Do you know that the entertainment industry heavily depends on rented equipment? When an ad-film company, a concert, a convention, or a TV-producing company goes to distant places, they don’t always carry heavy AV equipment with them. Cameras, camera stands, loudspeakers, dollies, heavy lighting equipment, power cables, etc. are procured from renting companies and that is when you need RFID technology to sort the asset identification and tracking problems that AV equipment rental companies most often face.
With tons of AV equipment being leased for days or weeks, you need a systematic way to figure out the logistics. RFID tagging of each and every piece of equipment is the way forward.
RFID is an advanced AIDC technology that enables remote, wireless identification of objects or individuals with the help of RFID tags, small electronic device that contains a microchip, and an antenna. RFID tags can be made of hard ABS plastic or paper/polyester labels. RFID labels cost around 4-5 US Cents apiece and therefore, the best option for accurate identification of AV tools that need to be sent out on lease, for a limited amount of time.
RFID enables quick stock-taking of AV equipment
Radio frequency identification technology is a perfect tool for quick stock count whether you as an AV equipment renting company are sending out huge no. of AV equipment on some set or getting it back from such events. RFID labels and RFID mount On-metal tags on each piece of equipment ensure quick stock count so that you can send out the right set of equipment, in the right quantity as well as receive the same afterward.
RFID handheld readers make the stock counts very easy as you just need to carry the RFID reader and with a press of a button, it can interrogate all the UHF RFID Labels, without any error. UHF passive RFID labels with LED lights are also available that make it easy to identify a particular set of cables from thousands of cables in the inventory with pin-point accuracy.
When an RFID reader interrogates an RFID tag, it transmits RF signals which are captured by the tag antenna (Passive RFID tags). The signal energy is used to energize the microchip and the encoded data with the tag is sent to the RFID reader in the form of RF signals. The reader decoded the information for the end user.
The RFID tags can be encoded with various kinds of information in the form of EPC (electronic product code) including item details, manufacturer’s name, dates, etc.
RFID gate systems for AV equipment tracking
Taking manual stock of items could be tiresome. Moreover, preventing the theft of valuable audio-visual equipment such as cameras, lights, stands, etc., at film sets or concerts is difficult. RFID technology can help with that as well. RFID can be used as a gate system at entry and exit points and prevent someone from walking out with AV equipment. It can trigger alarms and notifications in the form of SMS/ emails as well.
Compile quick reports on missing and damaged items with RFID labels
Previously barcoding technology was used for AV equipment tagging but the method was fraught with the limitations of barcode technology. UPC-12 barcodes couldn’t contain the amount of information required. Apart from that, some equipment is heavy and it is difficult to scan each item pointing an optical barcode scanner right at them. See, barcodes need line-of-sight scanning and RFID technology allows you to read an RFID-tagged item from a distance of up to 15m, without having to lift or actually go closer to heavy AV equipment.
So, when you need to compile a list of damaged or broken AV items or create a list of items you need to send out at some event, RFID makes it seamless.
Barcode scanning is also prone to human errors and more often high-value equipment is overlooked during stock-taking leading to loss of business.
RFID Software and CRM/ERP Integration:
The RFID Software can be integrated with a CRM or ERP system to make the entire process of creating a list of items going to a film set/concert seamless. Each item can be quickly scanned and the RFID no. can be stored in the system. The process also works the same when the AV tools are returned to the inventory.
The RFID software system integrated with ERP provides you with the necessary data to take further action. Using RFID tags and readers, AV tools are accurately identified and reports can be generated for rented and retuned items.
To summarize, film sets and advertisement agencies often acquire the audio, and visual equipment on lease, and an efficient identification technology other than barcoding is required. RFID provides accurate tracking of every AV tool going out and coming in, thus, ensuring accurate inventory control and preventing loss of business. More often than not, out-of-stock scenarios also plague this business but RFID tagging of each item, integrated with company CRM/ERP always ensures visibility and accurate reporting. The use of handheld RFID readers ensures a quick search for specific items and now with UHF passive RFID tags with LED, you can find a particular item with pinpoint accuracy.
- Last updated on Oct 06, 2023