Although costs are falling, RFID systems are still typically more expensive to set up and use than alternative systems such as optical scanning. However, RFID systems bring their own cost benefits, such as reduced labor costs and improved efficiency.
What is RFID?
RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification. It works by attaching RFID tags to objects such as credit cards, passports, and package labels. These tags emit radio waves from the tag to a reader, which picks up the signals and displays the information in real-time. This is similar to barcode readers, but with added advantages such as longer range and reduced downtime. When choosing between barcode readers and RFID readers, the main difference is when RFID is being used and when barcode readers are used. In most instances, barcode readers only process barcodes and convert the data into readable text. RFID has a wider range of uses and is always used on identification tags, making barcodes less commonly used.
The Advantages of RFID
Although there are advantages to using RFID systems, the downside is that they require a lot more staff to install and maintain. For example, when you install RFID-enabled stockroom inventory, you will need to hire a staff member to maintain the inventory. You will also need to train that staff member. When you employ RFID-enabled stockroom inventory, you will also need a staff member who will be responsible for creating and managing the RFID log. And there will be costs involved with that. Also, RFID equipment is only compatible with a few channels, such as Pass Key, Card Key, and ZWave. As such, if you want to incorporate other systems into the system, such as barcode scanning, you will need to buy additional equipment.
The Disadvantages of RFID
Ruggedness and Safety: RFID systems are as effective as they are vulnerable, requiring a level of protection for tags and readers. Generally, radio frequency (RF) scanning systems include a passive antenna and receive the radio waves from another radio transmitter. The antennas do not require physical protection, but if they become an attractive target for an enemy’s weapons, these systems can be damaged or disabled. Newer RFID technologies include optical scanning and scanner-less systems, which provide far more protection. This can be especially helpful for cargo containers that will be loaded and unloaded multiple times, where the radio frequency signature will change and could be very expensive to replace.
The Future of RFID
RFID is expected to be the long-term technology of choice for a wide variety of uses in the future. It is already used for medical identification, marketing, security, and quality control. When fully developed, it could even allow cars to move without drivers.
RFID technology is one of the most convenient technologies used to improve the way we perform day-to-day tasks. With its precise location tracking and a large inventory, RFID is an ideal solution to minimize inventory costs.