Learn about common RFID applications

What is RFID tag?

RFID tag, otherwise known as Electronic tag, is a contactless automatic identification technology, which identifies the target object and obtains relevant data by Radio-frequency signal without human intervention. RFID technology has many advantages, such as waterproof, antimagnetic, high-temperature resistance, long service life, long reading distance, encrypted data on the label, larger data storage capacity, easy to change storage information, etc.

RFID tags are different from traditional labels (such as bar codes) or manual labels in coding, storage, reading & writing. The electronic tag coding is stored in the read-only or read-write format on the integrated circuit, and the read-write mode is realized by wireless electronic transmission.

How does RFID tag work?

The basic working principle of RFID technology is not complicated. After the tag enters the magnetic field, it receives the radio frequency signal emitted by the RFID reader. Then it will send out the product information stored in the chip or actively transmits the signal of a frequency. After reading and decoding the information, the reader will send the information to the system information processing center for relevant data processing.

What are the applications of RFID?

In recent decades, the theory of RFID technology has been enriched and improved, and RFID tags have been developed rapidly, including active, passive, and semi-passive tags. RFID tags are also used more and more widely.

By function, there are six categories:

1、Identification

RFID technology is widely used in personal identification documents because of its inherent fast reading and difficult forgery. For example, countries around the world are now carrying out the e-passport project, China’s second-generation ID card, student ID card, and other electronic documents. In addition to personal identification, RFID tags can also be used for animal and plant identification.

2、Access Control

Access control is a very common application of RFID tags. RFID tag recognition is fast, accurate, and efficient. It not only improves the efficiency of personnel entry and exit, saves labor costs, but also enhances the user experience. It is commonly used in the community access control system, parking system, entertainment and leisure places, exhibitions, concerts, and other activities.

3、Tracking

RFID tags, once used only to track cattle, are now being used to track consumer products around the world. Many manufacturers use RFID tags to track each product from the time it is produced until it is taken off the shelf and thrown into a shopping cart. In addition to the retail sector, RFID tags are also used to track vehicles, air passengers, Alzheimer’s patients, and pets. Soon, they may even track your preference for chunky or creamy peanut butter.

4、Anti-counterfeiting

According to statistics, the market affected by counterfeit products in the world reaches $300 billion every year, which is 10% of the total world trade. RFID technology can effectively solve the increasingly rampant phenomenon of product anti-counterfeiting. In the application of RFID anti-counterfeiting, it is often used for valuables (tobacco, alcohol or drugs), tickets, drugs, etc. And more and more merchants put RFID anti-counterfeiting labels on their products so that consumers can trace product information and stay away from fake and inferior products.

5、Management

The rise of RFID technology and the widespread use of RFID tags have brought subversive changes to personnel management, animal and plant management, warehousing management, asset management, and so on, especially the management of valuable assets with large quantity and high similarity, or dangerous goods and other assets. RFID tags not only simplify the complexity of management but also make management more easy, efficient, and intelligent.

6、Counting

As a data carrier, the RFID tag can collect information quickly and accurately, and it is not easy to make mistakes. Marathon timing and race timing is one of the most popular applications of RFID. RFID is also used in specific environments such as weighing and counting of transport vehicles, data analysis of exhibitions and other activities, warehouse stocktaking, and so on.

By industry, the common applications are as follows:

1、Logistics

Logistics warehousing is one of the most potential application fields of RFID tag. The applicable processes include cargo tracking, automatic information collection, warehousing management applications, port applications, postal parcels, express delivery, etc. International logistics giants such as UPS, DHL, FedEx are actively experimenting with RFID technology to improve their logistics capabilities in large-scale applications in the future.

2、Retailing

RFID technology in the retail industry can be used in real-time statistics of commodity sales data, inventory management, replenishment, anti-theft, and other links. It can bring benefits to the retail industry, including reducing labor costs, improving the visibility of goods, reducing the loss caused by goods out of stock, reducing the phenomenon of goods theft, etc. Wal-Mart, Metro, and other giant supermarkets took the lead in the application and promoted the application of RFID in the whole retail industry.

