What is RFID? Components, Benefits & Pitfalls

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What is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Today, RFID Tags are already used for a variety for dedicated purposes, such as theft protection in the form of plastic tags attached to clothes or fake bar code labels which are in effect RFID tags to prevent theft. Other common applications include access control as well tracking and tracing of goods along a supply network.

Components of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

1. the Integrated Circuit (IC)
2. the Antenna
3. the connection between the IC and the antenna, and
4. the substrate on which the antenna resides

Working of RFID

The RFID reader decodes the data encoded in the tag’s integrated circuit (silicon chip) and the data is passed to the middleware. Middleware translates the bits into characters. The application software on the host processes the data, and may perform various filtering operations to reduce the numerous often redundant reads of the same tag to smaller and more useful data set.
Components of RFID

Benefits of RFID

The benefits can be confined to one company or they can he distributed across a whole supply chain network; the investments can he borne by a single company or by several companies.

  1. Greater Visibility of the supply chain
  2. Labour cost and improved productivity: RFID does not require line of sight, so manual inventory management tasks are reduced .
  3. Streamlined reverse logistics
  4. FIFO compliance can be achieved
  5. Reduced paper work
  6. Cold chain compliance: Additional data about the temperature of the object being shipped can be stored in the RFID chip.
  7. Improved customer relations and retention

Pitfalls of RFID

  1. Business Process Changes required
  2. Cost of RFID implementation and RFID tags: The price of tag still remains a entry barrier for many companies who wish to go the RFID way.
  3. Tag Readability and range
  4. Large Data Management system to be in place
  5. Data Ownership and Sharing.
  6. Standardization of technique

Before rushing into an RFID deployment, companies must first carefully consider how existing business processes will be impacted, and equally important, what new business processes might be created to maximize RFID value. Adoption of RFID will be disruptive to business processes because the amount and quality of data that will be produced will expand exponentially. Ultimately, a thorough impact and opportunity assessment at the business processes layer should drive the decision whether or not to deploy RFID.

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