Power tool manufacturer, DeWalt, has collaborated with Ford Motor Co. to launch Tool Link, a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tracking system that lets professional contractors tag and track detailed inventory of their tools and equipment stored in the pickup box or van.
When the vehicle is running, a pair of RFID antennas, mounted in corrosion and impact-resistant housings on the inside of the pickup box, scan the box for tagged items on a pre-programmed inventory list.
This data is transmitted to a reader mounted inside the cab and displayed on the in-dash computer screen, alerting the driver if any inventoried tools are not loaded on the truck.
Tool Link also offers industry-first features, such as a pre-loaded menu with several standard tool lists that are easily edited to reflect specific types of jobs.
The system uses industry standard second-generation RFID tags that can be fastened to tools or other assets and can scan and organize hundreds of tags in just seconds.
Tool Link will be available this fall on the new 2009 Ford F-150 XL, STX, XLT and FX4 trucks; F-Series Super Duty XL, XLT and FX4 trucks; and all 2009 E-Series vans.
According to the company, DeWALT entered the security business in 2004 after continuous user feedback and concern about the issue of jobsite theft and lack of solutions to effectively protect the jobsite. DeWalt conducted a research study and found that jobsite security was a top concern for construction industry professionals.
With only 10 to 15 percent of stolen equipment being recovered, DeWalt developed SITELOCK, a patented wireless technology designed for the construction industry that monitors numerous pieces of equipment or areas simultaneously.
In 2006, DeWalt launched the MOBILELOCK™ GPS Locator and Anti-Theft Alarm that features state-of-the-art locating capabilities. The GPS feature allows contractors to locate the MOBILELOCK unit in real time using the Internet.
For further reading about "smart tags" and RFID technology, read "Smart tags hail the web of things" from news.bbc.co.uk.