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Top 20 RFID Applications To Help Businesses Grow

  • Mahesh Tiwari
  • Sep 05, 2023
  • RFID
RFID Applications

“Top RFID applications include item-level tagging and identification, asset tracking, access control systems, inventory tracking and inventory cycle counting, retail tracking, supply chain and logistics management, asset management etc.“ 

As we usher in the Industry 4.0 era, use of internet of things and other AIDC technologies like RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) has become essential to remain competitive and profitable. What do you do when the business next door is using RFID and EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) solutions to prevent theft while you are drowning in losses due to frequent shoplifting?  You lack inventory visibility and customers are turning away due to ‘out of stock’ scenarios… How do you turn things around? Well, use technology. Creating a digital infrastructure would be the first step.

RFID Introduction

RFID is a radio frequency based wireless technology that can automatically identify (RFID) tagged objects and individuals and capture (encoded) data from the tag. In other words, RFID is a wireless technology that uses radio frequency signals to identify and track objects. It uses a system of RFID tags, antennas and readers and a RF subsystem (say computer) to perform its function effectively.

The technology itself has been around for decades as it was first used in World War 2 by allied forces to identify enemy aircrafts, but the current use of RFID for asset identification and tracking only took off in last decade. The retail giant WalMart tried to use RFID way back in 2007 to track packages from supplier but owing to high implementation costs, the plan did not quite work out. In September, 2022, WalMart again made it mandatory for its suppliers to tag some articles/packages like electronics, toys, apparel with RFID tags.

Also popular as glorified Barcode, RFID finds many applications at present, one of them being ‘replacing barcodes’. How ironic! RFID is indeed being used to tag articles with unique serial no. -RFID tags which can be wirelessly read, without a clear line of sight, making the inventory control process quite easy and human-error free.

Let’s see the top 20 applications of RFID that can help various businesses grow:

RFID Applications in Retail

 

1. Tag articles with RFID tags for easy identification

You’d be surprised to know that retail business is the largest RFID tag user across the globe. Retail businesses can use RFID tags to tag each item with unique serial numbers. The tags can be encoded with additional product information as well to track product life cycle.

2. Implement RFID access control system

Retail business owners can implement RFID access control system at crucial employee only areas to prevent unauthorized access. RFID access cards or smart cards can be issued t employees to easily come and go and alarms system can be put in place in case of an unauthorized access.

3. Take quick inventory count with an RFID reader

RFID is also very useful for retail businesses when it comes to inventory control. Business owners and employees can take quick inventory count of their stock with a handheld RFID reader, provided all the pallets, boxes and articles are tagged with RFID tags. Taking inventory count, a job that earlier took days and weeks can now be done in hours with RFID.

4. RFID for Preventing Shoplifting

When it comes to prevent shoplifting and stock shrinkage, RFID is a great tool. Small RFID tags can be attached to articles and alarms system can be set up in case someone shoplifts or leaves with apparels or jewelleries, without payment.

5. RFID for enhancing customer experience

In retail business, in-store experience is quite important for customers and business owners. Many shoppers just leave the cart when they see a long queue at the POS. using RFID enabled smart shopping carts, staffs can bill items instantly, without having to take items out of the cart.

 

RFID in Smart Manufacturing

6. RFID for a streamlined assembly line

RFID labels can be used on machines and tools and manufactured parts moving through assembly line to ensure a streamlined assembly. You can track parts and at what stage of production it is at any given moment, and ensure timely completion of final products.

7. RFID to track machine life cycle and prevent accidents

In manufacturing plants, RFID can be used to carry out preventive maintenance (PdM) and ensure the optimum functioning of machines at all time. It can be used to track the machine life cycle, maintenance records and to schedule maintenance preventing sudden breakage of machine parts and accidents.

RFID in Inventory Management

8. Manage inventory control with RFID

RFID can be used to manage the overall inventory and asset visibility. It can enable 360degree asset visibility by continuously tracking each stock, pallets, package, inbound and outbound consignments. RFID can help you take accurate inventory count and update inventory by quick replenishment.

