Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data. The average use of this technology is to automatically identify tags and the associated information stored within the tags. Traditionally, this technology has been one of the most expensive identification methods available. With recent developments however, RFID tags have become viable for different uses within businesses. This labor saving technology opens up a wide range of possibilities that all companies utilize differently.
1. BGN Books
BGN, a Holland-based bookseller, went through the process of associated RFID tags to each product in their inventory in the hopes of improving sales through product-management. At the expense of the company, each individual book is tagged with the intention of better analyzing invoice data and understanding stock better.
2. St. Vincent's Hospital
St. Vincent's hospital installed an RFID system that tells nurses and doctors the status of patients, eliminating unnecessary check-ins and monitoring procedures. By integrating RFID technologies, nurses have easy access to patients which allows caretakers to better handle a higher volume of patients. The RFID system has reduced the discharge cataloging time of patients from six hours to six minutes.
3. Mississippi Blood Services
Mississippi Blood Services (MBS) has implemented an inventory management system that revolves around tracking necessary packets of blood for transfusion using RFID technology. However, with the use of RFID technology, MBS has been able to cut a significant portion of time spent checking inventory out and is now able to know the location of life saving plasma and blood almost instantly, regardless of where in the state or mission.
4. Florida State University
Florida State University and its associated accounting offices have recently incorporated RFID technology to help manage the immense amount of projects and money that flows through the services on a daily basis. The 40 employees managed more than 3,500 project files daily often resulting in a loss of valuable information. By utilizing 3M's file-tracking system, the handheld monitors can help locate where lost files may be and any additional information associated with them.
Cambium-Forstbetriebe, a German forestry company, has begun using RFID to track the progress of their timber from the earliest stages of it being cut, to its final location in sawmills or furniture makers. The timber production process is traditionally littered with inadequacies, errors, and delays. Using RFID technology sawmills and their subcontractors all monitor the same information for each individual tree preventing cataloging errors and minimizing product lost.
6. University of Texas
The University of Texas has aided in implementing the PromegoExpress RFID system in laboratories around the world to manage chemical and material theft. Researchers, who are in need of resources, are often too preoccupied with their research to adequately fill out purchase forms for the products they require. This expedites the process of taking out resources which allows researchers to be exclusively preoccupied with their work while the companies providing them experience no loss of product.
7. Willard Batteries
Willard Batteries has traditionally been the provider of batteries and tools for the South African mining industry. Using RFID technology, Willard Batteries can track the usage of the helmets and provide maintenance on them when necessary. In addition, the helmets can be tracked through the mines, enabling emergency services to find and aid miners who encounter some form of danger. Due to the extreme nature of mining, an atypical RFID solution was necessary. After much trial and error, the company settled on an RFID reader that transmits low-frequency signals to the tag which allows the tag to use the high-frequency spectrum to deliver the necessary information.
8. University of Florida
The University of Florida's institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) has begun using RFID technology to track the shipment of food throughout the country. This presented problems, as RFID technology is generally disrupted by water saturated products, such as food items. Through lab testing, researches at IFAS and their partners were able to minimize the effects of water from within the food and the shipping methods. The breakthroughs provided through these tests enabled food distributors to take advantage of RFID technologies in a way that minimized the decay of food by speeding up transportation.
9. The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation has recently deployed a system personalizing customers experience at the museum using RFID technology. By both capitalizing on the interests of the viewer and the language spoken by the customer, the museum uses RFID identification systems to allow access to personal webpages that can be accessed after leaving the museum. This allows the maximum amount of knowledge gained from the museum.
10. Naturipe Berry Growers
A group of major farming cooperatives, such as Naturipe Berry Growers, have worked to implement the use of RFID technology into their products. The pilot, run in 2005, was performed to see what the best use of RFIDs within the agriculture business was. After the pilot, it was found that the uses of RFID could range from temperature monitoring, inventory management, and shipment tracking.