Installing an asset tag to a physical asset is an important aspect of any asset tracking project. Many times, this is not given enough attention leading to failure in the field and simply misleading results of the entire M2M projects. Because of the variety of assets that need to be tracked, there is no one single answer for the question of how to physically attach a tag to an asset. Some quick ideas are presented here.
Assets could be anything – trucks, shipping boxes, pallets, bins, medical equipment, spools of copper wire, freezers, jewellery bags- and the list goes on. Each and every one of these assets operates in different environmental conditions. And the asset tags themselves could be used for different reasons. All these influence how we physically attach an asset tag to the asset under consideration.
To make some smart decisions, it is important to ask some simple questions
- Does the tag need to be installed permanently or semi-permanently?
- Does the tag have to be removed from the asset frequently, perhaps for transferring the tag from one asset to another?
- Does the asset undergo heavy vibrations that might cause the tag to be detached from the asset?
- Is the tag going to be exposed to the environments – dust, water, chemicals etc?
- What is the surface to which the asset is installed – metal, plastic, wood etc?
- Does the tag have to be hidden from plain sight? (we are still working on the invisible tag -:)
The answers to these questions will decide what type of installation method is use
The simplest method is just-drop-the-tag-in-the-bag method. This may be a perfect solution in case of a shipment boxes. In other cases, a humble double sided tape or a velcrow might work. Make sure the vibrations are not too much that the tag could fall off from the asset. Powerful magnets offer another option provided the surface of the asset is metal. These methods also allow easy removal of the tag from one asset and affixing it to another asset.
In cases where environmental conditions are harsh, a weather-proof tag is the best option. In certain simple cases, asset tags are packaged inside a small pouch that gives protection from the environment. Tags can also be screw-mounted to the surface of the asset if that is permissible. In some cases, a camouflaged installation on the asset is needed. We have seen cases where the tag is dressed up to look like part of the asset. Even the LED blink is hidden.
Clearly there are many ways and new ways would be devised in the future depending on the conditions. Talk to us. We will be happy to assist you in solving your asset tracking problems.