Understanding RFID Warehousing Systems

Technology is changing the way warehouses operate in the modern world. There are a number of inventory management systems on the market nowadays, and many of them use RFID technology to operate. What are RFID warehouse systems and why are they so desirable? Those are the questions we're here to answer. Check out the guide below to learn more about this innovative approach to inventory management.

What Is RFID Technology?

RFID stands for "Radio Frequency Identification." It is a process that uses radio waves to transfer data wirelessly. In the warehousing industry, RFID technology is used to tell scanning machines information about products, crates, boxes, and more. The tags on the products contain specific details necessary to sort the items, track their inventory numbers, and make sure the right items get to the right places at the right times.

The Advantage of RFID Tags over Barcodes

After reading about RFID tags, you may think they're nothing more than glorified barcodes. While they do serve the same basic purpose as a barcode, RFID tags can support much more information than a barcode can. A barcode can only hold 10-12 digits of information, versus the 2KB of data that can be stored in an RFID tag. In other words, you can get a lot more info in a single tag, which can improve your inventory management significantly.

Another advantage that RFID tags have over barcodes is the fact that they can be reprogrammed time and time again. With barcode technology, you have to print off new barcodes every time the information changes. Not only is this time consuming, but it's a waste of resources overall.

Taking Inventory at the Push of a Button

RFID technology speeds up inventory management considerably, but it is far from "instant." Some warehouses may claim that they can take inventory at the touch of a button, but that is usually not the case. A scanner can pick up on several RFID tags at once, which again provides for better productivity, but it still takes time to complete the process. That's why it's important to work with a warehouse staffed by efficient, well-trained people who know how to best use the technology at their fingertips.

RFID Delivers Perfect Data – In Theory

Theoretically, RFID tags deliver perfect data each and every time. The information that was entered into the tags is the exact information that gets transferred to the scanner. The only issue here is that the information entered into the tag is often done by human hands, leaving room for human error at the start of the process. Of course, most quality warehouses check and recheck this information before it causes a big error down the road, but just like any other form of technology, there are issues that can arise with RFID tags.

RFID Technology outside of Warehousing

RFID warehouse systems aren't the only places where you can find this technology. You can find it in:

  • Toll Roads
  • Automobile Manufacturing
  • Access Control
  • Security
  • Payment Systems

Many retail stores are looking to use RFID tags to make the checkout process easier and faster. They have not transitioned to this technology yet though because it is not cost effective. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful solution for inventory management, and it is one that we adamantly use here at Overflo.

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