RFID Technology and Inventory Control Systems

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RFID technology and Inventory Control Systems
Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is one of the revolutionary technologies in recent years. Magazine articles, papers, and journals are frequently praising the potential benefits to users of this technology. RFID can provide immediate and tangible benefits throughout the supply chain. Organizations who take the time to understand the technology’s capabilities and limitations can increase their inventory visibility while streamlining their operations. RFID is a generic term that is used to describe a system that transmits the identity (in the form of a unique serial number) of an object using radio waves. It consists of three main components: an antenna, a trans-receiver (with decoder), and a transponder (RF tag) electronically programmed with unique code. The purpose of an RFID system is to enable data to be transmitted by a portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. The data transmitted by the tag can provide identification or location information, or specifics about the product tagged, such as price, color, quantity, date of purchase, etc. The main benefits to using RFID in the supply chain come from improved inventory tracking, especially when the technology’s capabilities are used to collect information and provide visibility in environments where tracking was not done before. Manufacturers, distributors, logistics operators and retailers as Wal-Mart, Tesco, Best Buy, etc use RFID for inventory applications, and in carefully planned systems, may share the same tags to reduce implementation costs. Because it can be read through packaging, without concern to orientation, without direct line of sight between object and reader and can withstand exposure to dirt, heat, moisture and contaminants that make bar codes unusable, RFID can remove blind spots from inventory and supply chain operations. Additionally, annual inventory...
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