Communication And Control Using RFID

RFID is the acknowledged acronym for Radio Frequency IDentification. The core of RFID technology is that every RFID chip or tag is capable of emitting a radio signal on a frequency totally unique to itself.

Therefore, every RFID tag must have its own unique frequency and the RFID tag readers must be sensitive enough to be able to differentiate between frequencies that are only a very minute bit different from its neighbouring tags. The difference can be infinitesimal.

Therefore, the technology needs to be precise and selective, but not fragile, because the apparatus has to be used on the shop floor and by people who are often in a hurry and in weather that may be bad.

In order for RFID to have the desired result, you have to have a tag, which is an upmarket kind of bar code and a radio receiver, often called a (tag) reader. However, whereas a bar code can only hold a small quantity of information and the bar code reader has to be pointed at it, an RFID tag can hold much more information and can be read from a hundred yards or more – even out of line of sight.

Passive tags will only reveal their details when asked to by a reader, whereas an active tag is constantly relaying its contents. Clearly, active RFID tags are more costly than passive tags, because they require a long life battery.

These tags can be utilized to track items from the moment they leave the manufacturer of the goods they describe to the in-bay of the vendor. The tags can then be up-dated or replaced and stored in the warehouse. Once there, RFID readers can keep management informed about what goods are where and if the sell-by-date is impending.

This has implications for the levels of stock that a company needs to hold, the quantity of goods sold cheap because the sell-by-date is too near and for theft, all of which should boost company profits more than paying for the cost of the tags, the readers, the printers and the programmes.

At the click of a mouse, managers will be able to read how much inventory they have in real time and if this is all linked to the checkout cash registers, which are the most and least profitable articles. This makes reordering easy . Easy to the point of computerization. For instance, when stocks of the top ten percent of the best selling products falls below 1,000 order 10,000 more. Automatically, no questions asked.

RFID has many other applications too. The ideas mentioned above can be applied to farm animals, a call centre’s IT hardware, a fleet of commercial vehicles, an record of household items, your pets, your car and even your garden furniture. Some people who work over a border are even having them put under their skin so that they do not have to wait at customs.

And do not forget that criminals on early discharge are also tagged. It is the same technology.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on several topics, but is currently involved with the RFID asset management. If you would like to know more, please go to our website at Active RFID Management.

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