RFID Applications to Innovate Your Operations

Posted by Advanced Mobile Group on Feb 10, 2023 8:00:00 AM


Often, products include pieces that don’t all come from the same place. Materials have to travel from multiple locations to be assembled. RFID can help you track parts to make sure everything is there. But there are many other RFID applications that can innovate your operations. Here are some uses for RFID solutions you may not have considered.

What is RFID Technology?

Radio-frequency identification technology is a way for users to identify and track items using radio waves. It is a wireless technology comprised of two main parts — RFID tags and readers. The tags store serial numbers and other data about an item and use radio waves to send that information to a reader. An RFID reader is a device with one or more antennas that receives and sends electromagnetic signals from RFID tags. 

RFID is part of a group of technologies referred to as Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC). Instead of having to manually scan each item, as you would with barcodes, the capturing of data with RFID tags is done automatically and in bulk. The system collects data from the tags and sends that data wherever it is needed without human intervention. 

7 RFID Applications to Innovate Your Operations

Analysts have been predicting massive increases in RFID adoption for the past decade. According to a Research and Markets report, forecasts for global investment in RFID tags through 2025 show an 11% annual growth rate with an $18.94 billion value. As more industries adopt RFID, it will prove to be a cost-effective and reliable solution to many ongoing challenges. Here are seven RFID applications that can innovate your operations. 

1. Manage and Track Inventory

6_Ways_Your_Food_Business_Can_Deal_With_Supply_Chain_Disruptions_1Managing and keeping track of inventory is an ongoing challenge for most businesses. RFID tags provide a seamless, fast, and reliable system to track all of your items, whether they be raw materials or finished goods, without the need for physical counting. 

Using RFID technology, you’ll get a real-time picture of where each item is in the supply chain. You can use this system to set up automatic re-ordering, locate lost items, carry out inventory audits, and make predictions. With this simple system in place, you can reduce or eliminate stockouts and improve the efficiency of your entire operation. 

2. Control Manufacturing Processes

Using RFID, it’s possible to instantly identify individual components and items to customize and control the manufacturing process. For example, you can keep track of your manufacturing equipment to ensure that certain molds are filled with the correct materials and set to the proper temperature. RFID can be used to monitor the movement of various parts in the production process to improve efficiency and reduce errors or waste. 

3. Order Fulfillment

220628-using-voice-control-to-optimize-your-supply-chainOrder fulfillment is another challenging process for businesses because it can be highly inefficient and prone to human error. When RFID is implemented in warehouse and distribution centers, it results in major improvements in product picking and overall fulfillment efficiency. 

Using a combination of RFID tags and mobile devices, warehouse workers can pick products via voice-directed work. This is a hands-free process, meaning workers don’t need to carry around clipboards or paperwork with order lists. When a product is “picked” from the shelf, the RFID tag gets read and recorded automatically, eliminating another manual step and improving accuracy. 

4. Cargo and Transportation Logistics

Another common use for RFID is to make labor-intensive tasks automated and error-free. This can be accomplished when moving cargo from one place to another or in other transportation applications. 

Companies are placing RFID tags on vehicles and shipping containers to track their location in real-time. Other uses include using RFID tags to issue parking or toll passes automatically or to check out and return rental vehicles. 

5. Customer Service and Loss Control

At the store level, businesses are implementing RFID technology to improve customer service and supplement loss control measures. Being able to track inventory more accurately is just the beginning. RFID can allow customers to check out faster by simply walking through an RFID gate while leaving the store. 

RFID also helps reduce theft by providing better tracking of items. Whether it’s at a retail store, in a warehouse, or on a construction site, this technology can significantly reduce losses due to various types of theft. 

6. Asset Tracking and Maintenance

RFID solutions can be used to ensure that your machinery, vehicles, and other equipment have been inspected and properly maintained. This not only improves safety for workers but can also lengthen the useful life of your equipment and help your business avoid costly unplanned shutdowns. 

In addition to inventory and industrial equipment, RFID can be used for IT asset tracking. Items like laptops, phones, servers, and tablets are not only costly but may require frequent updates or periodic replacement to produce the best results for your business and its customers. 

7. Real-Time Data and Insights

RFID-mitWhen a business has to wait weeks or longer to learn about its results, this might place it at a competitive disadvantage. RFID collects and reports data in real time, giving your business access to the information it needs to make immediate adjustments when something isn’t working or take advantage of unique opportunities that could benefit your business. 

RFID solutions are used anywhere from the loading dock at the warehouse to the sales floor in a retail store. They can automatically track items moving into and out of a distribution center as well as customers walking into a fitting room to try on clothing. This real-time data can help your business make more informed business decisions that lead to growth and better results. 

RFID technology has come a long way in the past few years, but this exciting solution is only just beginning. Already, RFID has become a vital tool in manufacturing, retail, and even healthcare. In these and many other industries, RFID solutions improve efficiency and visibility while reducing the potential for misplaced inventory and other costly issues.

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Topics: RFID, Supply Chain, Automation

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