RFID IN LOGISTICS
The term “logistics” is one of those fuzzy expressions with an unimaginably wide range of meanings. Nevertheless, there are a number of commonalities across all logistics applications. The standard task of logistics is to get the correct parts to the right place at the right time. To make this work smoothly, RFID systems offer companies a wide range of options that simplify the transport and transfer of goods between manufacturers and recipients.
Requirements for logistics
Everything has a price and moving objects from A to B requires energy and space, both of which are measured in money.
Therefore, a logistics system must be:
- protect the transported goods.
- bring the goods in due time.
- Avoid empty rotors of containers and vehicles.
- Do not lose any goods, containers or vehicles.
To achieve some or all of these goals, RFID technology can help by providing real-time information for tracking goods and transportation.
How RFID works in logistics
The manufacturer must equip his products with a transponder. A unique number is assigned to each product via Electronic Product Code (EPC). Each RFID tag or the chip in the transponder contains this number. The EPC then provides information about the items’ data, such as production date and serial number, which must eventually be registered in a database. For the system to function smoothly, any intermediaries must be informed of the EPCs so that they can later identify the products with their readers.
When a product leaves the manufacturer, this is recorded by a reader. In this way, it is recorded exactly which article left the company and when. The next data is transmitted on transport trolleys, providing information on when the goods were loaded and when they arrived at the next intermediary. If the middleman ships the goods, then he, like the manufacturer, now has full control in the shipping process. Another link in the supply chain is the retailer who finally brings the products to the point of sale. If the retailer has an RFID system, the sale can be registered directly in the database.
Application areas of RFID in logistics
RFID tags facilitate the traceability and control of products and enable optimization of time and logistics costs in companies and shipping operations. For example, RFID technology makes receiving and shipping products at loading docks faster and more secure. In addition, inventory availability can be communicated in real time to all parties in the supply chain and product receipts can be registered more quickly once a PC is connected to the radio frequency terminals via the warehouse management system.
Benefits of RFID technology for logistics
The RFID technology offers numerous advantages for warehouse and shipping processes:
- More efficient workflow
- RFID technology identifies and locates products faster because direct line-of-sight between reader and label is no longer necessary
- Higher accuracy and ease of use than using barcodes
- Better control of the traceability of goods
Thanks to automated processes, staff have to spend less working time on logistics.
RFID in Logistics: Produkt Areas
iDTRONIC offers a wide range of products developed for RFID based systems.