RFID Utilisation


  • The advantages of RFID systems (compared to bar codes) include the following:
  • Reading information on a tag without requiring line of sight and without the need for a particular orientation.
  • Can be largely automated, reducing the need for manual scanning.
  • Hold much more data than barcode labels.
  • The tag can be programmed to hold information such as an item's serial number, colour, size, manufacture date and current price, as well as a list of all distribution points the item touched before arriving at a store.
  • Sometimes allow companies to write information to the tag and store it there;
  • The RFID tag then essentially acts as a portable, dynamic database.
  • Allow the information contained on the tag to be edited, added to or locked, capabilities that are particularly valuable when dealing with high-end inventory tracking and other applications when complete, up to date information (such as current pricing) is of particular benefit.


There are many applications for RFID within the supply chain operations of today's companies. Most of these applications require item management information for tracking goods from the component level, through manufacturing and on throughout the supply chain. With today's market attitude of "I want it now" or "I need it now", the demand for improved supply chain visibility as well as the pressure to keep costs down is driving the need for a combination of bar code and RFID system in today's businesses. Below is a general example of how RFID could provide full visibility through a company's supply chain:

  • A RFID tag is embedded in a component or item.
  • The item tag can then be read and written to during the manufacturing process in order to gather and exchange Work-in-Process data.
  • That same tag could then be read or written to by shipping personnel at the manufacturer's shipping dock to release the original manufacturer's item from their inventory.
  • Shipping information could then be written to the item tag by the transportation carrier as it’s transported from the manufacturing plant.
  • That item could now be on its way to the end user, the next add on manufacturing site, or distribution centre with complete item, source, process, and ultimate destination information included.
  • Upon arrival at any of these locations the item tracking information could be read automatically with a fixed or mobile RFID reader.
  • Finally, that same individual item tag could be read and written to at the retail store level, providing the retailer with additional pricing, receipt date, inventory, and theft prevention information.

RFID Applications RFID Process

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