RFID Technology

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What is RFID Technology? Description

RFID is a method to identify objects, products, animals or people using radio waves and microchip tags. This wireless technique relies on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is an object that can be applied to or incorporated into any object for the purpose of identification using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several meters away.

Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. The first is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a (RF) signal, and other specialized functions. The second is the antenna to receive and transmit the signal. Chipless RFID is a technology allowing for discrete identification of tags without an integrated circuit, printing tags directly onto objects.

RFID Technology

Usage of RFID Technology. Applications

  • Personnel identification, id-cards, passports.
  • Patient identification, safety and medication.
  • Livestock and animal identification and tracking.
  • Cargo and container identification and security.
  • Tracking of high-value assets with real-time location systems.
  • Visibility of supply chain objects through product tracking.
  • Inventory Management
  • Transportation payments.
  • Money cards.
  • Electronic toll collection.
  • Wireless commerce.
  • Various administration usages.

Steps in applying RFID Technology. Process

  1. Assess your numbering options.
  2. Assess management of your RFID readers and devices.
  3. Assess management of your data.
  4. Assess integration of your business applications.
  5. Assess integration with your trading partners.
  6. Assess management of your processes.
  7. Assess your scaling capabilities and management of architecture.

RFID versus Barcode. Strengths of RFID Technology. Benefits

RFID versus Barcode.

There are a number of advantages of RFID over the barcode. The tag does not have to be physically scanned or read in any way, so merely being within proximity of a detection unit allows the data to be read. No more creased barcodes. Furthermore, unlike barcodes, RFID tags can be read through desktops and book covers (no line of sight is required). RFID tags can be read in any orientation to the reader/antenna. RFID tags can be read while moving (i.e. while being deposited through a return chute). RFID tags can be read several at a time.

Limitations of RFID Technology. Disadvantages

  • Cost. RFID tags are more expensive than barcodes.
  • No global standard. The frequencies used for RFID in the USA are currently incompatible with those of Europe or Japan.
  • Security and privacy concerns. The illicit tracking of RFID tags poses a risk to both personal location privacy and corporate or military security.
  • Cancer risk. Certain veterinary and toxicology studies indicate that RFID chips may induce malignant tumors.

Book: Patrick J. Sweeney II - RFID For Dummies, 2005

Special Interest Group

RFID Technology Special Interest Group.

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Special Interest Group (31 members)


Forum discussions about RFID Technology. Below you can ask a question about this topic, share your experiences, report a new development, or explain something.

topic Challenges and Problems with RFID
Technical challenges such as erroneous reads, read collisions and the costs of handling large amounts of data generated by RFID have hampered progress. The process level change demanded by RFID still ...
Comments4 comments
topic Data Capture - To Key or not to Key
To key or nor to key: that is the question; whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slips and errors of outrageous keying or to take up AIDC (Automatic Identification & Data Capture) against a s...
🔥 GPS Vehicle Tracking in Road Transport
Hi, how does GPS vehicle tracking help in saving costs and in timely delivery? What other benefits does it offer in road transportation?...
Comments1 comments
topic RFID and Supply Chain vs Supply Chain
Competition is not exclusively a firm versus firm issue but a supply chain against supply chain phenomenon. Visibility across operational activities—from demand forecasting, to the sourcing of raw mat...
topic EPCglobal Standards to enable Data Sharing within and across Enterprises
Item relationships and the complex information flows required to manage objects in modern supply chains are increasingly being formalized through the efforts of EPCglobal (Electronic Product Code™) st...
Comments1 comments

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Expert Tips

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The Business Benefits of RFID

RFID Implementation, Supply Chain Management
According to Andre Pino, VP of supply chain solution provider Acsis, RFID-enabled process automation offers manufacturer...

RFID Technology - History

History of RFID
In 1946 Léon Theremin invented an espionage tool for the Soviet Union which retransmitted incident radio waves with audi...
Information Sources

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RFID Diagrams

Unique Identification of Goods, Objects, Animals, Humans
Download and edit these 12manage PowerPoint graphics for limited personal, educational and business use. Republishing i...

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Compare with RFID Technology: Inventory Management  |  CPFR  |  Just-in-time  |  Value Stream Mapping  |  Vendor Managed Inventory  |  Barcode

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