Radio Frequency Identification, short form RFID technology, is a wireless technology that is getting extremely popular in the field of wireless automatic identification and data capture. With growing population, consumption and demand, supply chain and logistics and retail business are overworked and looking for ways to automate day to day operations. It includes tracking and tracing assets and real-time monitoring of package movement and real time location of a particular item. Businesses in supply chain, retail, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and IT etc. are rapidly investing in creating digital infrastructure and increasing automation in order to shield employees as well as reduce operational losses in unprecedented situations such as we witnessed in 2019 and 2020 in the form of global coronavirus pandemic.
RFID is an efficient technology that is now being leveraged by various businesses to tackle such challenges along with supply chain disruptions which now can be minimized. Businesses now have enormous amount of data that can be mined, processed and converted into great insights and reports for better decision making with the help of RFID technology while saving on costs.
What is RFID technology? RFID Software
As mentioned before, RFID is a wireless technology that uses radio wave signals to transmit data between an RFID tag and an RFID reader. The technology uses three important components to ensure proper functioning. These are RFID tag, RFID reader and RFID software.
The RFID software system is an RF (Radio Frequency) subsystem which is one of the most crucial parts of RFID communication technology. When an RFID reader interrogates an RFID tag, the data encoded in the tag is read by the reader and displayed on a computer screen. The RFID software is responsible for displaying this data and recording it for future use. It stores the data in the database which can be used for analytical purposes later on but more importantly, you can use the data instantly as in the case of POS (point of sale) and access control systems.
RFID Software System for Item Identification and Data Collection
RFID is an AIDC technology which is short for automatic identification and data capture. When an asset is tagged with an RFID tag, you can identify and track the asset using an RFID reader. The RFID software here plays an important role. It stores the data of all the RFID tags scanned and reflects the information embedded in the tag side by side. Typically, most of the RFID tags that are used on items are encoded with EPC (Electronic Product Code) code (as in RFID FASTag in India which is encoded with 13-digit EPC) and when you read the RFID tag, the detailed information corresponding with the tag is reflected on the computer screen.
In the case of FASTag, when RFID reader at toll plaza reads the FASTag on the vehicle passing through the toll, it instantly triggers an API leading to the digital wallet attached with the FASTag and instantly deducts the toll amount from the vehicle owner’s account.
Types of RFID Software
Like RFID system, RFID software also varies. Some RFID software are designed to encode an RFID tag with EPC code while some are used by RFID printers to print barcode/QR code or human readable text on RFID tags and simultaneously encode the RFID tags with EPC codes.
Earlier RFID readers were available that would scan RFID tags and reflect the data on a computer screen through cloud server integration but now various handheld RFID readers are available that are software-hardware hybrid and store and show the data on a fitted screen on the handheld reader itself.
RFID software system are also available that are integrated with supply chain management system and warehouse management system and provide complete visibility, tracking every tagged item and recording every movement. ERP (Enterprise resource planning) system integration with RFID system allows greater transparency and enables businesses to monitor the working and productivity of tagged items and resources.
To conclude, RFID system works only efficiently only when RFID tags, readers, antennas and the RFID software system work properly. Various kinds of RFID software system are available for various purposes that include item tracking and identification, RFID tag printing and encoding with EPC as well as ERP and SCM integration that provides enhanced supply chain management and resource utilization.