Imagine you are in a supermarket and you like a few garments. You decide to buy them and spend time standing in a queue waiting for your turn. This can be quite irksome.
What if you are told that all you have to do is pass through scanner equipment and the bill amount would be deducted from your account for the purchase. This is possible with the RFID asset tracking system and this is the shape of things to come.
What is RFID?
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. This technology is similar to the barcode system. The main difference, however, is that RFID works faster compared to barcodes.
The other difference is that a product or object has to be scanned via a barcode scanner software to track information. RFID, on the other hand, uses radio waves to track the product information.
This also offers several advantages to an organization:
- These tags don't need line of sight to get scanned
- The scanner can read multiple RFID tags at the same time
- It reduces human effort and error
- RFID tags are also capable to read and write
- The RFID tag stores data in an encrypted form
As we have seen RFID technology offers plentiful advantages to the entity. However, going for RFID technology is not enough to make business operations run smoothly. Choosing the right RFID technology with a specific tag fits the bill and matters most for the organization. Here are a few tips to remember in order to execute the RFID technology effectively and efficiently.
Important Tips for Implementing RFID Technology
1. Understand requirement
At the outset, it is important to understand the exact requirements.
Therefore, for the best RFID solution, a list of business requirements is essential. This right first step makes the software system important. There are a few questions that need to be addressed:
- What is the purpose and the need to install RFID?
- What is going to be tracked?
- Will it enhance efficiency?
- How much is the budget?
- What are the expectations of RFID implementation?
- Will there be a need for special training?
2. Choose RFID tag according to the need
When there is a variety of tags available, it can become somewhat difficult to decide which type of RFID tag would be more efficient for the business.
RFID transmission has 3 main frequency ranges - low, high and ultra-high.
Low frequency can be used for animal tracking, high frequency can be utilized in the library for book tracking, and ultra-high for vehicle and asset tracking.
Also, the ultra-high frequency can be divided into active RFID and passive RFID. All in all, choosing the right tag is very relevant for the enterprise.
3. Improve workflow maximize productivity
Every business has its unique work-flow structure. The “one size fits all” philosophy does not work in software requirements.
An organization aims to maximize its business productivity and accordingly confers with the software development team to focus on specifics and ensure that the development is aligned with the exact requirements.
It is important to keep up the communication with them in order to ensure that the software is developed with integrity and is operable with other systems such as asset tracking.
This underlines the need to give the team clear direction so that they develop a system in true conjunction. Lastly, it should be ensured that the software is flexible and scalable enough for future up-gradation or the changing business environment.
4. Everybody's input is crucial
If RFID technology is to be successfully implemented, the inputs of the different departments have to be taken as well e.g. manufacturing, supply chain, maintenance, sales, IT, etc.
There is a set of rules or tips to be followed for implementing RFID technology successfully. Asset tracking via RFID can be a daunting task if the objective is not clearly defined. Focus, is, therefore, the key.
RFID technology is still a trending advancement. It is especially effective for asset tracking. This technology provides real-time asset tracking without compromising on accuracy.
Though there are several asset tracking methods, RFID technology is very efficient.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A. What are the components of RFID?
1. RFID reader - It can be categorized into two parts:
Mobile RFID - When a mobile interacts with RFID technology to obtain information. This technology enables mobile devices with embedded micro RFID readers to read RFID tags.
Fixed RFID - Fixed RFIDs are placed in stationary points such as Toll plazas, Entry and Exit points of big Shopping Malls.
2. Antenna - An RFID antenna comprises a curl with at least one winding and a coordinating system. It emanates electromagnetic waves created by the reader and gets the RF signals from the transponder. An RFID framework can be planned such that an electromagnetic field is always generated by a sensor.
3. Transponders - Transponders are making RFID innovation quite user-friendly and accurate. These transponders are more affordable and can be created small enough to fit on any item.
There are four types of tags Active, Semi-active, Semi-passive and Passive RFID tags. Active and semi-active transponders work on battery. Since their frequency is 900 to 1000 MHz approx., they are readable 30 meters or above. Mostly they are used on high-value items.
On the other hand, passive tags do not have a power source, can read 6 meters and are economical compared to other tags.
B. Which one is better: RFID or Barcode?
Barcodes are generally paper-based labels and are prone to damage. However, they are economical. RFID, on the other hand, is robust and not easily prone to damage.
However, these tags are costly. RFID codes and Barcodes have their own benefits and drawbacks. It is really up to the enterprise to decide which of them better suits the business requirements.