With increasing business challenges like pandemic, recession, and changing consumer behaviour, businesses need to adopt technology to automate and employ cost cutting measures.
Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) is the process of collecting or capturing data using automatic means and storing that data into a microprocessor controlled device, like a computer. Businesses employ RFID and barcodes amongst other technological solutions to identify, track, and capture asset data inside a store, or a warehouse and manage their business well.
Various AIDC technologies are able to identify physical objects with 100% accuracy immediately. AIDC technologies allow data to be processed in real time which helps in making informed decisions in a very short time. Automation using RFID, barcodes, QR codes, BLE tags, NFC tags helps businesses establish better customer/client relationships and create long- term profit opportunities.
Barcodes in Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC):
On the outset you might have seen barcodes on delivery packages, in retail stores, cashiers scanning FMCG packages in supermarkets etc, removing the need of manually entering product codes, or creating hand written labels for products.
What are barcodes?
Barcodes are one directional (or two dimensional like QR codes) images that store data regarding assets that need to be identified. Barcodes are read using an optical scanner while QR codes can be read using mobile itself.
Barcodes when attached to assets can be used for automatic identification and data capture and the data can be stored in a computer for various needs.
RFID in Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC):
RFID is seen as a technological advancement in AIDC as it offers advantages that aren’t available in other AIDC technologies like barcodes, BLE tags etc.
RFID relies on radio frequencies to transfer data which makes it more efficient than barcodes.
Here are some advantages that RFID offers over other AIDC technologies:
1. RFID readers can read hundred of RFID tags at one time.
2. Passive RFID tags have a long life which could be in years.
3. RFID tags don’t need to be in direct line of sight to be read by a RFID reader unlike barcodes.
4. RFID technology offers longer range than optical technology (barcodes), meaning a RFID tag can be read from a long distance.
The ability of RFID to work without a direct line of sight unlike barcodes removes the need of human involvement that results in zero human error. Many retailers have been using RFID technology to determine content of a shopping cart without taking out the contents from the cart and placing it near a scanner. This results in faster checkout at POS and better customer experience inside the store.
How RFID differs to other AIDC Technologies:
RFID also features other benefits which many AIDC technologies like barcode and others don’t offer like re writable memory, security features and environmental sensors which can record a history of events like temperature changes, sudden shocks and high humidity.
Many people perceive labels as static when they see these attached to products but RFID can be used to create dynamic labels/tags and smart RFID tags can even acquire data about the product even when people are not present to handle it.
HOW RFID as an AIDC technology works
RFID as an Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technology employs an RF subsystem, an enterprise subsystem and an inter-enterprise subsystem.
• RF subsystem like RFID tags, Readers and antennae to read and transmit data.
• Enterprise subsystem which stores and makes sense of data.
• Inter-enterprise subsystem which connects other subsystems across the organizational boundaries for sharing the data.
These three systems make RFID a better alternative than others, in terms of application as an AIDC technology.
Wide range applications of AIDC using barcodes and RFID:
AIDC technologies are employed in a variety of industries, including and not limited to:
• Asset tracking
• Food and Beverages
• Consumer goods
• Schools and Libraries
• Medical devices and equipment
• Warehousing and supply chain, etc.
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- Last updated on Apr 18, 2023