What is Radio Frequency Identification?
RFID is an acronym that stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID systems use tags and readers to keep track of various assets, inventory, or personnel. Tags are applied to products which can then be read with a standard device (i.e. reader) without having to be seen (this is one of several advantages of RFID over barcodes). The tags report back wirelessly and often without batteries. The power harnessed by the tag comes from electromagnetic waves generated by the RFID System.
RFID systems may be preferable to other methods (such as barcodes) because they allow for more efficiencies. With RFID you can read tags from yards away (or even farther) and you can creatively embed the tags so that they are not noticeable on the product.
From our headquarters in the Innovation Depot in Birmingham, Alabama, we have watched RFID change the way companies do business. We are excited to bring our customers the very best in RFID technology.
How does a RFID system work?
A RFID system is made up of two parts: a tag or label and a reader. RFID tags or labels are embedded with a transmitter and a receiver. The RFID component on the tags have two parts: a microchip that stores and processes information, and an antenna to receive and transmit a signal. The tag contains the specific serial number for one specific object. To read the information encoded on a tag, a two-way radio transmitter-receiver called an interrogator or reader emits a signal to the tag using an antenna. The tag responds with the information written in its memory bank. The interrogator will then transmit the read results to an RFID computer program.
There are two types of RFID tags: passive and battery powered. A passive RFID tag will use the interrogator’s radio wave energy to relay its stored information back to the interrogator. A batter powered RFID tag is embedded with a small battery that powers the relay of information. In a retail setting, RFID tags may be attached to articles of clothing. When an inventory associate uses a handheld RFID reader to scan a shelf of jeans, the associate is able to differentiate between two pairs of identical jeans based upon the information stored on the RFID tag. Each pair will have its own serial number. With one pass of the handheld RFID reader, the associate can not only find a specific pair, but they can tell how many of each pair are on the shelf and which pairs need to be replenished. The associate can learn all of this information without having to scan each individual item.