increased accuracy, specifically in an solution is its low deployment outdoor environment that is otherwise not possible with a Wi-Fi solution. In addition, costs, specifically when tagging some OoB solutions include the ability to deploy activators or exciters, which give choke a large number of assets. point visibility to RTLS tagged assets. AoA RTLS based systems also have the added advantages of extreme accuracy and 3-D location capabilities. The key disadvantage of this set of solutions is the requirement to incorporate an additional proprietary reader/sensor network throughout the compound. This results in a higher total cost of ownership and vendor dependency due to the proprietary nature of the solution. Physical Solution Components • An OoB Ruggedized Tag and Sensor Network - A proprietary rugged tag, operating at either 2.4GHz or 5Ghz, communicates with the proprietary infrastructure deployed across the compound to enable the tracking of the tagged assets. • NEMA and Ruggedized box enclosure - Similar to the other solutions, a protective plastic sleeve can be used to shield the OoB tag from the elements. The TDOA or AoA sensor network readers would be housed in NEMA enclosures. • Backend software system - Similar to the Wi-Fi based solution, the Out-of-Band solutions offer geo-fencing, mapping, alerts, and open APIs to allow for integration into your backend systems. + EPC RFID-based Asset tracking solution Solution Objective This solution tracks the unique locations of all assets within your compound using a chokepoint enabled passive RFID solution. The application that utilizes this tracking information includes geo-fencing assets, which issues a warning when certain assets leave a designated area of the yard or the yard itself. The solution also allows you to have full visibility of the movement of tagged assets through these enabled chokepoints. Like many asset-tracking solutions, a passive RFID enabled asset management solution can provide the following information: • The movements of all tagged assets within the yard or facility, based on the last choke-point read. This is not a real-time location system, but a last known location based on the movement of the asset through a regulated “entrance/exit/location” • Exception-based reporting based on the geo-fenced movements of all assets • Integration into backend asset management, yard management, or ERP systems The key advantage of an EPC RFID-based asset tracking solution (over an active tag or RTLS solution) is the lower cost of the solution, including: • Low-cost tagging of assets and relatively low cost of choke-point infrastructure • Absence of batteries in the tag to replace rugged EPC tags will last for years without requiring replacement 12
  13. 13. W H I T E PA P E R Physical Components This solution focuses on the deployment of a RFID enabled asset tracking solution within your compound. This solution is comprised of multiple components including: • Re-usable ruggedized asset-mounted EPC Passive RFID Tags for all assets • Ruggedized mobile RFID readers and/or barcode handheld units for data entry and tracking • An integrated, scalable, and robust RFID middleware to track all assets and manage the information flow back to other systems, including any of your existing systems Below is a brief summary of the key components of a passive solution: • Ruggedized asset-mounted passive EPC RFID Tags - A variety of High- performance, re-usable, ruggedized EPC RFID tags are available, and one will be selected which best meets your specific requirements.. These tags operate passively, drawing their power from the mounted readers or “choke points”. Tags can be interrogated using reader antennas mounted well over twenty feet away. • Ruggedized RFID readers and barcode handheld units - As tags are placed onto new assets, a mobile handheld can be used to scan the tag and associate the tag ID with the asset ID. There are multiple ways in which this can be done and the different techniques are investigated with the client during the requirements gathering phase. Readers will be mounted at choke points to enable visibility as the asset passes by that point. Choke points can also be mobile, where they are mounted on a vehicle or carried by a person to enable “point of activity” tracking. The key advantage of this solution is the low tag cost. This solution is typically deployed in environments where there are a very large number of tagged assets, an opportunity for tags to go missing, and/or a limited number of choke points. The key shortcoming of the passive enabled asset tracking solution is it’s non-real-time nature. If real-time asset visibility is requirement, then a passive enabled choke point solution can not be utilized. 13
  14. 14. W H I T E PA P E R Sample Approach and Methodology VeriSign's proven RFID adoption In order to address the overall solution for your organization, several different aspects methodology provides our need to be thoroughly examined, both on the technology side, as well as on the process customers with a low risk, cost engineering side. To ensure that necessary portions of the projects assemble correctly, effective, and phased approach VeriSign has developed a project methodology, which would be followed in a phased to the adoption of RFID enabled asset tracking solutions. approach to this project. A description of these phases is located below. + Phase 1 - Design • Kick-off meeting and an understanding of the critical success factors • Finalize requirements to refine focus area and scope of work • Generate overall Project Plans • Define the following • application business rules • overall project success criteria • Tag tracking formats • Integration points • Required middleware • Generate interview lists • Document and gather data, including, but not limited to • Document Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) • Gain an understanding of the current processing and forms utilized • Study the existing software and how the solution will modify • Current infrastructure (hardware and software) • Identify existing wireless devices and other RFID technologies in use • Create a list of key assets for testing and their representative environmental conditions • Floor plans of the facilities to be visited + Phase 2 – Feasibility Study • Perform RF environmental spectrum clearing • Test hardware asset mounting • Perform tag testing for the following • Tag type testing and selection • Outdoor Tag testing • Generate a feasibility study report that documents the aforementioned tests, results, and recommendations • A part of the feasibility study can also include a “bake-off ” between two solutions, if there is no clear winner on paper 14
  15. 15. W H I T E PA P E R + Phase 3 – Development • Analyze existing hardware and software infrastructure, as well as existing port asset processes • Finalize overall solution architecture and design • Identify Bill of Materials • Develop and document an overall architecture taking into account • Integration to any necessary back-end systems • Required hardware/software components • Usability and process integration • Perform application testing and modification to properly operate with backend systems + Phase 4 - Deployment • Procure necessary Hardware and software infrastructure components • Order and procure the necessary hardware as found on the Bill of Materials • Install and Integrate hardware and software solution components at the site location • Develop and perform test cases to validate overall solution and process completeness • Install and configure infrastructure hardware • Install and configure infrastructure software • Optimize overall hardware/software architecture • Revise design document to reflect as-built configuration + Phase 5 – Evaluation • Validate key process indicators • Document project pilot results • Project closeout 15
  16. 16. W H I T E PA P E R Learn More To learn more about how Verisign RFID Consulting can help your company customize an RTLS solution, please reach out to your VeriSign account representative or call us at 650-426-5310. Visit www.verisign.com/rfid for more information. ©2007 VeriSign, Inc. All rights reserved. VeriSign, and other trademarks, service marks, and logos are registered or unregistered trademarks of VeriSign and its subsidiaries in the United States and in foreign countries. 16