Product News

New Portable Bar Code Scanner Simplifies File Tracking

FileTrail has released a new portable barcode SmartMobile. This new SmartMobile features all the usual SmartMobile functionality on a smaller, lighter platform. A new-generation bar code scanner is capable of scanning low-quality or damaged bar codes from as far as two feet away. The new ergonomic design is packed full of features. At just over a pound (540 grams) it is easy to carry around for a long period of time. The 3-inch color touchscreen is backlit to support operations in sub-optimal lighting. It is super durable, and has been tested to withstand multiple 4 foot (1.2 meter) drops to concrete.

The FileTrail software installed on the device adds all the capabilities our clients expect. The Move, Audit and Detector functionality are all there. This provides complete tracking capabilities from creation, through active circulation, through boxing and archiving.

FileTrail is offering a discounted exchange for existing clients who are using any prior FTMobile or FTPortable bar code scanners. Clients who are interested should contact the FileTrail HelpDesk.

                                                    

New RFID Tagging Function Simplifies Tracking

FileTrail has released a new feature for its two latest RFID SmartMobile models – the S214 and 3090.  Now, RFID Tags can be easily assigned using the portable RFID reader.  This allows back-conversion of items or tagging of new items without requiring that they be brought to a central desk.  This is a great breakthrough for clients using FileTrail to track file folders, boxes, assets, furniture or evidence.

 

 
 

 
 

Finding Missing Files

RFMobile now features an improved FileDetector tool to help you find specific files quickly. A tagged file can now be read from up to 8 feet away, allowing you to quickly determine if an office or cubicle contains a file you need to find. Once you know there is a file you need in a specific office, you can pinpoint the location of the file within 3 inches. Finding a critical file from among many is done in less time with almost no physical search. Running the scanner up and down a stack of files, or along a shelf generates an alert within 3 inches of the file.

The new FTMobile release features configurable sounds. You can add your own sound files to play at events like Upload Complete, Download Complete, Error, and other events. For kicks, we configured the scanner we use internally with these sounds.

Contact FileTrail to learn more about how FTMobile can cut the time to locate files by 90%.

Passive Tracking

Over the past 5 years FileTrail has been working with the latest RFID technology.  Our efforts were kicked off when Wal-Mart announced its RFID Initiative.  As the technology has matured, FileTrail has adopted it to fit in the office environment.  We built our RFID technology to fit on top of the FileTrail software, rather than as a separate solution.  Organizations in many industries have implemented the FileTrail software with RFID to track and manage their records.  Today, FileTrail is the undisputed leader in RFID solutions in the office environment.  The latest RFID technology – called Ultra-High Frequency, or UHF – started gaining support in 2003.  Wal-Mart announced their RFID Initiative in July 2003, and similar announcements followed from Kroger, Tesco, Boeing, and the US Department of Defense.  Each of these initiatives required that major suppliers – generally very large companies like Proctor & Gamble – also adopt RFID technology. 

While the technology was still young, the early initiates created an instant market.  With so many large companies involved, the investment dollars would be available to help mature the technology.  The volume of RFID tags required from just these few end-users meant that high manufacturing volumes would ensure a lower cost than previous RFID technologies.  And that didn’t count all those that would later join the RFID party.  Whole new industries like Pharmaceutical and Asset Management would join.  Also, 2nd and 3rd tier companies in the Retail and Grocers industries would join.

FileTrail introduced the Passive Tracking concept for the office environment in late 2005 with the introduction of solutions based on UHF RFID technology.  Passive Tracking overcomes the limitation of bar coding, primarily the difficulty of getting staff to scan bar codes every time a file moves.  With RFID, files are checked out and transferred automatically as they move from office-to-office.  Files virtually tell the system where they are.

The impact of FileTrail’s Passive Tracking is dramatic.  Organizations save time by eliminating searches for files, and gain the efficiency of universal access to an online inventory of files, boxes, and documents.  In addition, managers gain reporting tools that show how many files each person is processing during a period of time, and reveal trends in workload.

The unique capabilities of UHF RFID are the key to Passive Tracking.  Long distance reading means that placement of hardware can be far less invasive than previous RFID technologies.  RFID sensors can be placed in drop-ceilings completely out of sight.  They can also be mounted under desks, keeping the employees work area surface completely clear.

The illustration below is a section of a floor plan from an oil refinery.  Each office and conference room has become an RFID Zone.  FileTrail ZoneTrackers in the ceiling read the RFID tags on files as staff carry an armload or tray of files into an office.  The location of these files is automatically update in FileTrail.  Any employee needing a file can quickly locate it using the FileTrail Search screen.

Alarming Exits

RFID has many great capabilities.  The long read-range of the FileTrail SmartSensor™ allows RFID to be used to prevent removal of files through an exit.  FileTrail's SmartAlarm™ provides control over an exit to prevent unauthorized removal of tagged items from that area. Each alarmed area can be set to sound a siren, activate a light, and send email notifications.

Each area covered by SmartAlarm can be configured individually.  This provides control over the combination of signaling to use – lights, siren, or email notification.  SmartAlarm automatically ignores archived records, allowing their removal or return to the facility.

RFID tags carried in from external sources are automatically ignored -- this is important as RFID tags will soon be in every laptop, most uniforms, and many retail products.

While SmartAlarm provides great benefits to FileTrail customers, it is not a security system.  RFID can be defeated with simple measures, like removing the documents you want from the file, or placing the files in a metal briefcase. 

SmartAlarm is best used to prevent accidental removal, or removal where records can be handled by the public.

Both reports may be found on the My File Room tab by selecting Reports from the 2nd-level menu.