Many industries include RFID as one of the compliance tools. It is an important way to provide automatic identification for many items. Proper RFID implementation allows for superior inventory management and supply chain efficiency. This will result in more robust bottom line through decreased shrinkage and increased accountability and productivity.
Businesses should evolve by adding more technologies to help maximize ROI. RFID is highly customizable and we can achieve infinite combinations of software and hardware. A RFID system is comprised of software, reader and transponder. Types of RFID transponder may include chipless tags, smart tags, traceless taggants, conductive ink and smart labels. These transponders typically include an antenna and integrated circuit in a type of casing. These tags usually contain copper coil antenna and silicon-based integrated circuit.
For mass usages, less expensive tags have spurred the production of chipless tags and multiple organic alternatives. Smart tags can be used on cases, pallets and any object in the supply chain. Some of the RFID systems include additional features, such as anti-collision software. This will allow us to ensure smooth movements inside the storage.
A basic form of smart tags includes 96-bit EPC and it should provide sufficient data storage to trace and track items from the manufacturer to the points of sale. More advanced tags come with 256-bit EPC codes are needed for critical areas, such as drugs industries. Smart tags could be applied imbedded within the case or package; or externally on product packaging. This will make sure that RFID packages are well protected for various purposes.
Smart tags could be implanted in rigid plastic cards and key chain fobs. Speed pass and car keyless entry are common examples of smart tags. Chipless tags transmit data via reflective material or conductive polymer, instead of usual IC microchips. With reflective tags, radio wave images can be returned. It will be compared with identifying files and images in the database.
When there’s an identical image in the database, it is considered a positive match. In some cases, smart tags also include RF-reflecting fibers and they can be woven to fabric or paper for specialized implementations. Chipless tags are usually less expensive than silicon-based models. However, their use in businesses could be limited with their inability to simultaneously read multiple tags. Latest RFID microchips are thin enough to be sandwiched between adhesive and paper substrate. It means that they can be applied like normal labels.
In this case, smart labels can be used through slap and ship method. Before the pallet or case is shipped to the distributor and retailers, RFID labels are affixed. These labels are applied externally and they should be quite flexible. One of the most exciting implementations in RFID technology is conductive ink and it can be implemented by the printing industry.
There are studies on the proper way to print an actual IC using RFID ink. If this technology can be applied, the RFID tagging costs could be significantly reduced and businesses can achieve exceptional flexibility. Traceless taggant that’s developed by Creo is essentially a powder that’s mixed with ink. The resulting signature should work like a normal RFID.