UHF

Active vs. Passive RFID Tags

RFID tags come in two forms, active and passive. Though both use the same RFID technology, they are different in many ways. Active tags are powered by a battery built into the tag allowing data to be communicated through long distances. Passive RFID tags are smaller and use radio waves to transfer data. To help you decide what type of RFID tag is right for your needs, we've created a chart to show the differences and similarities between active and passive tracking.

Black Elk Teams Up with FileTrail for Trailblazing File Management System

Houston, Texas -14 November 2011 - Black Elk Energy, LLC, an independent oil and gas company, has announced its collaboration with FileTrail and Microsoft. Black Elk implemented Microsoft's SharePoint 2010 Platform late 2010 and has taken its intranet application to the next level by implementing FileTrail for SharePoint. FileTrail had advised that Black Elk would be the first oil and gas company in the Southern region to utilize this technology and has expressed an active interest in the internal launch and development process. Microsoft will commence a full system analysis during fall 2011 to fully understand how Black Elk is maximizing the capabilities of the intranet application with FileTrail technologies.

Read the complete press release here.

FileTrail Adds RFID to SharePoint Physical Record Management Suite Providing Clients with Enhanced Compliance and Automatic Location Tracking

FileTrail implements a new solution combining physical records management with RFID technology in SharePoint, providing clients using SharePoint as their Enterprise platform the added benefits of enhanced compliance and automatic location tracking.  

San Jose, CA – August 2, 2011 – FileTrail Inc. – http://www.filetrail.com – the leading provider of physical records management solutions, today announced the successful integration of RFID technology with FileTrail for SharePoint, their SharePoint-based compliance and tracking suite. RFID technology expands the capabilities of FileTrail’s existing physical records management functionality in SharePoint2010 in several ways. The first benefit is RFID enhances management and compliance of physical records. Secondly, RFID cuts the time to audit by as much as 85 percent and streamlines movement-based transactions such as check-in, check-out, boxing for storage, and more acting as a faster-than-bar coding tool. Finally, RFID enforces security in ways bar coding cannot, namely by securing exits and monitoring business rules which restrict movement of physical records to certain locations.

“FileTrail for SharePoint has been well received by clients across numerous industry sectors,” stated Darrell Mervau, President of FileTrail. “However, our clients in the legal, biotech, and energy sectors have been at the forefront when it comes to requesting our RFID technology.”

RFID technology increases the capabilities of physical records management by automating the processes of locating misplaced records. For many companies a major source of frustration and wasted labor comes from improperly filed records, resulting in the need to search offices and cubicles to locate them. In order to eradicate this inconvenience, FileTrail developed tools to use RFID to locate misplaced files similar to using a metal detector. In addition, FileTrail’s RFID technology is capable of automating file and box location tracking. When FileTrail’s RFID sensors are placed in offices’ drop-ceilings or under work surfaces, they automatically record the location of physical records as they arrive in cubicles or offices, pass through doorways, or reach key locations in the workflow.

“FileTrail continues to hold the leadership position in our industry because year-after-year we focus on being the best at physical records management – we do one thing and we do it better than anyone,” said Tom Pemberton, VP of Product Strategy at FileTrail. “With our latest innovation, we have combined our leadership in SharePoint-based solutions with our expertise in RFID technology to meet the needs of the market for physical item compliance and management,” concluded Pemberton.

FileTrail will be presenting on the use of RFID for compliance and tracking in Washington, DC at SharePoint Saturday The Conference this August. This October, FileTrail will also be demonstrating SharePoint and RFID solutions at the SharePoint Conference in Anaheim, CA and at the ARMA International Conference in Washington, DC. 

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.