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The variety of identification applications using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags is endless – from animals to automation to waste management.
This RFID contactless security solutions is best known to record performance, track and report trends. It also keep records, identify outliers and automate collection of information. However, a fully automated RFID system built on secure contactless RFID technology from ASSA ABLOY Group company HID Global can majorly help ensure seamless traceability, tracking and recording which most often aids organizations to reduce losses and human handling errors while enhancing processing speeds or even when providing information on compliance.
HID Global designs and delivers a full range of RFID system components which include tags, antennaes and readers in frequencies that range from low and high frequency to UHF. In instances of contactless and contact based payment or access control, HID offers multi-application and technology convergence components compliant with major standards.
It’s important to note that any reader that uses the appropriate RF signal can get the RFID tag to communicate its components. Today, a wide range of powerful, versatile RFID readers are readily available and accessible.
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What is RFID?
The term RFID is an acronym for “radio-frequency identification” and refers to a technology whereby digital data encoded in RFID tags or smart labels (defined below) are captured by a reader through radio waves. RFID is similar to barcoding in this way, any data from that is from a tag or label are captured by a certain device that stores up the data in a database. RFID, however, has several advantages over systems that use barcode asset tracking software. The most notable advantage of them all is that RFID tag data can be read outside the line-of-sight, whereas barcodes must be aligned with an optical scanner. If you are considering implementing an RFID solution, take the next step and contact the RFID experts at AB&R® (American Barcode and RFID).
How does RFID work?
RFID belongs to a group of technologies referred to as Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC). AIDC methods automatically identify objects, collect data about them, and automatically enters that data directly into computer systems with very little or no human intervention at all. RFID methods mostly utilize radio waves to accomplish this. At a simple level, RFID systems consist of these three components: an RFID tag or smart label, an RFID reader, and an antenna. RFID tags contain an integrated circuit and an antenna, which are mainly used to transmit data to the RFID reader (also called an interrogator). After the data is transmitted, the reader then converts the radio waves to a more usable form of data. That information that was collected from the tags is then transferred through a communications interface to a host computer system, where the data can be stored in a database and analyzed at a later time when you see fit.
RFID Tags and Smart Labels
As stated in the above statement, an RFID tag consists of an integrated circuit and an antenna. The tag is also made up of a protective material that holds the pieces together and shields them from any form of environmental conditions that may interfere with the information. The protective material depends on the application. For Instance, employee ID badges containing RFID tags are typically made from durable plastic, and the tag is embedded between the layers of plastic. Note also that RFID tags come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are either passive or active. Passive tags however, are the most widely used, as they are smaller and less expensive to implement. Passive tags on the other hand,must be “powered up” by the RFID reader before they can transmit data. Unlike passive tags, active RFID tags have an onboard power supply (e.g., a battery), which enables them to transmit data at all times, regardless. For a more detailed discussion, refer to this article: Passive RFID Tags vs. Active RFID Tags.
However, smart labels are different from RFID tags in this way, they incorporate both RFID and barcode technologies. They are made of an adhesive label which is embedded with an RFID tag inlay, and they may also feature a barcode and/or other printed information. Smart labels can be encoded and printed on-demand using the normal desktop label printers, whereas programming RFID tags are more time consuming and requires more advanced equipment.
RFID technology is employed in many industries to perform such tasks as:
– Helps manage Inventory
– Assists to track assets
– Helps in Tracking Personnel
– Aids in controlling access to restricted areas
– ID Badging
– Helps in the management of supply chain
– Counterfeit prevention (e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry)
Whether or not RFID compliance is required, applications that currently use barcode technology are good enough candidates for upgrading to a system that uses RFID or some combination of the two. RFID comes with many advantages over the barcode, the best of them all being the fact that an RFID tag can hold much more data about an item than a barcode can. In addition, RFID tags are not susceptible to the damages that may be incurred by barcode labels, like ripping and smearing.
From the read distance to the types of tags available, RFID has come a long way since World War II and there is a bright future ahead. Review the evolution of RFID.
Here are a few of RFID’s helpful features and functions:
- The tags can easily trigger alarms when moved
- The communication between readers and tags is not contingent upon orientation
- Data can be read and stored automatically
- These tags can carry unique or standardized product codes
- Items can be individually labeled, but read in mass
- Tag data is compatible with WMS and ERP systems
- Tags are difficult to reproduce/counterfeit or manipulate
What is the difference between RFID Scanner and barcode technology?
These Barcodes and RFIDs share similar functions, they only have one distinct difference: human intervention, or “line of sight.” This simply refers to the distance between the operator of the data collection device (barcode scanner or RFID reader) and the labeled or tagged item — in other words, whether they are close enough to the item to see it or not.
For one to get a good barcode read, the operators must position their handheld scanner within the line of sight of the item. To collect data using RFID technology, operators are not as limited — they simply need to be within the range of the tag. This in simple terms means that employees can collect data for any item within the read range without physically moving from one shelf to the other. This also means that more than one item can be read at the same time. For this reasons, most companies are looking to RFID to add even more value to their operations.
What are the benefits of using RFID?
One of the benefits of RFID is, with RFID, supply chain businesses can aesily track the movement of their inventory items and assets. By eliminating labor-intensive inventory tracking processes that require human intervention and increasing visibility of your items and assets, RFID can help businesses reduce costs related to manufacturing, distribution, inventory management, and asset tracking.
The RFID automates your data collection process so that your employees can eliminate time-consuming procedures and spend more time on what’s important: customer service, shipping, and picking. This simply means it saves on time alot.
An automated data collection system — especially one that does not require human intervention/ strength — improves speed and accuracy so that employees can get more work done in a shorter amount of Period (and get it done right the first time). Because of this, RFID allows businesses to decrease their labor costs. And with improved accuracy, businesses can also increase their throughput, and therefore reduce their inventory carrying costs as well.
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