Case Studies

Tracking Insulated Electrical Cables

In the entertainment industry, TV and film sets are filled with lighting and sound equipment – most of which is rented from major film companies.

The Challenge

These companies may have equipment on a particular set for weeks, months or years and keeping track of it all seems a perfect fit for RFID.

One difficulty in successfully implementing RFID in this environment was finding a tag for use on the many electrical cables involved. The asset tag needed to be suitably protected and securely attached as the cables are typically dragged and moved around frequently in use.

From a design perspective, the tag had to be of the multi-surface type. The cables are insulated, but the metal within them could affect the tag performance. Complicating the issue was the fact that there are many sizes of cables – varying diameters with different levels of metal wiring inside them. The challenge to Vizinex was to deliver a tag that provided 8- 10 feet of read distance on ALL the cables and that fit into a plastic housing unit called a cable marker.

The Result

The result is the Sentry Slim Multi-Surface. Based on our best-selling PCB platform, the Sentry Slim Multi-Surface can be supplied pre-inserted into a durable plastic cable marker for easy installation, on its own for insertion into the markers on site. Two major entertainment companies are currently deploying the Sentry Slim Multi-Surface to control their inventories of cables.

As an alternative to the plastic cable marker housings,  clear vinyl heat shrink or electrical tape may also be used to secure the tag onto cables of ½” diameter or greater. This represents a lower cost installation method which provides acceptable durability in situations where cables are not frequently moved.

The Sentry Slim Multi-Surface also works very well on other assets in which there is embedded metal, such as laptops and many IT assets. These use cases should be individually tested and evaluated to determine appropriate tag placement to achieve optimum performance.

If you have a challenging RFID tag application, contact us today and realize the benefits of Vizinex RFID.

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