RFID technology allows you to optimize the supply chain, logistics, control your organization’s stock and inventory management. This has a huge impact on the customer’s shopping experience, increasing physical and online sales, improves the efficiency of your company and helps you to reduce operating costs. The use of RFID solutions has spread among large retail brands, healthcare centers and several industrial sectors, whose managers have probably ever wondered how they survived without it before.
RFID, the ally of big brands, and not only
Indeed, RFID technology has greatly facilitated the day-to-day life of large brands and industries. The textile giants, for example, have found in this radio frequency identification technology a great ally to respond to the demands of a very active, changing and diverse consumer.
At Bionix Technologies, however, we believe that you don’t have to be a behemoth to take advantage of RFID technology. That is why we have adapted solutions to all types of businesses; from a small shop or a pharmacy to an industrial facility.
When was RFID technology introduced?
Perhaps the greatest example of the versatility of RFID technology is knowing its origin. We are little or very familiar with it, we have the feeling that the technology of identification of products by radio frequency is very recent. But it’s actually been around for a few decades. At least, in its first applications, much more primitive and less developed than those of today, but with the same technological base.
The large-scale use of RFID technology has its germ in the Second World War. Britain invented the IFF transponder in 1939, a device that the allied side installed on their planes to differentiate them from the enemy’s. As you can see, and like almost all inventions, the first version of RFID arose out of necessity.
Since the beginning of the war, both sides deployed bomber planes over the enemy zone and installed radars to detect the arrival of the enemies and be able to react. The problem is that the radars did not differentiate between an enemy plane and one of its own, which was returning from combat. The IFF transponder, installed in the bomber fleet, provided the solution.
RFID technology is the improved version of that first device but as such, the first RFID tag or transponder was not patented until 1973. Before that, however, there was already a history of commercial use that some companies used as a system in the 60’s anti-theft device.
What is RFID and how does it work?
So what is RFID? And how does this technology work? RFID is the acronym for the term Radio Frequency Identification, but that is what this technology allows. The definition of RFID is: A technology that allows data to be stored and retrieved on tags, cards or transponders that identify an object in the same way as a barcode or a unique serial number and transmit that information by radio frequency.
Yes, we have mentioned barcodes, today popularized alongside QR, but what makes RFID different? Among many other things, unlike the barcode and QR reading system, with infrared, with RFID tags there is no need for direct vision. That is to say; contact, for reading. RFID tags are small devices, so much so that they can be attached to the label of a garment, or even attached to animals or people. They have a small antenna installed that allows receiving and responding to requests for information from an RFID transmitter or receiver through radio frequency.
But another great advantages over other types of identification systems is the volume of information that can be incorporated into its chip, hence it has so many possible applications in different organizations and different sectors. In addition, RFID systems allow to read labels in bulk and at the same time, which greatly facilitates inventory management, for instance.
What basic components does an RFID technology need?
• Smart tags that store on a chip, with a memory of up to thousands of bytes, all the encoded information of the object or item to be identified. They are equipped with an antenna to send this information by radio frequency to the RFID readers.
• RFID reader. They are the devices that allow the reading of the information contained in the RFID tag by means of radio frequency waves and its transmission to the Middleware RFID data processing system. When it picks up a signal from a tag, it extracts the information and sends it out.
• RFID middleware or data processing system allows the data collected by the reader to be stored and managed and transmitted to the different management programs of the company or organization, such as the WMS or the ERP.
This is the basic technology on which the operation of RFID technology is based, but depending on the needs of your organization or company, you may require different and more or less devices. At Bionix Technologies we have all kinds of RFID solutions, adapted to each situation. Because at Bionix Technologies we work for the democratization of technology, and we like nothing more than finding the most efficient and customaized solution for our clients.
If this technology was originated in 1939, why is its general use for business purposes so relatively recent? Much of the explanation is in the reduction of technology costs and above all, in the creation, in 1999, of the automatic identification laboratory (Auto-ID Lab) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This laboratory allowed the creation of a solution based on RFID technology and combined with others to generate RFID tags capable of storing a unique electronic product code (EPC) for each object on a microchip.
Large companies in the retail sector immediately saw the advantages of the technology and incorporated it into their supply chains, such as Inditex, which in 2016 developed its own RFID system. And you? Are you clear about those advantages? We anticipate some of the results that we are able to achieve in Bionix:
If you want to revolutionize your supply chain and the profitability of your company, take a look at our applications for Retail, Health or industry and discover the Bionix Technologies universe.