What is RFID and Auto-ID?
RFID technology relies on a tag or label that is embedded with an integrated circuit and an antennae, which communicates via radio waves with a RFID reader. The reader then converts the radio waves into useable data that is stored (often in databases) for a multitude of purposes. RFID technology was originally developed for military purposes during the Second World War, and has grown to be an essential element of how asset tracking is undertaken across a huge range of industries and sectors.
A couple of key developments since its military inception have made RFID an incredibly useful way of tracking goods and assets. The first major development was the change from a solely closed standard protocol using proprietary technology, to RFID technology that uses open standard protocols. This means that tags produced by one company can be read by readers produced by another, creating the essential interoperability between readers and tags that is critical for national and international supply chains. The second major development was the improvements in tag technology that eliminated the need for costly batteries to power each individual tag. This new cheaper tag technology opened up RFID tracking systems to huge swathes of industry that it was previously closed to, including applications in healthcare, transportation, industrial logistics and manufacturing, and supply chain, inventory and logistics.
The past few decades have seen another important technological refinement and expansion of RFID capabilities with the advent of Auto-ID technology. Auto-ID technology combines RFID technology with an intricate information infrastructure capable of managing the large amounts of data generated by wide-scale usage. Auto-ID technology allows for the automatic identification of and data collection from a tagged object that is entered directly into an automated computer system – all with very little or no human intervention after the point of tagging. Auto-ID technology has also laid the groundwork for ‘smart products’ that will be able to sense and respond to the physical world and interact with the information stored under their electronic product code - think products that can sense high demand and alter their price automatically.
An integrated RFID approach to tracking and asset management has been proven to significantly improve inventory management, increase supply chain agility, and give real-time asset visibility which is essential for streamlined operations and maximised asset utilisation. RFID solutions start with high quality RFID printers and tags. Our comprehensive range of RFID printers with Auto-ID technology allow you to effectively and efficiently track, manage and optimise your assets, creating total control from the very first link in your supply chain to the very last. We also supply RFID tags and smart labels in sizes that range from ultra-small transponder size tags, to 6” wide media suitable for pallets for example. We stock tag and label options suitable for thermal, direct thermal, poly, or speciality print methods, and a choice of adhesive options including low and high tack and non-adhesive tags. Our customers come from a huge range of industries including retail, transport, logistics and manufacturing, and medicine, and appreciate our commitment to high quality printers and print supplies and our specialist knowledge of RFID Auto-ID printers and print solutions.
If you would like more information on how RFID can work for you, please don’t hesitate to contact our RFID specialists on 0800 085 8850 or firstname.lastname@example.org