Main RFID applications list
After analyzing RFID applications, RFID technology shows competitive advantages over barcode technology. First of all, RFID allows for tracing every single item in a batch with an identification number per object. At the second place, RFID makes possible to read all the ID numbers in a box or pallet at the same time. At the third place, RFID offers the storage of more information per item which is updated in real-time. At last but not least, thanks to RFID you can read the RFID labels without manual direct sight-line. As a result, RFID systems are faster, more reliable, and they are the most cost-effective solution.
Here are the main RFID applications you can find in your daily life
- Traceability in the supply chain
- Logistics and inventories in the retail industry
- Security control and jewelry
- Cosmetics and medicines
- Control of disposals and tools in hospitals
- Files and archives
- Aviation baggage control
- Sports timing
- Human traceability and access control in facilities
- Doors lock
- Traceability of animals
TRACEABILITY IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Thanks to automatic RFID control, the movement of goods is simplified and optimized with absolute reliability. In our globalized world, the movements of goods are complex and composed of a multitude of processes of different agents. For example, the supplying company, the distribution company, the receiving company, the different customs agents, the transport companies, etc. It is clear that all these processes must be coordinated in order to optimize time and resources. At the same time, it must safeguard the safety of goods and consumers. In this scenario, it is where the automatic management by RFID shines for its possibilities and benefits.
RFID IMPROVES SPEED, RELIABILITY, AND SAFETY
There are two facts that make RFID management and coordination the fastest. On the one hand, each item tagged with an RFID tag can be individually and uniquely followed. RFID allows for identifying every item as a separate object inside the stock, transit, arrival or departure records. On the other hand, the reading of this identification number is not done one by one. Thanks to RFID technology, the reading of all the identification numbers is automatic in batch and in real-time.
This is how RFID tags work, all tagged items pass through the radiofrequency field of an antenna, which communicates with an RFID reader that contributes all the data to the registration system automatically, at the same time and in real-time. That’s why RFID technology ensures the reliability and safety of data at the same time that makes the processes faster.
LOGISTICS AND INVENTORIES IN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY
Since the inventorying is faster and more reliable thanks to RFID technology, the retail industry has widely improved its processes. There are great success cases about that. Basically, the retail industry gets three great benefits of implementing RFID systems. At the first place, they reduce the number of products lost or theft. It means less economic loss. At the second place, they avoid the stockout because they have information about the stock in real-time. So they have more economic gain because they are aware of having existences to satisfying demands. Finally, their personnel are freed of manual repetitive tasks like counting and feed the inventories. As a result, there are less human errors.
End-to-end item-level supply chain visibility plus a documented chain of custody reduce counterfeiting and theft for protecting the brand.
SECURITY CONTROL AND JEWELRY
Jewellery businesses deal with expensive assets on a daily basis where the loss of even a single item can be expensive. That’s why jewelers need to keep track of their assets for both accounting as well as insurance purposes. Hand counting or barcode-based scanning is a manual process which has been surpassed by the RFID automatic control.
Valuable and small products like jewels are frequently lost and theft, but RFID implementation increases their security. First of all, each article in the store is tagged with an RFID label feeding the inventory system with the details of each article. At the same time, there are RFID readers at exit points of the store. If any article in the inventory is moving out of the premises, the application triggers an alarm.
Generally, RFID implementation not only avoids this kind of disappearances but also acts as an anti-fake agent. If the jewel or watch is RFID tagged in the brand origin facility. Then the counterfeiter has more difficulties to replicate the product because of this RFID tag. That’s because the RFID tag has a unique number and this number is assigned in origin to an only product. It’s very difficult to fake this correspondence in inventories and delivery notes.
The RFID system can facilitate automatic, speedier, accurate and multiple object identification, accounting, stock-taking, all of which improves the efficiency of the workforce.
RFID APPLICATIONS IN PHARMA AND HEALTH
COSMETICS AND MEDICINES
Cosmetics and medicines are products especially sensible. That’s why their custody line in the supply chain must be safeguarded. Unlike the barcode systems that give information batch, RFID system provides each cosmetic or medicine of a unique identification number plus additional information about dates, origin, and more of each and only one. An RFID system is the most secure way to trace this kind of products.
In short, RFID tagging medicines avoids the counterfeiting, allows the labelling of personalized medicines, the medication control of patients, and the quick removal of lots when there is an issue with a specific batch.
CONTROL OF DISPOSALS AND TOOLS IN HOSPITALS
RFID technology in hospitals is present in many forms, from tracking surgical tools to tracking persons –patients, visitors and staff. There are several important reasons to use RFID technology in the healthcare industry for reducing medical errors. As examples, to lost essential surgery tools, or to avoid to forget surgery gauzes within patients. As well as reducing economic costs and to increase the security at healthcare buildings.
The most common RFID applications in hospitals are inventory tracking, control access, staff and patients tracking, to track tools and assets, tracking disposable consumables, tracking large/expensive equipment, laundry tracking, etc.
Until the RFID technology appeared at the logistics scene, the inventories in libraries were manual because barcode doesn’t identify a book but a complete edition of a title. From then so on, books are automatically entered and removed from the library’s inventory thanks to being identified with RFID labels one by one. In addition, this inventory’s updating can be with many books at the same time because RFID readers don’t need a direct line-of-sight of any barcode one by one.
FILES AND ARCHIVES
The RFID tagging allows for controlling and locating important documents which need to be physical papers and no digital documents. In some cases, the number of documents can be huge, this is the reason some archives need an RFID system to trace all the documents.
AVIATION BAGGAGE CONTROL
RFID systems enable more accurate tracking of baggage through an airport, and more efficient loading and unloading of planes. Airport RFID systems help reduce lost luggage, and also improve on-time departures resulting in lower costs and greater passenger satisfaction. With no line-of-sight requirement and the ability of RFID tags to be read while moving, in any orientation, from up to 1.5 meters away, RFID provides significant benefits over bar codes. RFID-based systems are more reliable, achieving average read rates of more than 97% compared to barcodes at about 85% on average.
Since 2018, “IATA’s Resolution 753 now in effect, airlines have started to implement baggage tracking. IATA recommends the use of the RFID technology, which is much more effective than the barcode technology mostly in use currently.” This regulation makes aviation baggage control one of the most important applications among the RFID applications.
The RFID tagging of runners or sports event participants simplify the work of temporizing the athletes and trace their tours. At the same time that reduces costs and increases efficiency and security.
HUMAN TRACEABILITY AND ACCESS CONTROL IN FACILITIES
Companies can manage the information regarding the personnel’s presence and movement inside the facilities thanks to employees’ RFID cards. They can enable or not the entering permission of some people in specific rooms. The RFID cards can have much information linked in the employee’s profile.
In a very similar way than in a company’s facilities, hotels can manage the customers’ information through the RFID cards. This kind of RFID cards serves to lock doors and enable lights. As well as to know when customers are in their rooms or if they have used some services in the hotel.
TRACEABILITY OF ANIMALS
Animal farming and pets are two examples where animals are tagged with RFID chips. This chips, and sometimes smart labels, have plenty of information about the animal, and in addition, this information can be updated rewriting the RFID chip. This feature is very important regarding to have all the animal’s health information and the information of their custody line.