Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that uses radio waves to identify and track tags attached to objects. An RFID system consists of two main components: tags and readers. Tags are small devices that contain a chip and an antenna. When a reader is in range of a tag, it sends out a radio wave that activates the tag. The tag then sends back a signal containing its unique identification number. Unlike a bar code, the tag does not necessarily need to be within line of sight of the reader, and may be embedded in the tracked object. It can also be read only or read-write enabling information to be either permanently stored in the tag or it can be read-write where information can be continually updated and over-written on the tag.

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Radio frequency identification (RFID) is an identification system that works through radio frequencies that can track and identify authorised entry tools such as fobs and key cards. Not only is RFID a significant security measure, but it also provides your team with a reliable and efficient method of access.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is relatively a new AIDC technology which was first developed in 1980’s.

An RFID system consists of two main components: tags and readers.

  • Tags are small devices that contain a microchip and an antenna. They are attached to the objects that need to be tracked.
  • Readers are devices that emit radio waves and receive signals back from the tags. They are used to read the data stored on the tags.

When a reader sends out a radio wave, it activates the tag. The tag then sends back a signal that contains its unique identification number. The reader can then use this information to track the tag or object. The technology acts as a base in automated data collection, identification and analysis systems worldwide. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data.

Unlike a bar code, the tag does not necessarily need to be within line of sight of the reader, and may be embedded in the tracked object. It can also be read only or read-write enabling information to be either permanently stored in the tag or it can be read-write where information can be continually updated and over-written on the tag.

Benefits of RFID in Retail

Inventory Shrinkage (Shrink) Reduction 
• Ability to track items in real-time between manufacturer and point of sale.
• Real-time notification of any breaches in security for non-payment.
• Reduces shrinkage of stock caused by theft.

Monitor unattended inventory• Automatic item identification on mixed pallets
• "Smart Shelf" systems – designed to provide real time tracking and lovating of tagged items on shelves
• Shipping and Receiving applications

Shelf stocking
• Real-time notification of out-of -stock items
• Improvement of product replenishment
• Improved product forecasting from product stock tracking

Check-out Process
• Reduce labour/time cost of employees
• Reduce time in queue

RFID Smart Labels - extremely flat configured transponder under a conventional print-coded label, which includes chip,antenna and bonding wires as a so-called inlay. The labels—made of paper, fabric or plastic.

Types of RFID Tag

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) Tags, Labels and Cards operate at a frequency of 915 MHz. These types of tags are considered “Passive” –with no on-board power source. Commonly specified by retailers within the supply chain, these tags must comply with the international recognized standard set by EPCglobal.

HF (High Frequency) Tags, Labels and Cards operate at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. These types of tags are also “Passive” with no onboard power source. RFID applications that use HF RFID tags are typically the applications that require read distances of less than three feet. HF tags work better on objects made of metal (RFID Metal Tag) and can work around goods with high water content.

LF (Low Frequency) Tags, Labels and Cards are low-frequency tags (125khz) use less power and are better able to penetrate non-metallic substances. These types of tags are also “Passive” –with no on-board power source. They are ideal for scanning objects with high-water content, such as fruit, but their read range is limited to less than a foot.

RFID applications: RFID can be used in a variety of supply chain applications, including:

  • Inventory tracking: RFID tags can be used to track the movement of products throughout the supply chain, from the factory to the retail store. This can help to improve inventory accuracy and reduce stockouts.
  • Asset tracking: RFID tags can be used to track high-value assets, such as pallets, containers, and vehicles. This can help to prevent theft and loss, and improve the efficiency of asset management.
  • Process optimization: RFID can be used to optimize supply chain processes, such as picking and packing, loading and unloading, and shipping. This can help to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
  • Fraud prevention: RFID can be used to prevent counterfeiting and fraud. For example, RFID tags can be used to track the movement of pharmaceuticals to ensure that they are not diverted or counterfeited.

RFID has a number of advantages over traditional barcoding technology, including:

  • Increased accuracy: RFID tags can be read from a greater distance than bar codes, which can improve inventory accuracy.
  • Real-time tracking: RFID tags can be read in real time, which can help to improve visibility into the supply chain.
  • Enhanced security: RFID tags can be encrypted, which can help to prevent unauthorized access.

However, RFID also has some disadvantages, including:

  • Cost: RFID tags and readers can be more expensive than bar code scanners.
  • Complexity: RFID systems can be more complex to implement than bar code systems.
  • Privacy concerns: Some people have privacy concerns about the use of RFID tags.

Overall, RFID is a powerful technology that can be used to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply chains. However, it is important to weigh the costs and benefits of RFID before implementing a system.

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