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AssetPulse's Active RFID solution helps Alco Water Service in meeting compliance regulations

SAN JOSE, Calif. — January 27, 2010 - Alco Water Service, a 78 year-old investor owned water utility based in Salinas has been using AssetPulse's RFID solution for over 18 months to ensure security and compliance of its well sites. AssetPulse, a leading provider of real-time RFID asset tracking solutions deployed its AssetGather software packaged with active RFID readers and active RFID tags to monitor Alco's facilities, which are spread across the city of Salinas. The tracking system gives Alco visibility into activities and movements at its unmanned well sites.

Alco water service supplies water to about 9,000 connections (roughly 30,000 residents) in the east and north side of the city of Salinas, CA. They have nine well sites spread around a ten-mile radius of the city. Each site consists of a small pump house surrounded by a barbed fence. For security reasons it is critical to have a continuous record of activities that take place at each of the pump stations. A time-stamped trail of who enters a pump station, what time they leave it and how much time they spend there is to be maintained.

After assimilating Alco's requirements and discussing the available options with Alco's management, AssetPulse recommended active RFID technology for use by Alco at its facilities. By proposing active RFID, AssetPulse ensured that the infrastructure and deployment needs are minimized without compromising on accuracy or efficiency. While deploying the active readers, their optimal placement location was selected after testing interference with Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and other electronics at the pump stations. 433 Mhz Active RFID badges were provided to the personnel.

AssetGather RFID asset tracking software was installed at Alco's central server, which was networked to all the sites. The reads from the active RFID readers at various locations were collected, processed and consolidated into the AssetGather system. The web-based multi-location dashboard and reporting capabilities provided categorized views by activity-type, location and time-period. AssetGather reports also provided duration of every activity at any location, along with start and end timestamps. The ability to export these reports in to a spreadsheet-friendly format meant that they could be easily inter-operate with existing systems and processes such as time and attendance billing.

"We have been repeatedly seeing the benefits of the RFID solution from AssetPulse" said Tom Adcock, President of Alco Water Service. "We have come to rely on the system to provide us an accurate historical record of critical information. The system has helped us effectively meet compliance regulations and has given us the visibility to improve our internal processes."

Apart from customizable reports, the AssetGather system also sends out alert notifications on configurable "out-of-normal" patterns of activities. For example, rules could be set in the system to notify when any activity is noticed at a station after late evenings, or on weekends. Apart from security reasons these alerts could also be useful to ensure business processes are followed. For example, regular alerts on weekends could mean increasing number of service requests, which is an indicator to allocate more standby resources on weekends.

"Complying to regulations is a continuous on-going activity. Organizations such as Alco, which are committed to following requisite practices, need to keep ensuring that certain procedures are always carried out so that their customers get the best service" said Sujatha Bodapati, CEO of AssetPulse. "Having an automated RFID system like AssetGather helps to do exactly that."

After seeing the immediate benefits of the active RFID system, Alco extended it to track its meters. Meters are frequently taken out of its premises to different sites. The system would indicate its current location and duration of usage at the site. In the near future, Alco is also considering tracking its bigger pieces of equipment and many of its field trucks within the same AssetGather system.

About Alco Water Service Alisal Water Corporation, dba Alco Water Service is an investor owned water utility located in Salinas, CA. Alco was established in 1932 and incorporated in California.

About AssetPulse

AssetPulse is a San Jose, California based company focused exclusively on providing complete customizable RFID asset tracking solutions for various industries and use-cases. AssetPulse's solutions integrate seamlessly with fixed and mobile RFID readers using Passive, Semi-Passive and Active RFID, RTLS Technologies or bar-codes. For more information, please call (408) 872-3104 or visit www.assetpulse.com.

Click here to view the original article posted at RFIDJournal.

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