RFID Tag and warehouse management
The acronym RFID (Radio-Frequency identification) identifies a technology for the identification and/or automatic storage of information, based on the data storage capacity of particular media called tags or transponders and the ability of the latter to answer remote queries by portable or fixe instruments called readers.
This type of technology uses the radio frequency, and by this one it is capable to communicate and/or update information contained on tags that it is questioning. An RFID System for logistic warehouse management is composed by 3 main elements:
- Reading or writing instrument (reader)
- One or more RFID support (tag/transponder)
- Information software for data transfer management
The tag is the main element of a RFID system, and it is composed in this way:
- A microchip that contains data;
- An antenna;
- A physical fix support that keeps together chip and antenna and that it is composed by a plastic film, paper or other materials;
- A battery (rarely).
The RFID reader emits an electromagnetic/electric field that reaches the antenna, which receives the signal and, through the induction principle, transforms it into electrical energy used to power the microchip. The chip thus activated transmits the data contained in it to the reader.
RFID Labels Type
RFID label can be of two types: passive or active.
If the label is passive, it has simply a microchip (with a unique identification and a memory), an antenna and a physical support material which is fed by the passage of the reader that emits a radio signal. The radio frequency activates the microchip and it gives the necessary energy to answer to the reader with a signal that has the information stored in the chip.
If the RFID label is active, it has an alimentation battery, one or more antennas to send/receive signals. One or more RFID tag, and sometimes the sensors. Usually, it could work on operational distances, bigger than passive ones, until a maximum of about 200m.
It exists also semi-passive or semi-active labels, that are a hybrid solution between the two main label types.
RFID advantages on warehouse logistic
Using RFID Technology as logistic solutions identification warehouse solution, on substitution of barcode it is possible to have the following advantages:
- Reading Reliability;
- Elimination of need to see the “label”;
- Ability to work in contaminated and dirty warehouses;
- Ability to resist, with appropriate protection, the aggression of chemical and environmental agents
- Ability to operate inside a fluid, inside the object you want to identify or inside another container (provided it is not completely metal).
Last but not least, among the advantages, is the ability to read, in the same container, the code of dozens or hundreds of labels in a time span of a few seconds, and to transmit it to the management information software.