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Asset tagging & tracking is an often-discussed solution to make your company more future-proof. Lots of solutions popped up in the last 2-3 years based on the Internet of Things trend.
With this article we aim to provide an overview of the best solution depending on the situation.
We'll be straight-forward; all tags can be used for any type of asset. The challenges aren't technology based but rather a practical consideration centered around your business needs.
Before we get to the answers, we need to ask the right questions:
Cost will usually be the main differentiator between the two, given that active tags provide more functionality and give you the possibility to automate asset management. A passive tag costs approximately €1-2 per asset. Active tags are more expensive; nearly €20-25 per asset. Often the cheaper option doesn't provide the same long-term ROI as the more expensive solution, and ends up making you less money than you could potentially have made.
Imagine you have 10.000 assets, the cost easily adds up. But of course, you have also the option to combine active and passive tags. Here again, before we get to the answers, we need to ask the right questions: what information do you want, how frequently and is manual or automated work favorable?
The biggest difference between active tag and passive tags is that an active tag can send out information from a distance. Active tags usually work with an embedded battery to send their data. Passive tags depend on a scanner to capture the information of the asset. They cannot send anything by themselves or be captured from a distance.
In the table below we've made an overview of the main differences between the different types of tags.
Use active tags if you:
Use passive tags if you:
In order to find the (your) right mix between passive and active tags we advise you to calculate your business case. Straighten out the cost of not having an asset management solution at all (cost of searching material and tools, inventory, loss of assets and related costs of overstocks, safety, poorly maintained tools and machines, management of inspections, etc.) versus the investment of equipping your assets with passive tags where possible, and active tags where needed.
Once you've decided you want an asset tagging solution to digitally access your asset information, the first step is done. But before you continue with the buying process, you might want to ask the solution provider about their abilities to connect their system with your existing systems.