The business landscape in today’s world is driven by technology and fast-paced innovation. Major players of every industry make use of the latest equipment and gadgets to gain an edge over their competitors. This is why over the past few years, many businesses, especially retailers and supply chain businesses, have shifted to a highly effective mode of data collection: RFID.
RFID has effectively replaced the outdated system of barcodes as it greatly enhances productivity and subsequently results in greater profit for any business or organization.
What is RFID Technology?
Radio Frequency Identification or RFID is a highly effective data collection technology that uses low-power radio waves to automatically identify objects, collect their data, and store them in a database. The RFID system typically comprises of 3 components: the RFID tag, an antenna, and the RFID reader.
The RFID tag is an integrated circuit which holds unique data about the item it is embedded to. The tag transmits the data in the form of radio waves, which are received and deciphered by the reader, and then stored in the company’s database. Instead of a reader, you can also use a transceiver, which works as both a reader and a writer. In addition to reading tags, transceivers allow you to write and update data on the tags as well.
Benefits of RFID
- Increases Efficiency
One of the biggest benefits RFID has over barcode scanning is the convenience, which results in a considerable increase in labor efficiency. Unlike barcodes, which require the optical scanner to be close and in the line-of-sight of the object, RFID tags can be read and identified from a distance. This distance ranges from 1 foot to a few hundred feet depending on the frequency of the radio waves. Additionally, this also means that data from several items can be collected through their tags with little to no movement or human intervention.
The efficiency of RFID technology translates to the efficiency of your employees, as they can get more work done in a short amount of time. Another advantage of RFID is the accuracy and durability. Barcodes run the risk of getting damaged, making it difficult to read, which slows down the process of checking and transportation. Whereas the small size and durable material of RFID tags makes them less prone to damage.
- Eliminates Losses
The high level of accuracy in transmitting data through radio waves makes RFIDs a very reliable solution. Greater accuracy means that there are less chances to lose items during their shipment. When the right quantity of the correct supply is shipped and delivered on time, it provides a great boost to the trust and reliability of your business in the eyes of valued customers. This level of accuracy coupled with the efficiency also results in better business throughput and hence, greater profit.
- Reduces Costs of Labor and Warehouse Services
By eliminating the labor-intensive process of manually tracking items through barcodes, RFIDs effectively cut down labor costs related to asset tracking and distribution. Charges for warehouse services such as item management and shelf inventory are also significantly reduced when using RFIDs.
Active tags vs. Passive tags
The key difference between active and passive tags is the presence of an internal power source in active tags. The source supplies power to the circuit which may consist of microprocessors and sensors depending on the type of object and the amount of data that is required. Sensors detect factors like heat, temperature, and humidity, to ensure that the item is in favorable conditions. This is particularly useful for the safety of objects which are sensitive to changes in the environment.
Passive tags, as the name suggests, remain dormant until they receive signals from a reader or transceiver. In passive tags, the RFID tag and the antenna are held together by a substrate, usually made from a semi-rigid substance. The choice of substrate depends on the environment of the location where the items are stored. The absence of a power source means that passive tags do not hold other electronic components like sensors. As such, passive tags are much smaller compared to active tags and more easily embeddable. This makes them very suitable for items such as gold and jewelry.
We can see that the structural differences between active and passive tags dictate the extent of their functionality. While both are extremely effective in performing the main objective of data collection, these differences are important to consider when selecting the right tag that fulfills all your functional requirements.
ConclusionRFID technology will soon completely replace the old barcodes and scanners, with an entirely new system of data collection and quality assurance. Compared to its older counter-part, RFID provides a much more efficient way of collecting data on goods and equipment, bringing down costs, and making your employees’ lives easier. It also offers significantly higher accuracy, helping you ensure the quality of your service, and making tracking shipments a piece of cake. You may also choose between Active and Passive tags depending on the nature of the goods being tracked. If you’re interested in RFID products, and want to learn more, visit our website. You’ll find all our products and services mentioned there. Feel free to contact us. ZERCO International’s experienced team will help you identify your business’ requirements and offer the best products and solutions to fit your need.