One of the goals of inventory management is to make the processes smarter. Despite the fact that controlling the inventory via barcodes was a revolution, it has major disadvantages.
- Products can only be scanned one after another and a short distance to the reader is necessary.
One option to solve this negative side of barcodes is the RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) system. The RFID system is a passive system since the products will be checked automatically by a device, so no employee must scan it by hand.
For this system, products (or boxes/pallets) are labelled with a chip. These chips contain a microchip (that stores and processes information) and a transmitter (for transmitting and receiving signals), which will be activated by a RFID-reader. The information will be transmitted via radio waves, which makes the communication between the chip and the reader over a defined distance possible.
Compared to the distance which is possible for reading a barcode (~4,5 meter), the RFID system is able to exchange the information over a distance of ~ 90 meter.
The RFID system didn´t gain its popularity in the logistic and transportation sector without reason and has important aspects which should be taken into account:
- The RFID chips can be read quickly (typically in under 100 milliseconds).
- A large number of products can be read at once.
- The system updates the containing information steadily and storing a huge amount of information is possible.