The key to quick and accurate tool tracking is tool identification. ToolHound uses bar codes, RFID (radio frequency identification) tags or a combination of both to deliver an effective tool management system. Without the optimal identification and data collection devices, tool management can become a burden instead of being efficient and accurate.
ToolHound can handle multiple identifiers for each item so that you can track using a bar code label, RFID tag, etched number, serial number or any other unique marking you may have.
RFID tool tracking is becoming more and more popular as RFID tags’ prices drop and their reliability increases. The tags have a number of advantages over barcodes when it comes to tool tracking:
- RFID tags do not need line of site so they can be placed inside tools or can be read through mud and tar
- Multiple RFID tags can be read at the same time to speed processing
- The tags are rugged and generally last longer than bar code labels, making them perfect for construction inventory management
However, we also believe that there is a need for both RFID tags and barcode labels, as there are some disadvantages to RFID tool tracking:
- RFID tags are often more expensive than bar code labels, so they’re not always practical for inexpensive items
- They are difficult to read in metal and liquid environments without special tags
We offer the best of both worlds. ToolHound’s asset tracking system provides mobile computers that offer RFID capability can also read bar codes for ultimate flexibility.
A traditional inventory management system typically manages tool inventory with bar codes and requires a tool crib attendant to handle tool issues and returns. With the introduction of technologies like radio frequency identification (RFID), new efficiencies in tool tracking solutions have been developed. These solutions, like ToolHound’s RFID SecureCrib™, are fully automated, enabling workers to quickly get and return the tools they require without a tool crib attendant while still keeping the employee accountable for them.
RFID tool tracking provides real-time tool visibility with a completely automated self-service kiosk and inventory management tool.
ToolHound’s tool identification solution will:
- Reduce tool crib labor costs
- Increase visibility of tools and equipment status and location
- Improve productivity and employee efficiency by allowing tool crib attendants to focus on more important tasks
- Enforce maintenance schedules
- Read multiple tool tags simultaneously, resulting in faster transactions
- Reduce label replacement time by using rugged RFID tags
- Read tags through mud and dirt for more efficient tool control in harsh environments
Bar Code Labels
One of the biggest misconceptions that potential ToolHound clients have, especially when it comes to construction inventory management, is that the bar code labels don’t last very long due to rough environments. It is true that a label may occasionally fall off or get destroyed, but in general, if they are applied properly and in a good location on the item, they will last for quite some time. In the event a label is unusable, you can just take the next label off the roll, attach it to the tool and tell ToolHound that you made the swap. All tool history automatically follows to the new number on the label.
ToolHound has been providing rugged polypropylene labels with aggressive adhesive for over twenty years with fantastic results. If this isn’t rugged enough, we can also supply anodized aluminum labels. Both labels can be customized with your company name and series of numbers to provide long, lasting-problem-free tool tracking.