UK - Delta Sound has invested in Navigator Systems HireTAG automatic equipment tracking system, an integrated RFID solution specifically designed for the events rental industry.

"We've been looking for a quick and easy way to track our ever increasing stock of equipment," says Delta managing director Paul Keating. "We believe that HireTAG is the ideal solution for us."

Each item of stock is individually tagged with easily fitted, specially designed components that have a unique ID, with a HireTAG Arch placed in a convenient location within Delta's warehouse.

Items are walked through the Arch, either singly or in a flight case, unique radio signals are read by the Arch's structure, processed and recorded on easy-to-use Rental Management Software.

"Although RFID tags have been around for some time, not only was the cost prohibitive, but the high metal and carbon content in equipment such as loudspeakers, cable and trussing interfered with their signal capacity, making them useless," explains Navigator's David Rose.

"Our system, however, is proven to be 99.99% accurate and the cost of the RFID tag has been vastly reduced, making it a real solution for rental companies."

"One of the main reasons for investing in HireTAG was to track our equipment base more effectively," adds Paul. "Even in the current economic situation, in recent months it wasn't uncommon to have forty different show movements a month going in and out of the building. HireTAG will allow us to check in the kit in a more timely and accurate fashion and be able to identify losses more quickly.

"For me, the best bit is when you roll a full road case of kit through the Arch and the system immediately identifies all the various items as well as anything that's missing.

"During the trials, we weren't able to get the system to fail in terms of not reading the assets - and trust me we tried everything to break it! We are also considering having a number of temporary tags that can be used for any sub-hired equipment.

"Depending on cost and technical ability, the next stage may be to have a mobile equipment arch that can be positioned over the rear doors of a truck or ramp. This would mean that by the time the kit is back in the building, it's already been checked in and you know what's missing. It's a bit like business class check in for kit."

(Claire Beeson)

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