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Best of Both Worlds with Hybrid RTLS
Posted on Saturday, August 1st, 2015 by Transtech Systems

To capture the benefits of real-time location technology while overcoming traditional disadvantages, Convergence Systems Limited (CSL) offers a hybrid RTLS system that uses both passive UHF tags and active RFID technology. With CSL’s hybrid RTLS solution, assets can be tracked, located and monitored with ease and accuracy, using a system that is affordable and easy to maintain.

In the hybrid RTLS system, assets are tagged with passive UHF tags that cost less than $0.10 each, greatly reducing the cost to implement the system. RFID Fixed Readers (known as “anchors”) are positioned at the perimeter of the area to be monitored and connected to the Ethernet. In the middle of the area, omni-directional Fixed Readers (termed “slaves”) provide ubiquitous coverage. Each coverage area is known as a “cell”, and multiple cells are possible

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Example of CSL RTLS system with various beamwidth anchors

Next, UHF RFID Handheld Readers are coupled with a RTLS signal to send asset positioning information to the RTLS Fixed Readers, which then transmit that information to the company network.

When a worker is seeking a specific tagged asset, the system provides the last known location for a starting point. Using the RFID Handheld Reader, the worker scans the tracking area and picks up the tag at approximately seven meters away.

The Handheld Reader emits an audio signal, much like a “Geiger counter”, to locate the tagged asset. As they walk toward the item, the beeping frequency increases. If the worker walks away from it, the beeping frequency will decrease.

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The combination of active RFID technology and passive tags provides the best of both worlds – complete real-time visibility for accurate tracking in a cost-effective solution. Staying connected to yard operations in real-time provides up-to-the-minute information and complete visibility, enabling intelligent work processes that allow you to optimize yard operations and improve the flow of goods in and out.