Tracking Items and Locations in Real Time with Zebra’s ATR7000 RTLS Reader
One of the biggest challenges across many industries is getting real-time visibility into inventory and operations. After all, you can’t track, find, or manage what you can’t see. It’s one thing to use barcodes and scan items at rest, so you know they’re in inventory and how many you have on hand; but how do you locate and track inventory, assets, and materials when they move or are actively moving through your processes? How do you know your assets are where they should be and that they haven’t been lost or moved to the wrong location?
The answer is simple with a real-time location system (RTLS).
Real-time locationing is a technology that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to tag, track, and locate items wirelessly and automatically, even when they’re moving. An RFID tag usually takes the form of a small barcode label with tiny wireless transmitters inside it. The tag is printed and encoded with a unique identifier that identifies each tagged item and matches it to a database containing other relevant information about that item.
Wireless transmitters inside the RFID tag communicate with an RTLS reader to pinpoint the location of the item to within two feet (0.6 meters), depending on your environment and the type of RTLS technology you’re using. This means you can identify, track, and locate virtually anything in real time. You can do it all automatically and wirelessly, without scanning barcodes or having physical line-of-sight access to barcode labels.
A fixed RTLS reader, such as Zebra’s ATR7000, uses a wide-range antenna to automatically detect RFID tags remotely. It electronically steers and processes hundreds of wireless “beams” simultaneously, providing highly accurate asset locations to within two feet (0.6 meters) or less.
Unlike a barcode scanner, the ATR700 reads tags without requiring physical proximity or access to a label, and it even reads while tagged items are moving.
The ATR7000 also delivers up to double the range and coverage area of typical fixed RFID readers. It uses dual circular and linear coverage to ensure that all tags in the coverage zone are visible, regardless of the size or complexity of your environment.
Using Zebra’s ready-to-use and licensable RTLS software, the ATR7000 automatically collects tag data, calculates the real-time location of all tagged assets, and streams this pinpoint location data to the business system of your choice, such as your warehouse management or ERP system.
Zebra’s ATR7000 and other RTLS technology are used to track and locate inventory, forklifts, equipment and other assets, and even workers. There’s simply no better way to get true real-time visibility into the identity and location of anything you want to track—whether it’s inventory or workers moving in and out of restricted areas.
Our customers use Zebra RTLS solutions to automate and optimize a range of processes:
- Inventory management
- Asset management
- Work-in-process tracking
- Quality assurance
- Safety and emergency response
- Loss prevention and anti-theft measures
Being able to track and locate virtually anything in real time allows our clients to streamline their processes and get visibility into their operations to a degree that they never imagined was possible. By increasing automation and removing the physical scanning and manual labor requirements of traditional barcodes, an RTLS also helps our clients make major gains in efficiency and cost savings.
If real-time visibility into your inventory, materials, and assets is a top priority for your business, we highly recommend a full exploration of this exciting technology.
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