Today’s businesses are becoming increasingly interconnected and automated. Innovations like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and radio frequency identification (RFID) have made the modern industry more efficient than it is now. The increased use of these new technologies in business applications helps companies to streamline processes, reduce costs and increase security.
What Is RFID Technology?
RFID stands for radio-frequency identification. It employs an electromagnetic field and transmits radio signals to RFID tags in order to uniquely identify an object, animal, or person.
RFID is a wireless system that consists of two components: tags and readers. The reader is an electronic gadget with one or more antennas that transmit radio waves and take in signals from RFID tags. It is fixed in place and detects data from tags to obtain information.
Tags use radio waves to transmit their identity and other information to nearby readers. They have a unique code that identifies each tag to track and store data about the item or person carrying it. Tags can be attached to most objects, including products, inventory items, animals, and people. They come in two forms: passive and active.
Passive RFID tags do not have batteries and are powered by the reader. On the other hand, active RFID tags run on batteries. Thus, they are able to transmit data at all times.
How Does RFID Work?
RFID tags work by transmitting a unique identifier to receivers using radio waves. This identifier can be read by individual readers connected to computers, networks, or other devices.
RFID technologies have substantially supplanted traditional paper-based business tools, such as barcodes. Barcodes are visual identifiers that are relatively inflexible and hard to update. In addition, they’re prone to fraud, so they’re not suitable for applications such as controlling access to secure documents.
On the contrary, RFID tags are more versatile, lightweight, and accurate. It is readable from a distance, transferred electronically, and updated pretty quickly. In addition, they’re more secure than barcodes, so they’re a better option for applications such as restricting access to confidential documents.
What Advantages Does RFID Have For Businesses?
RFID systems can help businesses significantly improve efficiency and reduce operating costs, such as energy use and labor costs. These are often two of the most significant expenses for businesses.
Another way RFID tags can help lower these costs is by enabling companies to automate inventory management and tracking while also improving product quality visibility.
Best Real-World Examples of RFID in Business Applications
Here are a few examples of how RFID technology is helping in the improvement of operations in real-world business applications.
Gasoline stations use RFID tags to track fuel inventory and monitor compliance with environmental regulations. Managers can use this data to track product aging and contamination, as well as comply with minimum inventory levels.
Retail stores make use of RFID tags to monitor inventory and simplify order entry. It enables managers to view a summary of their stock, compare actual and planned inventory levels, and track individual items as they move through the supply chain.
Hospitals employ RFID technology to track medical equipment and manage medical supplies. This helps improve the quality and security of care and reduce the incidence of medical errors.
Upcoming Trends For RFID In Business Applications
There are many upcoming trends for RFID in business applications. Soon, RFID solutions with smart sensing technology will bring the best of the IoT to today’s warehouses. By using sensors, systems will be able to monitor temperature and several other variables that could impact supply chain operations.
Another significant shift is the increased use of active rather than passive RFID. Some businesses previously avoided active solutions due to higher costs and often limited shelf life. However, due to recent battery advancements, active RFID can be relied on to provide greater accuracy in long-range monitoring. This makes it an appealing choice for monitoring medical equipment or maintaining strict access control.
Additionally, RFID may be integrated into blockchain technology. Blockchain and RFID technology, when combined, have the ability to provide organizations with extraordinary value. RFID will transfer and record product information, and then encrypted using blockchain technology.