3、Manufacturing

RFID tag is applied to real-time production data monitoring, quality tracking, automatic production, personalized production, and so on. It is more urgent to be used in the production of valuable and precision goods.

4、Clothing Industry

With the reduction of label price, RFID will have great potential in the development of the clothing industry. It can be applied to automated clothing production, warehousing management, brand management, single product management, channel management, and other processes. However, in the application, we must carefully consider how to protect personal privacy.

5、Medical Industry

RFID technology is widely used in the medical industry, including medical device management, patient identification, baby anti-theft, etc. Compared with the ordinary medical industry, it has many advantages, such as improving the medical operation process and medical quality, ensuring the safety of patients, reducing medical disputes, improving the intelligence of hospital management, etc.

6、Transportation

Traffic is considered to be one of the most promising applications in all RFID applications. Advanced RFID technology can realize the close cooperation among people, vehicles, and roads to improve the traffic environment, ensure traffic safety, and improve the utilization rate of resources. Specific applications include shared bicycles, car networking, intelligent parking, intelligent traffic lights, highway toll management, taxi, bus, railway locomotive identification and management, etc.

7、Food Industry

RFID technology can run through food safety all the time, including production, processing, circulation, and consumption to realize food safety management and help the food industry to establish a complete food safety control system. Specific applications include food anti-counterfeiting, food tracking and traceability, food quality monitoring, food logistics management, and so on.

8、Animal Husbandry

RFID tags and readers can be identified without physical contact and features good anti-interference performance, long service life. It is very suitable for livestock breeding and agricultural and sideline products transportation, and other harsh environmental conditions, including animal husbandry data collection, animal tracking, livestock identification & management, etc.

9、Library Systems

With the characteristics of fast scanning, small size, large memory capacity, and penetration, RFID tags have been widely used in the library field. RFID tags are not only a simple barcode substitute, but it will also revolutionize the library management, promote the development of library automation.

10、Automobile Industry

RFID tags are widely used in automobile parts manufacturing, vehicle assembly and raw material procurement, inventory management, assembly, order processing, sales, finished product transportation and storage in the automobile supply chain. The application of RFID in the automobile industry has been relatively mature, covering almost all the processes of the automobile industry. Automobile manufacturers, parts manufacturers, and even all levels of suppliers, logistics service providers, sellers, and auto repair plants have applied RFID technology.

11、Aviation Industry

RFID tags can achieve functions that bar codes cannot achieve, bringing more new changes to the aviation industry. It can be used in baggage sorting and tracking, aviation warehousing logistics, aircraft repair, aircraft manufacturing automation, personnel location tracking, personnel authorization, identification and so on. Nowadays, more and more airlines use RFID technology to reduce management time and expenses, and improve the level of aviation services.

12、Military Field

RFID tags can quickly collect and exchange data and have the ability of encrypted communication. It provides a feasible technical way for military logistics to be accurate, fast, secure, and controllable. At present, the application of RFID tags in the military field mainly focuses on visual management of equipment materials (ammunition, guns, materials, personnel, trucks, etc.), warehousing management, specific item searches, etc.

13、Laundry

RFID technology perfectly solves the problems in the laundry industry, such as the handover of washing tasks, complicated procedures, difficult inquiries, etc.

RFID Laundry tags are based on UHF RFID technology and adopt special material, waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and high-temperature resistance. It makes laundry management more efficient and intelligent, such as optimizing the laundry collection, classification, automatic inventory, clothes picking, and other links, improving work efficiency, and reducing the probability of errors.

RFID will build a bridge between the virtual world and the physical world. Nowadays, RFID technology has been widely used in all walks of life. And the near future, RFID technology will have a far-reaching impact on human society integrated with pervasive computing technology.

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