All Categories

NFC-based Asset Tracking: NFC tags and Smartphones

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Dec 20, 2023
  • RFID
NFC-based Asset Tracking: NFC tags and Smartphones

NFC-based asset tracking is a transformative solution for various businesses, addressing critical challenges in asset management and traceability. NFC-based asset tracking is becoming an essential part of any business as it ensures that resources are utilized efficiently while also helping companies keep track of their valuable assets.

Businesses have been using
NFC (Near Field Communication) technology in recent years, enabling them to track and manage their assets more efficiently and accurately. Since NFC technology feature is now available in smartphone, businesses don’t need to set up extensive infrastructure for the same.

It offers various applications in diverse industries, including logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail, where accurate asset tracking is pivotal for optimizing operations and reducing losses. 

What is NFC Tracking?
NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication, is a short range wireless communication technology for exchanging data between devices when they are close to each other. NFC technology works on 13.56 MHz, same as high frequency RFID technology, offering a read range of up to 10cm.

It allows a quick and efficient way to track the asset. The use of NFC tags can make it easier to identify assets and retrieve their information.
The NFC asset tracking technology is used to track a wide range of items, including tools, machinery, and vehicles that can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments.

How does NFC technology work for Asset Tracking?

NFC technology operates on wireless connections and works on the principle of electromagnetic induction, where an NFC-enabled device generates a magnetic field that can power a passive NFC tag placed nearby, typically within a distance of 10 cm.

While using NFC technology for asset tracking purposes, you have to ensure NFC tags are perfectly attached to the assets. These tags store unique IDs that NFC-enabled devices, such as a smartphone, can read. When an NFC-enabled device is brought close to an asset, it can read the tag's identifier and retrieve information from it.

NFC-based Asset Tracking in various Industries
NFC technology finds various asset tracking applications in many industries however, unlike RFID, NFC tags can only be read from a short distance, just like a barcode.

Keeping that in mind, let's explore how NFC technology can be used in various industries:
NFC uses in Manufacturing

NFC-based asset tracking can help manufacturers streamline their production process with real-time visibility of assets and their utilization. It helps in tracking the location and status of equipment so, that manufacturers can optimize their workflows and prevents production delays.

Logistics and Transportation

NFC technology can track and manage shipments in the logistics and transportation industry. An NFC tag attached to packages or containers can help monitor their movement and ensure timely delivery. Workers can use a dedicated NFC reader or their smartphone to scan the NFC tag to ensure order fulfillment at every step. Moreover, it provides real-time visibility while asset is on the move.
NFC in Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, NFC-based asset tracking can help track medical equipment and supplies because hospitals and clinics have the necessary resources readily available at any time. Using NFC tags in healthcare improves patient care and reduces costs associated with misplaced or lost assets.

Moreover, NFC tags on crucial medical tools, medication and vaccines can help with anti-counterfeiting measures, preventing fake products in healthcare, saving lives.

NFC in Retail

NFC-based asset tracking can be utilized in retail stores to manage inventory and prevent stockouts. After, attaching NFC tags to valuable products, retailers can easily track their stock levels and automate replenishment.

Benefits of NFC-based asset tracking
NFC-based asset tracking offers a wide range of benefits that can improve various business processes:

1. It provides real-time visibility of assets, allowing organizations to locate and track their assets instantly. It also eliminates the need for time-consuming manual searches and reduces the risk of asset loss or theft.

2. NFC technology enables businesses to streamline their operations and automates asset-tracking processes. NFC tags are easily attached to assets and provide a convenient way to identify and retrieve asset information. 

3. Another benefit of NFC-based asset tracking is cost reduction. The implementation of NFC technology eliminates the need for expensive barcode scanners or manual data entry. It reduces labor costs and minimizes errors associated with manual tracking methods.

4. The data shared between devices is encrypted, which makes NFC more secure than other techniques. This makes unauthorized individuals' access to the data more difficult. 

NFC-based asset tracking vs other tracking technologies

Let's compare NFC-based asset tracking with some other commonly used tracking technologies:

1. Barcode-based tracking: Barcode technology requires a physical barcode scanner to read and decode asset information. While barcodes are widely used and cost-effective, they require line-of-sight scanning and can be time-consuming for large-scale asset tracking.

2. GPS-based tracking: GPS (Global Positioning System) technology enables real-time tracking of assets using satellite signals. GPS-based tracking is ideal for tracking assets over large areas or in outdoor environments. However, it requires an active cellular or satellite connection and may not be suitable for indoor asset tracking.

Challenges and limitations of NFC-based asset tracking

While NFC-based asset tracking offers significant advantages, it also has some challenges and limitations. 

1. One limitation is the proximity requirement for communication to occur. NFC technology typically requires devices to be within a few centimeters of each other for data exchange.

2. NFC tags may be susceptible to damage in certain environments, such as extreme temperatures or exposure to moisture.

3. Use of NFC can be an issue in terms of cost as not all devices are NFC-enabled which requires businesses to invest in NFC-enabled devices or explore alternative asset-tracking technologies.
To conclude, NFC-based asset tracking offers organizations a reliable and efficient solution for managing their assets. So, that businesses can achieve real-time visibility, streamline operations, and reduce costs. However, it is important to consider the challenges and limitations associated with NFC-based asset tracking and explore alternative technologies when necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) How can NFC technology improve the accuracy of asset tracking?

NFC technology ensures accurate asset tracking by allowing for precise scanning and data capture. It minimizes errors associated with manual data entry and provides real-time updates on asset locations.

Q2) What types of assets are suitable for NFC-based tracking?

NFC-based tracking is versatile and can be applied to various assets, including equipment, inventory items, tools, documents, and other valuable items that require monitoring and traceability.

Q3)What is the range of NFC for asset tracking, and how does it affect its effectiveness?

NFC has a short reading range, typically a few centimeters. While this limits the reading distance, it enhances security and ensures that assets are precisely identified when in close proximity.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Dec 20, 2023

Get Free RFID System Consultation.

Scan the QR code
Click to chat here