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RFID & Wireless IoT Global, Issue 03/2022 - Publication date: September 14th, 2022
Improving Inventory Time by 30% at NASA
Asset Tracking

Improving Inventory Time by 30% at NASA

NASA has turned to a highly reliable and flexible, RFID asset management solution to help ensure the security of its data and protect its high-value laboratory and testing equipment.

The objective is to track and identify thousands of data center assets and the movement of costly laboratory and testing equipment of various shapes and sizes between various field locations. Now, over 250,000 assets have been tagged and inventory times have been improved by approximately 30 %.

As one of the most high profile United States government agencies, NASA has studied space for over 50 years with the intention of using its learnings to make life better on Earth. NASA conducts its work in four principal organizations: Aeronautics, Human Exploration and Operations, Science and Space Technology. Spread across the country, the agency has ten field centers and a variety of installations that conduct the day-to-day work, in laboratories, on air fields, in wind tunnels and in control rooms.

Process Requirements

Government agencies and commercial companies face similar problems keeping track of and managing critical assets in their organizations. These assets are some of the largest investments that any business or organization will make and as such, require a better method for inventory management; NASA is no exception. The NASA teams are responsible for thousands of data center assets as well as the movement of costly laboratory and testing equipment between the various field locations.

Several existing challenges in tracking and identifying the data center assets pointed to the need for a new approach. The NASA team recognized that the physical, bar code based inventories they were conducting were costly, time consuming and often highly inaccurate. In addition, the bar code labels being utilized for tracking were not readily visible or often even readable, contributing to the inaccuracies.

It was necessary to have the ability to locate critical assets, across multiple facilities, on a more real-time basis.

Objectives of NASA

  • Locating critical assets in real-time across multiple facilities
  • Improving inventory management, efficiency and time
  • Improving inventory accuracy

The NASA Solution

Several years ago, NASA established a uniform barcode-based inventory system with a custom handheld scanner software that could enroll passive UHF RFID tags into NASA’s legacy SAP back-end asset inventory database with minimal effort.

These passive UHF RFID tags would operate both on metal and non-metal assets utilizing handheld scanners integrated with a software platform providing inventory visibility and reporting capabilities.

During the on-site installation process, operator training was conducted with the primary project goal to ensure that NASA’s asset management personnel were completely self-sufficient in the entire RFID lifecycle from tag enrollment, handheld and middleware software inventory operation to the SAP database integration process.

Technology Partner

Hardware & Software

  • Omni-ID: A HID Global Company – Omni ID Prox Label
  • Omni-ID: A HID Global Company – Omni ID Fit 200 RFID tag
  • Omni-ID: A HID Global Company – Omni ID Fit 210 RFID tag
  • Omni-ID: A HID Global Company – Omni ID Custom Flex Labels

Advantages

  • 30 % improvement in inventory times
  • Real-time tracking of assets at multiple sites
  • Improved inventory accuracy

Learn More

Questions? Get in contact with the editorial team!

Technologies

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