What is RFID?

RFID systems are typically comprised of an antenna, a transceiver, and a transponder. The transponder is encoded with information similar to that contained on a barcode, but with much greater capacity. When a passive transponder is passed through an electromagnetic field produced by the antenna, its integrated circuit (IC) is activated and the information that it contains may be read by the transceiver. In the case of active transponders, an embedded battery increases read range and memory capacity.

Benefits

  • Large amounts of information can be stored (read only) and/or modified (read/write) on an Integrated Circuit.
  • Line of sight is not necessary for information to be collected.
  • Multiple transponders can be read simultaneously.
  • The transponder can be integrated into a pressure sensitive printable label, or enclosed in various substrates for use in harsh environments.
  • Batteries are not required for operation.

Advantages of using RFID technology

  • Has a long lifetime
  • Minimum maintenance
  • Provides fast and reliable data recording
  • Can work in harsh environments (i.e. heat, cold, rain)
  • Tags are difficult to duplicate, so it is secure
  • Does not require Line-of-Sight
  • Contactless technology

So, are you ready for radio frequency identification (RFID)? For organizations that manage global supply chains and vast trading partner networks, the promise of RFID is substantial. The increase in efficiency, data integrity and inventory visibility will help lower costs along with delivering goods faster and more accurately to the end user.

However, trying to map out a strategy is complex and takes into consideration all aspects of the enterprise – from warehouse and transit planning to network infrastructure requirements. As with any technology, there are still challenges that exist with RFID such as limitations detecting tags located near liquid or metal, global standards and affordability. Many questions remain unanswered. So here are some links to more information on this revolutionary method…

Motorola / Symbol Technologies RFID Overview & FAQ

Intermec RFID Overview

RFID Journal

Zebra RFID Overview