In the ever-evolving landscapes of warehousing, construction, shipping and receiving, the quest for safety is as important as ever. The National Safety Council reported a total of seventy fatal forklift-related injuries in 2021.
These numbers confirm the need to choose the right proximity detection system to protect employees. As employees navigate workplaces filled with numerous hazards, selecting the proximity detection system that best fits your company can be difficult. The breakdown below should help you determine which is better for your facility.
Understanding HIT-NOT® and RFID
Before jumping into the broader aspects of each system, let’s get to the basics.
What is RFID? How does it work?
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Radiofrequency technology is used in several industries, such as construction, manufacturing, medical, and transportation for access control, to prevent accidents, and to track objects.
Radio waves wirelessly identify and track objects or individuals through tags and readers when used as a proximity detection system. RFID tags attach to objects and personnel to identify and track them. These tags contain electronically stored information that can be read by the RFID readers.
RFID readers connect to a network that provides access to data stored in the tags and have antennae that send and receive signals from the tags.
What is HIT-NOT? How does it work?
HIT-NOT utilizes magnetic technology, producing magnetic fields that can pass through walls and structures. The magnetic field interacts with personal proximity sensors worn by workers to provide unsurpassed prevention of forklift and pedestrian accidents.
A generator attached to a forklift or powered vehicle creates a low-frequency pulsing magnetic field that provides a 360° bubble of protection. A personal alarm device (PAD), the personal proximity sensor worn by the worker, detects the presence of the magnetic field from the generator. It then warns the driver and pedestrian of collision threats.
5 Differences Between HIT-NOT and RFID
Understanding the differences between these systems will help you make informed decisions. The more central differences include:
- HIT-NOT: Provides real-time audible and visible alerts as soon as a disruption in the magnetic field is detected.
- RFID: Capable of providing audible and visual alerts when combined with additional components but its focus is primarily on tracking and identification rather than instant collision alerts.
Immediate alerts allow for quick responses to potential collisions and safety hazards.
- HIT-NOT: The more customizable and adaptable system. It can be customized to set specific parameters for triggering alerts based on size, speed, or proximity of magnetic objects, other vehicles, and pedestrians.
- RFID: Can be customized to some extent, such as defining ranges of the rf readers or configuring tag responses. Yet, the customization options are not as extensive as HIT-NOT.
Having a system that can change with workflow and other demands will undoubtedly help decrease and prevent costly accidents. Both systems can be integrated with a braking system that slows or stops a vehicle when the proximity system is alerted. HIT-NOT technology can also be configured to alert forklift operators as they approach hazardous areas or structures.
- HIT-NOT: Uses magnetic technology that produces magnetic fields that pass-through walls, racks, containers, and other objects.
- RFID: Uses radio waves that need a clear line of sight to link readers and tags.
The way these systems detect objects and people is important, especially as it concerns blind corners and poorly lit areas. HIT-NOT magnetic sensors do not have blind spots and can sense personal alert devices through walls, racks, containers, and around corners, whereas RFID readers can fail to read the tags attached to objects and/or people when walls, ceilings, or other radio frequencies disrupt the line of sight.
- HIT-NOT: Workers wear personal alarm devices. When the devices are combined with the magnetic field generator attached to powered vehicles, it creates a bubble of protection around them both. Then it quickly alerts both parties of the other’s presence.
- RFID: Its radio frequency signal can offer 360° protection. However, the signal can be disrupted by outside influences. These influences can either delay or cancel out its ability to detect tags worn by workers.
Although both RFID and HIT-NOT can employ audio and visual alerts to avoid a collision. Another difference however is in the warning and danger zones each employs.
- HIT-NOT: Has adjustable warning and danger zones from a few inches to upwards of 70ft depending on the magnetic field generator attached to the forklift.
- RFID: Zones range from 10 ft-30 ft.
Before making a final decision, a thorough assessment of the advantages and limitations of each system should be performed. This will ensure the chosen proximity detection system aligns with your goals and delivers the desired performance.
Which collision avoidance system is right for you?
The National Safety Council reported 7,290 nonfatal forklift injuries in 2020. These injuries resulted in at least one day away from work. The average time an employee missed after getting injured was 17 days.
To prevent your facility from contributing to those statistics, evaluate factors such as the types of objects in your warehouse, the required detection range, and the desired level of customization.
RFID might be right for you if you have a small warehouse that only utilizes one powered industrial vehicle and has little pedestrian traffic. However, HIT-NOT is better if you have two or more powered vehicles, regular pedestrian traffic, and multiple workstations. It grants greater warning distance, is not dependent on a direct line of sight or signal, and sees through walls and obstructions.
HIT-NOT is ideal for providing employees with a safe and productive workplace. It offers a stable system that is not affected by external conditions like weather, objects, or other environmental factors.
Need expert guidance in selecting your top-tier safety system? Contact SynTech.
We have over 40 years of experience providing training and equipment to work sites. And we are the #1 sales and service provider of the HIT-NOT proximity detection system. Protect your people and property. Call the knowledgeable SynTech team at (256)571-5024.