RFID allows data stored on a special tag to be “scanned” over radio waves. But it’s actually quite similar to traditional barcoding, with some important benefits.
In case you’re wondering, RFID stands for Radio-Frequency IDentification.
With RFID, your tracking info is stored in the RFID tag instead of on a traditional barcode label. Since the tag is read over radio waves, it doesn’t even need to be visible — the small tags can often be hidden inside of items or packaging.
Your data is still stored in your database exactly as it would be when using a traditional barcode system. The difference is mostly in how the tag is read. Since you don’t need a view of the tag to read it, new processes become possible.
For example, an RFID system can track items as they move throughout your warehouse, without any human input. RFID scanners can be placed in key points of your process, and as products pass by, their status is automatically updated in your database.
RFID and Its Place During Workplace Restrictions
Since COVID-19 restrictions were put into place, RFID has helped companies manage the challenges of social distancing and smaller workforces. Since RFID replaces manual, labor-intensive, and paper-based processes with automated and remote tracking, it boosts efficiency, minimizes labor, and helps keep employees at safe distances.
How RFID Works
1. An RFID tag is printed and encoded with a unique identifier.
2. The tag contains tiny micro-transmitters that transmit radio waves and data.
3. The tag communicates with an RFID reader to transmit identification and location data.
4. Tag data is matched with a database containing other information about each asset.
5. An RFID reader reads RFID tags remotely, with ranges depending on the type of tag.
6. There’s no need to line up a scanner with a barcode or have line-of-sight to a label.
7. You can read many tags at once, without direct visibility or physical access to a label.
8. A handheld RFID reader reads tags remotely as you walk or drive through an area.
9. A fixed RFID reader reads tags remotely and automatically as they pass the reader.
RFID tags, readers, antennas, and software are combined to read, collect, transmit, and update tagged asset locations and information.
How Companies Are Using RFID
RFID technology is versatile and user-friendly. Organizations across every industry, including government agencies and the private sector, are finding innovative ways to leverage RFID technology to better manage all aspects of their business.
Here are a few ways that modern companies take advantage of this technology, and new processes are being created all the time.
Locating and tracking inventory automatically and remotely, with no barcode scanning and little to no human labor.
Locating, tracking, and managing assets in real-time, plus scheduling service and maintaining status records automatically and remotely.
Supply chain visibility
Giving managers real-time visibility into the status and location of mission-critical inventory, assets, processes, and people. Other uses include work-in-process tracking, automatically validating correct parts, creating exception alerts, and tracking inventory to streamline production.
Automatic tracking of parts and materials from the receiving dock through production and finished goods.
Tagging, tracking, and locating parts and finished goods for quarantine, inspection, and quality control.
Safety and emergency response
Tracking employees with RFID-enabled ID cards to limit access to restricted areas and maintain social distancing.
Now is the time for RFID
Find out why RFID is a timely technology in a time of uncertainty with this free ebook and infographic.
You’ll see different ways RFID can save time and money, how RFID works, common concerns, and more. It’s a short read, packed with valuable info.
VantageID developed this guide to celebrate our Advanced RFID Specialist certification.
Check it out. We hope it will spark a conversation with your colleagues…and us, too!