File Tracking - General Description

The 3M Tracking System is based on the Radio Frequency ID (RFID) technology developed by 3M for use in libraries. The system makes it easy to keep track of items (Files, Charts, Maps, Drawings, etc) as they move within an organisation. The easy-to-use tracking tools, described below, are designed to help manage both centralized filing rooms and organizations where items can move through various locations. With this automated tracking system you will always know where your items are at all times – without having to spend hours searching for them. The 3M RFID Tracking System has been designed specifically for environments where the ability to quickly locate items is critical to your operations.

The basic elements of the 3M RFID Tracking System are as follows

  1. RFID Tag: A small memory chip is incorporated within a paper-thin tag which can be attached to any item. These chips are programmed to transmit a unique identifier code (and a security code) whenever the tag is within range of a Tracking Pad or a Handheld Tracker. Multiple tags can be processed simultaneously and because the tags are rewriteable you don’t have to apply new tags when you want to change information.

  2. RFID Tracking Pad: This Pad serves multiple functions. It allows staff to check out or check in items quickly as they exit or enter an office or filing room. Pads can also be attached to PCs in the various offices so that every inter-office movement can be monitored. The Pad can also be used to program the Tags.

  3. RFID Handheld Tracker: This is a lightweight ergonomically designed portable device which can be used to scan items in the filing room, individual offices, common work areas, and virtually anywhere else items might be found.. Information on more than a million items can be stored in the Trackers memory.

    The Handheld Tracker has multiple functions including, but not limited to, those described below:
    Check Shelf Order – the shelf order list is exported to the Tracker which allows you to locate and correct shelving errors.
    Inventory – It allows you to read and record the item IDs of all the items around the office building and use that information to update the Tracking Database with the location of those items and identify missing items.
    Find Items – It can quickly read a group / shelf of items and locate any specific item or list of items which might be missing. It can also be used to find items which have been deemed out of date and are to be removed from the collection.

  4. RFID Tracking System Software: The RFID Tracking System Software enables you to monitor the location and movement of items throughout your office from any networked PC. The software can be installed as a separate system or integrated into your existing administration system. Each staff user can monitor the location and movement of items around the office, examine the movement history and checkout items – even if a pad is not connected to the PC. System Administration facilities include the import of data for mass programming of tags, programming of individual tags, maintenance of database tables and the import / export of data to handheld units via flash card for inventory and search lists.

    Optional Security Features.
    In organizations where the files are more sensitive than usual, two additional components are available to provide better security.

  5. RFID Self Service Workstation:This is a specially designed unit incorporating a PC, a Tracking Pad, and a Touch Monitor. It provides staff with an easy to use self service capability to check in and out files. The functionality on this unit is restricted to the basic in/out feature in order to make it tamper proof and quick and easy to use. Access to this system is by staff ID card with a unique PIN number.

  6. RFID Theft Detection System:The final component of the 3M File Tracking System is the detection corridor appropriately positioned so that everybody entering and leaving the file room must pass through. As mentioned above each RFID tag contains a security code. The detection system is programmed to interrogate its detection field and when it senses an RFID tag it immediately reads the data contained on the chip, checks the security code and if set ON an alarm is sounded with the option to send a signal to an other piece of equipment (eg: a CCTV camera, door lock, etc) for additional security.

    When a file is in the file room this code is set ON. When it is checked out correctly, either by the system administrator or by Self Service, the security code is turned OFF and it can be removed from the file room. When the file is returned to the file room, it is checked in and the code is reset to ON.



Future Developments – SmartShelf and SmartSearch

Early in 2009 a new product called Smart Shelf will be announced. This is an innovative on-shelf reading system that provides real-time inventory at the touch of a button – completely eliminating the need to perform manual or hand-held stock checks. The SmartSearch function allows staff to locate shelved items in just a few seconds, with on-shelf indication of the location.

Typical Installation:
The SQL database system can be installed on an existing or new server. It can be stand-alone or networked for institution wide access. Typically one member of staff is allocated the role of system administrator. A Tracking Pad would be attached to the System Administrators PC. Other Tracking Pads would be placed appropriately around the offices, eg: at the exit of the central filing room, exit of safe, at individual floor reception or in individual offices. The placement of the pads would be determined by the workflow within the organization. Additional pads can be purchased as required.

Experience to date has shown that compliance with new procedures for checking out items is high because the process requires so little effort.

It is assumed that one Handheld Tracker would be sufficient for a medium size organization. Additional units can be purchased as required.

Key Benefits:

  • 3M RFID Tracking System enables you to easily locate, inventory, and check in/check out items. Line-of-sight physical scanning, as with barcodes, is no longer required. The RFID tag will be automatically read through item folders and documents.
  • Makes checking out items so easy, everyone will do it!
  • Reduces time to take an inventory from days to hours.
  • Reduces stress and frustration in all levels of organization due to missing critical items.
  • Increases productivity and reduces man-hours associated with managing your items.
  • Shows complete history or movement of items.
  • Staff can interrogate the database from any networked PC in the organization.
  • 3M RFID Tracking System provides a comprehensive tracking system and can be integrated with your existing administration systems.

Project Management:
Interleaf staff have been working with Local Authorities, companies and institutions in Ireland for more than fifteen years and have considerable experience in managing implementation projects of varying complexity. We would be pleased to discuss your requirements and determine jointly if the introduction of a file tracking system is appropriate for your organisation.

Costs
The costs associated with the supply, installation and implementation of the 3M Tracking System will vary depending on the number of Tracking Pads required and the number of items to be tracked. A detailed quotation can be supplied on request.

All equipment is supplied with a twelve month warranty. Thereafter a General Maintenance Agreement is entered into which provides on-going maintenance and support of the system. Interleaf operates a helpdesk, the services of which are included in the agreement – on-site support is provided when required.

Useful Link for Additional Information and Brochures:

Using the following link will bring you to the RFID Tracking Solutions section of the 3M website. From here you will be able to:

  • View a video of the system in operation
  • Download Brochures and Product Descriptions
  • Read Testimonials from existing users of the system

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/rfid_tracking_solutions/home/?WT.mc_id=www.3m.com/rfid#

For further information or to arrange a demonstration of the system please contact:

 


Sean Kelly
Interleaf Technology Ltd.
Tel: 01 2865855
Mob: 087 2368927
Interleaf 55-57 Southern Cross Business Park, Boghall Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow, A98 YD30 Tel: +353 1 2865855 Fax: +353 1 2865899