As my topic in the assignment of Product and Unit Load was the RFID and I have always been a little confused with its function and difference with the bar code I wanted to search more about it. The RFID is considered a very valuable technology and business tool. Its main work is to track inventory within the supply chain in a more efficient way. This tool is trying to beat tools like bar coding which is not giving as much information as RFID can.
The RFID works with tiny tags embedded microchips containing data about an item and its location to transmit radio signals over a short distance to RFID readers. The RFID readers then pass the data over a network to a computer for processing. Unlike bar codes, RFID tags do not need line-of-sight contact to be read. The tags are electronically programmed with information that can uniquely identify an item plus other information about the item, such as its location, where and when it was made, or its status during production. Embedded in the tag is a microchip for storing the data. The rest of the tag is an antenna that transmits data to the reader.
There are two kinds of tags the active tags and the passive tags. The active tags are powered by an internal battery and enable data to be rewritten or modified and can transmit for hundred of feet buy are way more expensive while the passive tags don’t have their own source of energy, range only several feet and are smaller and cheaper.
RFID system can handle with inventory control and supply chain management much better than barcodes because it contains more detailed information about the goods in the warehouse and production units. If a company is shipping many articles, the RFIS systems track each pallet or item in the shipment; that’s why big companies such as Walmart are being benefit with this systems because they manage many different kind of products stored in different warehouses, so RFID tags give them the chance know more about the status of their products.
Other benefits the RFID system give to companies are: the serialized data which means that all items in the supply chain has a unique identifying number, it reduces the human intervention by the automatization of the system that also reduces the number of errors, real time information flow and the security of the items by tagging before being tracked in a facility.