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RFID 101

Radio-frequency identification, otherwise known as RFID, is a technology like barcoding. But RFID systems are able to store much more information than traditional barcodes. So how does RFID work? Let’s take a crash course into RFID 101 and find out.
Does putting data into computers with little human intervention sounds appealing? If so, radio-frequency identification may be for you.
 
Parts of an RFID System
 
RFID is a system consisting of a RFID tag or smart label, a RFID reader, also called an interrogator, and an antenna. The tag contains a circuit and an antenna, which transfers information to the reader.
 
Then the reader converts the information to a more usable form of data. In turn, this information is then transferred to a computer database with a software.
 
Benefits of RFID
 
Now that we know how RFID systems work, let’s talk about why your company would want to use an RFID system. In the fast-moving consumer goods industry, your company needs to be just that, fast.
 
Many manufacturers need to count products several times during the span of one day. RFID allows you to complete product counts in seconds. This decreases the amount of manual work, and in turn, reduces costs. Also, RFID scanners do not have to be in the line of sight of the tag, and the scanners can also read more than one tag at a time.
 
As we mentioned, RFID systems are able to contain much more information than a barcode. For example:
  • Real-time movement of products
  • Amount of time needed for production
  • Which machines have and haven’t gone under maintenance
 
Some more benefits of an RFID system include:
  • Accuracy
  • Efficiency
  • Quickening of the manufacturing process
  • Greater visibility
  • Improved planning
Disadvantages of RFID
 
Although RFID has many pros, it also comes with some cons. Some of these include:
 
  • The range of the reader can be short
  • Cost of development can be high
  • Incompatible standards across tag type, industries, and different countries
 
A critical element of the RFID system is the middleware (software)
Middleware aggregates, manipulates, and analyzes tag data. Without software, you’re just reading tags, not putting that data to use!
 
RFID Experts Working for You
 
Radley can provide the middleware along with the best hardware for your system. Contact a Radley product specialist today for more information on RFID solutions.
 
Written by Radley Corporation
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