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Inventory - Lost at Sea

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Not every warehouse has painted lines, rows or racks bolted to the floor, or otherwise clearly-defined areas where inventory can be located. Not everything has a place. Not everything is in its place. Some locations are very dynamic, even fluid. There is no fixed "AA-100-R" location. Inventory can constantly shuffle around a massive warehouse with 50,000 square feet of floor space. How can I possibly know "Where's Waldo?" when his location disappeared or shifted like the sands of the Sahara Desert? He is lost at sea.

Quartz Group's recommendation: Tag it and track it using Quartz Entity Tracker!

Using RFID technology with readers and multiple antennas, it is possible to locate inventory based on its "zone" or quadrant in the warehouse. By subdividing the warehouse into smaller sections, users can quickly locate a tagged inventory item within a few feet. Even if multiple antennas simultaneously say, "I see it!", a reliable locator screen like Quartz Entity Tracker can determine which antenna is closest to the tag because that is where the signal is strongest. This is accomplished by using RSSI (radio signal strength indicator). Quartz Entity Tracker will constantly detect tags on products and make them visible to the user on a webpage.

If a few feet isn't close enough, then grab an RFID handheld device like the Alien ALR-H450 and enable the Geiger Tag Utility. This will start scanning inventory in the zone or quadrant where Quartz Entity Tracker initially guides the user. The handheld detects the tag, gives an audible, vibratory, and signal strength feedback on the 4" screen. As the user "gets warmer" by coming closer to the tag, the signal strength increases, and the user will see and hear the change.

Quartz Group is developing an RFID solution that will enable tracking of all products, equipment, and fixed assets. The solution can be used as a standalone system or tightly integrated with your ERP or financial system. It runs on Microsoft Azure through its global network of datacenters. A future Quartz Entity Tracker feature will include automatic detection when the product has shipped and then deactivating that tag.

Matt Hellwig

Regional Business Manager

Epicor Manufacturing and Distribution certified consultant. Matt has 19 years of experience in manufacturing and manufatrucing software consulting.