RFID is already delivering significant business benefits to the supply chains of multiple types and sized of businesses. However, the business value of RFID and related technologies can extend more deeply into, and eventually far beyond those supply chains. This is demonstrated by the top pressures driving RFID initiatives cited by more than 190 respondents surveyed for this study.
What is RFID?
RFID = Radio Frequency IDentification.
An ADC (automated Data Collection) technology that:
- Uses radio-frequency waves to transfer data between a reader and a movable item to identify, categorize, track..
- Is fast and does not require physical sight or contact between reader/scanner and the tagged item.
- Performs the operation using low cost components.
- Attempts to provide unique identification and back-end integration that allows for wide range of applications.
Other ADC technologies: Bar codes, OCR.
RFID systems: Logical view
RFID tags: Smart labels
Tags can be attached to almost anything:
- Items, cases or pallets of products, high value goods
- vehicles, assets, livestock or personnel
- Do not require power – Draws from interrogator Field
- Lower storage capacities (few bits to 1 KB)
- Shorter read ranges (4 inches to 15 feet)
- Usually Write-Once-Read-Many/Read-Only tags
- Cost around 25 cents to few dollars
- Battery Powered
- Higher storage capacities (512 KB)
- Longer read range (300 feet)
- Typically can be re-written by RF interrogators
- Cost around 50 to 250 dollars
- Tag ID is assigned at the factory during manufacturing
- Can never be changed
- No additional data can be assigned to the tag
Write once, read many (WORM) tags
- Data written once, e.g., during packing or manufacturing
- Tag is locked once data is written
- Similar to a compact disc or DVD
- Tag data can be changed over time
- Part or all of the data section can be locked
- Reader functions:
- Remotely power tags
- Establish a bidirectional data link
- Inventory tags, filter results
- Communicate with networked server(s)
- Can read 100-300 tags per second
Readers (interrogators) can be at a fixed point such as:
- Point of sale
Readers can also be mobile/hand-held
RFID Application Points
Manufacturing and Processing
- Inventory and production process monitoring
- Warehouse order fulfillment
Supply Chain Management
- Inventory tracking systems
- logistics management
- Inventory control and customer insight
- Auto checkout with reverse logistics
- Access control
- Counterfeiting and They control/prevention
- Traffic movement control and parking management
- Wildlife/Livestock monitoring and tracking
- Add an RFID tag to all items in a grocery store
- As the cart leaves the, the cart passes through an RFID transceiver.
- The cart the gets totaled up in a matter of seconds.
- Tagged item is removed from or placed in the “Smart Cabinet”
- The Smart Cabinet periodically interrogates to assess inventory
- Server/Database is updated to reflect item’s disposition
- Designated individual are notified regarding items that need attention (cabinet and shelf location, action required)
- Recognizes whats been put in the fridge
- Recognizes when things are removed
- Creates automatic shopping lists
- Notifies you when things are past their expiration date
- Shows you the recipes that most closely match what is available
Smart Groceries Enhanced
Track Products through their entire lifetime.
More Smart Applications:
- Closets that advice on style depending on clothes available
- Ovens that know recipes to cook pre-packaged food
- Clothing, appliances, CD’s etc. Tagged for store return.
- Airline tickets that indicate your location in the airport
- Anti-counterfeiting and tracking.
RFID Advantages over bar-codes
- No line of sight required for reading
- Multiple items can be read with a single scan
- Each tag can carry a lot of data (read/write)
- Individual items identified and not just the category
- Passive tags have a virtually unlimited lifetime
- Active tags can be read from great distances
- Can be combined with bar code technology