What is RFID? – Blog for Andy Ho
RFID is a non-line of sight identification technology, based on the exchange of a data set between a tag and scanner, by using a radio frequency.
Although Radio Frequency Identification is often seen as a simple, straightforward replacement of the barcode technology, RFID is, however. a collective name for several (complex) technologies based on the same principle; data exchange using radio waves.
Overall, it is a means of enhancing data processes and is complementary to existing technologies- a proven technology that has been in use since the 1970s.
RFID devices fall into two broad categories, those with a power supply (a battery) and those without. An RFID device that actively transmitted to a reader is generally known as a transponder, unpowered passive devices known as “tags. For the tag to work or rather the data to be read – an RFID system has three parts: a scanning antenna, a transceiver with a decoder to interpret the data and, of course, the RFID tag – that has been programmed with information.
RFID is embedded in your daily life, although you may not always be aware of it:
- Your passport
- Remobiliser of your car
- Identification of your pet animals/livestock
- Access control and time registration
- Loyalty cards / contactless payment systems
- Medication (prescription and replenishment/ Anti-counterfeiting)
- Payment systems
- Travel tickets (train / boarding cards)
- Food traceability
Where is RFID in action
Supply chains (example: Production control, regulatory compliance/quality control)
Livestock (electronic tags in animal which go into the food chain are tracked from the Farm, to market to the abattoir to shop and ultimately plate in a global food chain).
People & Time Management (Allocating the correct people to the correct data – real time/optimising production)
Offering additional value;
For those considering barcode scanning replacement, it makes it a perfect solution for many applications; barcode vs RFID:
- Barcode line of sight/ RFID read through packaging
- Barcode read single item/RFID read multiple items
- Barcode fixed data/RFID flexible data programming
- Real time information for availability at item level in a sales organisation
- Securing the correct production tools in use (avoiding down-time)
- Product life cycle and state of certification and/or maintenance
Witness RFID enabling the development of Big Data and Industry 4.0
The Internet of Things is often used to include a wide range of Smart devices – your smart phone is one of them – and other technologies connected to cloud computing. This connectivity and combination of Big data captures on mobile smart devices, data management in cloud computing, and real time reporting to the management – is now a proven concept for Industry 4.0. This element of disruptive technology already accepted practice can offer potential efficiencies, cost-savings, or new marketing opportunities and added value, personalised service.
For organizations that manage field service, improve sales operations and productivity, mobile solutions can provide a powerful competitive advantage. Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) makes it an even more powerful and advanced solution for automated data collection, processing and tracking, in a wide range of industries. State-of-the-art RFID applications allow companies to improve, streamline and maximize their competitive advantages, including service management automation along the entire supply chain.