Ruddersoft Official Blog - An IT Service Company in India

What Are RFID Applications And Uses In Real Business World?

  • Ravi Pal
  • Jul 04, 2023
  • RFID System
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Over the last two decades, we have witnessed tremendous growth in the RFID market as RFID implementation has skyrocketed in the retail and supply chain industry. The retail industry accounts for the largest RFID uses by value. The global RFID market is also witnessing tremendous growth and it is expected to reach 36.5B USD by 2030 from the current 18.45B USD in 2023. Over this forecast period, it is expected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 11.9%.

Apart from retail, supply chain, and logistics, Livestock and animal tracking, and manufacturing industries are also using RFID for automation and auto identification and tracking purposes.

What is RFID Technology?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an AIDC (automatic identification and data capture) technology that is capable of wirelessly identifying RFID-tagged items using radio frequency signals.

RFID leverages RFID tags, Readers, and Antennas to automate inventory control in warehouses where employees can take quick inventory counts and ensure an accurate inventory. When in use, an RFID reader sends an interrogating signal which is captured by an RFID tag antenna. In a passive RFID system, RFID tags don’t have their power source (in the form of batteries) and when the tag antenna detects the reader signal, it uses the signal power to activate the microchip inside the passive tag. The tag then sends the encoded data in the form of RF signals which are captured by the reader and decoded for the end users.

Unlike passive RFID tags, active RFID tags have their battery power source and can send their signals which are captured by the reader. These signals are quite strong, therefore, active RFID tags provide a long read range, up to 100m in comparison to passive RFID systems where the read range does not exceed 12-15m (in UHF RFID tags).

What are RFID Applications?

RFID technology is very versatile and extremely efficient. In contrast to barcodes, RFID readers can scan hundreds of RFID tags in a second, without a clear line of sight, from a decent read range.

With prices of UHF passive RFID tags coming down to 4-5 US cents, from 40-50 US cents earlier, RFID finds many applications in distinct business and personal settings.

Some of these applications are as follows:

RFID in Asset Management

RFID technology enhances asset management by providing increased visibility into the location of assets. This improved visibility helps reduce the cost of replacing stolen, lost, or broken items. It also enables better asset allocation and utilization, leading to decreased unnecessary inventory and lower capital costs.

RFID in Laundry Automation

Many large businesses, such as casinos, hospitals, etc. handle a large number of employee uniforms. By implementing an RFID laundry management system, these companies can track which uniforms are assigned to specific employees, monitor the age and number of times uniforms have been washed, and identify any missing uniforms. RFID laundry tags offer a higher level of visibility and control in laundry management.

RFID in Defense

RFID technology plays a crucial role in military operations. It can be used for tracking the movement of weapons and soldiers in real time, providing valuable information for situational awareness. In emergency situations, RFID allows easy access to real-time databases and facilitates coordination with other battalions when resources are limited.

RFID in Retail Apparel

In the retail industry, RFID technology provides retailers and brands with valuable insights into the supply chain, inventory management, and product consumption. It also helps prevent employee theft and shoplifting by monitoring inventory movement more effectively.

Moreover, RFID improves accuracy in picking and packing operations, ensuring proper fulfillment of purchase orders. Retailers can use RFID to gain better control over their supply chain management and enhance transparency, which ultimately leads to improved customer satisfaction and reduced out-of-stock situations.

Facebook RFID

In 2010, Israel launched Coca-Cola Village, where 650 teenagers wore RFID bands. These bands recorded and shared all their actions on Facebook. If you are organizing a similar event and want to automate the tracking of attendees' actions and share them on Facebook, we can provide you with a fully automated solution.

IT Asset Tracking

Government and corporate institutions often need to undergo annual audits of their IT equipment. Our RFID-based asset tracking solutions enable these organizations to quickly and accurately conduct wall-to-wall inventory audits, saving time and effort. With just a click, they can generate compliance reports for finance and executive management. Datacenters also benefit from our solutions by using RFID to track equipment in real-time as it moves in and out of their locations.

Lab Equipment Tracking

Laboratories in various industries, such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, and biomedicine, face common challenges like lack of visibility into equipment location and inefficient maintenance processes. Many government and private industry laboratories have successfully implemented our RFID-based asset-tracking solutions to keep track of their equipment, prototypes, and samples at all times, thereby increasing the productivity of their engineers, scientists, and technicians. Our RFID solutions also enable proactive and efficient management of equipment maintenance and calibration.

Automation & Manufacturing Tracking

Our RFID tags for automation and manufacturing processes optimize productivity, safety, and security. These RFID transponders efficiently regulate and track equipment use, repair, and maintenance, improving equipment lifecycle management and ensuring compliance through backward traceability.

RFID in Document Tracking

RFID technology enables fast identification, tracking, and tracing of documents, leading to increased workforce productivity and reduced operational costs.

With UHF RFID labels with LED lights, you can accurately pinpoint any document or file and just grab it off the self.

RFID in Jewelry Tracking

Ensuring the security of jewelry presents significant challenges, given the manual nature of inventory and associated risks. However, item-level tagging of jewelry with RFID provides a convenient and cost-effective solution for tracking and tracing products from the factory to the distribution center and store floor. This approach not only reduces costs but also minimizes risks.

RFID in Library Automation

Implementing an RFID library solution simplifies processes for both visitors and librarians, allowing for faster checkout, easier returns, streamlined inventory management, and enhanced security. RFID tags can be read from multiple angles, significantly speeding up the checkout and check-in processes. Overall, RFID technology improves the efficiency of library circulation operations.

Various large-scale libraries around the world are already using RFID tags to keep track of books and journals. These include the Library of Congress, Washington, USA, Seattle Public Libraries, IIT-Delhi Central Library, etc.

RFID in Agriculture

RFID technology is used for tracking the movement of animals in large farmhouses. Implementing a farm management system with RFID provides a smart and cost-effective way to monitor the health of animals and ensure that each individual receives the proper food. Manually conducting this work multiple times a day can be time-consuming and costly. With RFID, the process is automated, and the up-to-date database allows for easy monitoring of animal health. If any issues arise, immediate consultation with animal experts is possible.

RFID and Sensing Applications

As an AIDC technology, RFID is known for its automatic identification uses, as explained in the above applications. However, RFID is also known for its IoT use cases where it is employed for sensing purposes, just like IoT sensors.

RFID provides a cost-effective way to sense temperature, humidity, strain, and toxic gases in various internal and external settings. In food supply chains and cold chains, RFID sensors are attached to storage units and monitor the changes in temperature and humidity and ensure that food wastage is limited and such materials are not sold to customers. RFID sensors are also capable of detecting fill levels when applied to bins. It ensures that waste management is optimum and bins are replaced regularly.

To conclude, RFID technology provides a cost-effective and efficient method of identifying and tracking RFID tags objects, and individuals, RFID tags can be applied on clothes, shoes, carts, bags, cows, dogs, and even metal and wooden pallets in warehouses.

In various businesses, RFID finds great real-world use cases including retail supply chains and healthcare amongst others. With the advent of Chipless RFID tags, which do not contain a microchip, the cost of RFID tags is bound to come down further at 0.01 US cents, making it extremely cost-effective, at par with barcodes.

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