Active / Passive Hybrid RFID Solutions
Evigia’s Unified Visibility Solution for Tracking Assets
For more background on hybrid RFID technology and applications, download the Evigia whitepaper “Introduction to Active and Passive RFID Technologies
Active RFID and Passive RFID technologies, while often considered and evaluated together, are fundamentally distinct technologies with substantially different capabilities. There are many cases where Hybrid Active/Passive RFID, a complementary combination of Active and Passive RFID technology, can provide the most complete solution for supply chain and asset management applications. Evigia’s EV-3 active RFID wireless sensing and tracking technology is ideally suited to specific applications requiring a hybrid RFID solution combining both active and passive RFID components.
Passive RFID solutions are well suited where assets may follow a defined process flow within range of fixed readers, typically encompassing a high volume of low-cost assets, continuous asset/process flow, and narrow movement patterns (conveyor, work cell) or defined “choke points” (shipping door, hallway). Passive RFID tags are small and low cost, allowing them to be attached directly to consumable or deliverable inventory. Active RFID works with assets that may follow highly variable movement patterns and site-wide location flexibility, most often high value part assembly or tool assets. Active RFID sensors and tags are larger, more complex and more costly, typically being used in applications where they can be attached long-term to an asset or integrated in shipping containers.
Hybrid RFID for Aircraft MRO
A hybrid RFID solution, however, may be required in cases where there is a need to track groups of smaller, less valuable assets (for example, palletized shipments) or cases where there may be high variability of movement of smaller items alongside larger assemblies (for example, mobile tools or part carts in maintenance/repair operations). A hybrid RFID solution allows for “closed loop” operations in complex and highly variable processes such as aircraft maintenance and repair operations, yielding significant cost and time savings and operational efficiencies.
Evigia’s hybrid solution allows a local active RFID tag to continuously track location (GPS) and environmental sensor data (temperature, humidity, impact, seal-breach) while also interrogating multiple localized passive tags and storing the readings in a database in on-board memory. The active RFID tags are then either interrogated by on-site readers, acknowledged when providing an event or time-based “beacon” transmission, or communicated with remotely to transmit inventory, location and environmental conditions via satellite when in areas where assets are beyond range of local reader infrastructure. Evigia’s technology can combine multi-mode communications, on-board sensors, data storage/processing and localized passive RFID interrogation to deliver a hybrid RFID sensor network.
Hybrid RFID Applications
Evigia’s hybrid RFID solution provides:
- Continuous in-transit visibility of shipments and mobile supply chain assets, for example, tracking multiple individual storage barrels on transport vehicles or tracking multiple boxed/packaged items in pallets in shipping containers.
- Continuous monitoring of localized operating conditions as well as tracking of local assets, for example, tracking individual groups of IT assets and their associated location and local environmental conditions in large datacenters.
- Tracking of major aircraft components in real time alongside multiple smaller parts, for example, on mobile assemblies and parts carts in an aircraft maintenance and repair operation. With an active tag on the mobile cart, assemblies, tools and parts inventories can all be tracked in real time.
- Tracking multiple small consumable items in a manufacturing process flow, for example, tracking chemical component inventory and process flow in hazardous or costly batch processing operations.
Evigia’s hybrid RFID solutions mean that you no longer need to choose between active and passive RFID systems. Hybrid RFID technologies, combining active and passive RFID components, provide a unique solution to the most challenging asset management applications.