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I work at an engineering firm. Lot of documents, drawings need to be reviewed internally. They go from one person to next and often it will be nice to track a package internally (Idea is similar to tracking a FEDEX package) But in my case the scope is small. The tags will need to communicate with some central or distributed signal processing unit.

Are there any companies from which we can just buy this complete solution?
If not, can you please guide me on how I go about researching this topic.

I am not much aware of RFID market. Which companies are the leaders, who offer the best solutions etc. Any tips from you will be very helpful. Also if you give me some ballpark cost estimates, it will be nice.

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Might be easier (and better) to implement e-review and e-approval of e-documents.  Tracking comes 'for free' with such a system.


Most passive RFID tags cannot be read beyond about 20 ft, so such a system can only realistically be used for hunting down a missing document.  Los Alamos could probably have mad use of something like that.



Another problem with RFID, assuming you could fix the range problem, is that multiple tags in the same read area cannot be reliably read, e.g., if someone has 10 documents in the same office, you'd get garbage data from that office.



"...multiple tags...cannot be reliably read..."

I believe that the above mentioned problem has been solved for certain types of RFID tags.  I understand that they use short bursts of data and randomized timing.  Many of the proposed applications will require exactly that sort of capability.


"for certain types of RFID tags."  

Agreed, but those are presumably much more expensive than the ones that have this problem.  

I'm not even certain that the RFID tags can be read from within a metal desk or drawer.



What you are proposing is a neat system, but would be expensive.  You can view many different RFID products at buyrfid.com.


Why not a low cost option of online signature system for who has the document, who had it last, who they gave it too, time stamped info.
Emails are sortable by time in Outlook, so the progression of the document is trackable.



I guess you need a system which tracks without anyone's assistance. online signature system will need action on part of people. You cannot gaurantee that everyone is going to do what it takes for such system to work.


The whole point is that if they don't do what's required, documents DON'T get released, as it should be.

If your organization can't generate sufficient discipline to fulfill a relatively painless procedure, it would not and should not get ISO900x certification.



By mapping out your facility with antennas, you can easily track RFID packages.  They will not however, read through metal at all.  Check out RFIDlogic for solutions like you described.

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