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Why are RFID smart Tags better than barcodes?

News posted on: - by - RFIDtagworld XMINNOV RFID Tag Manufacturer / NewsID:1810

Why are RFID smart Tags better than barcodes?

Barcodes have to be read one at a time whereas RFID smart Tags can be read at rate of hundreds at a time!

How many hours does your staff spends time searching for files, high value asset, assets being checked in and out or tracking chain of custody assets every month? RFID Asset Tracking application can help you reduce the amount of time and money in locating and managing important files. No matter the size of your company, losing important items can be a significant problem. RFID passive tag application is a great option to help companies track items more effectively and efficiently than the typical bar-code systems used today.

Passive RFID Tracking Overview

Passive RFID tracking systems consist of a combination of various hardware and software choices.

  • RFID smart Tags - These are the smart tags that are being attached to the assets you wish to track.

Passive RFID smart Tags are attached to assets that need to be tracked. Passive RFID smart Tags don't have batteries. Instead RFID tracking is enabled by an external RFID Reader.

Wrapping a label around the RFID inlay creates an RFID Label. RFID Labels can be combined with an RFID Printer to simultaneously print human readable information as well as encode the RFID tag.

Passive RFID smart tags have a wide range of manufacturers and types to choose from. Choosing the correct passive tag can be a little overwhelming because of all the variables you have to take into account. Choosing the right tags is critical to ensure success of your RFID Tracking project.

How much available area do you have on your assets? RFID smart Tags come in a wide range of sizes and each asset needs to be considered based on how much real estate is on your asset. Rule of thumb is the smaller the RFID tag the less the read range.

Types of material need to be considered on all assets receiving an RFID smart tag. Passive RFID interacts with different types of surfaces. Metal requires metal mount RFID smart tags, which are more expensive and impact the read range. 

How will the tags be used? What type of environment will they be operating in? Some passive RFID smart tags are designed for high temperatures up to 300 degrees.

Some use cases require tags to be hemmed into garments, which requires them to be waterproof as well as withstanding high temperature washes thousands of times.

  • RFID Printers - For printing onto RFID smartTags

RFID Printers are designed to print human readable information on RFID labels as well as program the RFID tag. RFID Printers aren't always needed for an RFID Tracking project. Pre-commissioned RFID smart tags can be used as well which are ready to use. 

When moving forward with an RFID printer, it is very important to choose the right combination of RFID printer and RFID tag. Some tags won't work with certain printers. 

  • RFID Readers - For reading the RFID smart Tags

RFID Readers enable RFID tracking of RFID smart tags. The readers emit radio waves which power the RFID smart tags, allowing them to be read.

  • RFID Software - The software system that drives all of the hardware

RFID software is the piece that will coordinate with all of the various hardware components. Sometimes a custom software application is needed.

RFID Software Solution

Tracking and managing your company's physical assets is essential, but it's also labor intensive, which means time away from your core business and lost revenue. The good news is there's a way to manage your assets quickly and efficiently with an affordable investment. 

Speed Up Inventories

Periodic inventories are done with RFID readers. The user goes from location to location performing inventories.

Inventory screen starts out showing  what assets are expected.

As user walks around room with mobile reader, the scanner rapidly reads RFID smart tags in room.

User is able to drasticly speed up inventory times compared to using regular barcodes.

Users at various locations performing rapid asset inventories

Location Tracking

Set up fixed RFID readers at strategic points enabled RFID tracking, visibility of asset movements and automatic location updates.

Because passive RFID smart tags have limited range, it is very important to properly analyze your environment to have realistic expectations.

Room Tracking

Room level tracking is one of the most reliable approaches for location tracking with passive RFID. 

Fixed RFID readers are placed at room entrances to intercept any tags moving through.

RFID tracking at a room level is a very common application of a fixed RFID reader.

Open Space Environment

The problem with RFID tracking in an open space environment is that because there are so many paths that people can take, it is difficult to make sure that RFID smart tags will come within range of a fixed RFID reader. 

Users will often attach fixed RFID readers in a grid format to be able to provide general location awareness of their assets.

Another approach is to attach fixed RFID readers at important locations, such as work benches, where you know the asset will have to travel to.