The continuous evolution of the world of technology also affects the automatic collection of data sector, which is an essential aspect of optimising work and security processes in many markets.
Thanks to the precise, automatic collection of data in real time, it is possible to directly manage the entire process being carried out in the company or outside the company, whether it is a store purchase, a warehouse update or an airport check-in.
RFID technology: what it is and how it works
One of the most effective technologies in automatically identifying and tracking data in real time is RFID (radio frequency identification)
RFID is an identification technology that uses a radio frequency signal for communication between the object to be identified and the recognition device.
A system that uses RFID technology comprises 2 parts:
1. a tag or transponder, with chip and antenna. There are several types of tag: chipless; read only or read/write; reusable or disposable;
2. a reading/writing device, that reads the data contained in the tag and - if requested - overwrites it with new data.
There are two large RFID technology families, depending on the energy source that powers them: passive RFID, where the tags receive the required energy to work from RF field supplied by the reading system, with a limited reading distance (up to 10-15m) and with the possibility of operating at low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), or ultra high frequency (UHF and microwaves); active RFID, where the tags have their own power supply, usually a long-life battery (like with the Telepass electronic toll collection devices).
The advantages of RFID technology
Compared to traditional barcodes, that must be visible to the reader to be scanned by the light rays emitted by the scanner, the RFID labels do not need this optical capacity. Radio waves, that bring energy to the tag and transfer the information content to the reading system, easily pass through most materials, wood, plastic, paint, and the tags can easily be incorporated into the material that surrounds the item to be tracked, also being protected by it.
These characteristics bring with them at least three general advantages:
- Efficiency, data can be acquired without any human intervention
- Flexibility, as there is no need to be visible, the tags can be placed on items with fewer limitations
- Robustness, the tags are not damaged by damp and/or dirt; they can be incorporated directly into pallets or boxes, receiving further protection.
The advantages of RFID in Retail
Using RFID tags in Retail brings immediate advantages to several daily activities, with a real economic return:
- Improved security thanks to the efficient, compact anti-theft devices;
- Simplified inventory management;
- Labour saving;
- Efficiency, reduction of errors;
- Increase in the quality of service and customer experience.
CUSTOM offers MULTI SCAN, a new, ultra-compact, portable scanner that can read directly onto smartphones and RFID. MULTI SCAN can run 4 types of scanning: 1D barcodes and 2D QR-codes; HF and NFC RFID reading/writing and incorporated camera that allows photos to be taken.
The advantages of RFID in warehouse logistics
By using RFID technology as the warehouse identification logistics solution, replacing barcodes, it is possible to obtain the following advantages:
- Reliability of reading;
- Elimination of the need to "see" the label;
- Ability to work in contaminated and dirty warehouses;
- The ability to withstand, with suitable protections, aggression from chemical and environmental agents;
- The ability to operate inside the item to be identified or inside another container (if not completely made of metal).
The advantages of RFID in Aviation
RFID technology is the ideal system for tracking luggage in real time, throughout every stage of transfers: the scanners on the conveyor belts can scan the tags attached to the luggage and divert them if sent in the wrong direction. A great improvement on manual barcode scanning.
CUSTOM proposes the TK180 printer that supports RFID technology for tracking luggage in real time throughout every stage of transfers.
"Direct printing of RFID tags onto luggage labels allows suitcases to be tracked along the entire route, reducing the risk of loss or delay in delivery to a minimum, including security", stated Ruggieri, the Aviation Division Manager.
The technology is incorporated into the ticket printer: the antenna on the printer reads and codifies the unique information on each tag, which is then printed with an RFID chip and used to track the luggage.