Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a technology (that uses radio waves) to identify and track assets, inventory, and people.
How Does RFID Work?
RFID tags contain an integrated circuit and an antenna, which are used to transmit data to the RFID reader. RFID systems consist of:
- RFID form factor (label or tag)
- RFID Reader
RFID is used across many different sectors such as construction, engineering, the chemical industries, manufacturing, retail, logistics and many more.
- No Need for Line of Sight – RFID tags do not require line of sight scanning and can be read in bulk. This means an RFID reader can rapidly input every item into inventory without hand-scanning each item.
- Greater distance – RFID tags can also be read at much greater distances – up to 300 ft. in certain applications.
- Faster, more frequent, and labour-free inventory audits in large warehouses.
- Higher Durability – Barcode labels can wear away, peel off, and cannot be exposed to harsh conditions. Certain RFID tags are weatherproof and can survive chemical exposure and extreme high temperatures.
- Increased Data Capture and Security – Barcodes are typically limited to 20 characters of information. An RFID tag can contain up to 100 times more data including the following: product origins, lot, serial number, manufacturer, vendor, and expiration dates.
- Flexibility – Some tags even have read/write capabilities that can enable data capture for real-time location in the supply chain, shipping history, maintenance, and other life cycle information. They are more difficult to duplicate, can be encrypted, and readers can automatically detect when an item leaves a secure area.
- Improved Productivity – RFID tags can be read at phenomenal speeds without any labour. RFID readers can scan up to 200 tags at once. In contrast, barcodes need to be scanned individually which is labour intensive.
- Large volume operations
- Highly automated operations
- High value assets
- Frequently moved assets
- Mixed pallet or serialized product
- Data tracking requirements for product