9. Warehouse security with RFID

In warehouses, security is also an issue along with inventory control. RFID can help you implement secure access control at entry and exit points to ensure that every item movement is well accounted for and every visit of individuals is logged into a digital server. RFID cards can be used for this purpose.

RFID applications in Healthcare

10. RFID medical instrument Tracking

In healthcare business, RFID can be used to track medical instruments and keep instrument life cycle and utilization records by tagging instruments with RFID labels and passive UHF RFID hard tags. Medical instrument and medicines, vaccines can be tracked for timely administration and to save lives.

11. RFID ID cards

RFID based ID cards can be issued to doctors, nurses and other hospital staffs to track them on campus and approach them in case of an emergency. It can also ensure great productivity. RFID ID cards can also help with access control and to prevent random walk-ins of random people at crucial sensitive areas where crowd cannot be permitted.

12. RFID for enhanced patient outcomes

Use of RFID at hospital premises can also help patients. Patients can be tracked with RFID as well as administered vaccines at large facilities with ease. Doctors can keep count of vaccine vials with the help of RFID to ensure that each patient is vaccinated with same vaccine, without mismatch.

RFID applications in schools and libraries

13. RFID in library management

RFID tags and RFID readers can be used to make the book issuance and return an easy task. It can prevent theft and enhance reader’s experience at libraries as well. IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, Library of Congress at Washington, USA etc. are some of the libraries around the world that use RFID to manage day-to-day library operations.

14. RFID of security at schools

Security at schools and colleges is a major issue. Apart from obvious staff members, RFID can also be used to issue ID cards, and track visitors via carefully placing RFID readers and antennas throughout the campus.

15. RFID for time and attendance tracking at schools

When it comes to attendance of students and teachers and staff members, RFID can be used to track time and attendance. It will enhance transparency, and help school administration with leave management and payroll management as well.

RFID applications in logistics and supply chain

16. RFID for vehicle tracking

In logistics business vehicle tracking is of utmost importance. Businesses can use active RFID tags to track vehicle in Real-time. Using RFID with RTLS will also enable real-time, accurate tracking of vehicle throughout the route giving you 100% visibility on your consignments.

17. RFID to ensure order fulfilment

Order fulfilment is one of the two important issues supply chain businesses are facing currently, second being the visibility. Using RFID, businesses can track packages and update customers on the package movement and ETA which results in better customer experience and order fulfilment.

 

18. RFID for streamlined supply chain

RFID has the potential to streamline day-to-day supply chain operations be it inventory control, fleet tracking and fleet management as well as ensuring the timely delivery of consignments. From article tracking to ensuring 360degree visibility, RFID can streamline the supply chain business and help the business grow.

RFID applications in asset management

19. RFID for a Fixed Asset Register (FAR)

RFID technology can be the basis of asset management system development. You can tag your fixed asset at workplace with RFID tags and maintain a digital Fixed Asset Register (FAR) of your entire fixed asset. Not only that, you can track their location, utilization and their life cycle as well.

20. RFID in auditing

Auditing is a legal requirement in many businesses and The Company Act, 2013 in India makes it mandatory to carry out annual or biannual audit at workplace. RFID can be helpful in that regard. Auditors can quickly identify the entire asset present at the workplace and ensure accurate auditing of the entire asset and their life cycle.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) market is expected to grow to USD 35.6B in 2030 from 18.45B USD at present (2023), at a CAGR of 11.9% in the growth period and high demand in retail, inventory management and supply chain is the major factor behind this growth rate. With increased demand the RFID UHF tag prices have come down to 4-5 cents per tag from 40-50 cents few years ago and businesses are looking to employ RFID UHF tags for greater visibility and accuracy and less human–errors in their day-to-day business operation. If used effectively and responsibly (there are some privacy concerns as well), RFID can change the face of many businesses in upcoming years.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.


  • Created on May 19, 2023
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