Security & Defense
Radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies have been used by the military to gain in-transit visibility and improve inventory management. The advantages of using RFID to track assets over using barcode have been broadly recognized. The use of RFID in the Security and Defense supply chain has demonstrated the potential to provide real benefits for inventory management, asset visibility, and inter-operability in an end-to-end integrated information technology environment. RFID enables data accuracy opportunities inherent in all types of automatic identification technology. Additionally, RFID is a non- intrusive methodology for data capture as it does not require human intervention because it is a non-line of sight technology with both read and write capabilities.
Weapons tracking and security are among the highest responsibilities for the military and one of the most time-consuming, labor intensive processes.
The system currently used in most Police Forces around the MENA region is a manual one. Approval for weapons is complicated and time consuming. Forms have to be filled out and returned by all figures authorizing the approval. Additionally users have to carry those forms around with them and armory managers have to archive them.
Investigating a case could take anything between 3 to 5 days as it requires lengthy searches through the manual reports and archived approval forms. By the time the form is located, the weapon may have already changed users. It is difficult to know if users are returning their weapons on time as it is hard to keep track of all the complex schedules. Armory managers have difficulty keeping track of how many times the weapons had been used and how much maintenance they required.
Archive libraries also take a lot of space and armories do not have easy access to information stored in the libraries of other armories. The manual process of all these operations also leaves space for human error.
TagStone leverages versatile wireless technologies to solve mission-critical business problems.
In the case of weapon management, RFID tags are attached to critical assets, whose usage is restricted in some way, perhaps requiring approvals. Critical assets include assets of high value, both in terms of monetary value and in terms of a need for high availability, and dangerous assets, such as weapons. Such assets are typically stored in a controlled location and distributed based on need. TagStone’s RFID tags uniquely identify each asset and our readers determine the storage locations of each asset.
Users wishing to check out an asset from the storage location are required to request approval from an authorized approver, or a chain of approvers, over the web interface. Approvers receive messages, either by email or SMS, when an approval is pending and can then log into the system to review the approval request and authorize it.
Once a request has been authorised, the user approaches the storage location and verifies his identity. Such verification can happen either through biometric authentication techniques, or with the presence of a specialised identification transponder.
Once complete, the biometric verification process notifies the storage manager, again over a web interface, of the assets approved for use by the user. Before handing over the assets, the store manager scans them with a our reader. This action associates the user with the asset, essentially giving him temporary ownership and responsibility of the asset.
To return the asset, the user must authenticate himself at any storage location. The store manager once again scans the asset to ensure that the owner is returning it. This asset is listed as returned to the storage location, and its location field is updated accordingly.
Every transaction in this process is stored for historical analysis and audit. This allows managers to easily determine the history of each asset and usage patterns for each individual.