When we talk about an IT sector, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an emerging technology in India & all over the world now-a-days, especially in education & manufacturing sectors. AIDC (Automatic Identification & Data capture) domain is an emerging concept for the era now, which focuses on identification of each & every item, including a raw material, finished goods, manufacturing machine, or an asset of the company – admin assets & IT / non-IT assets in manufacturing plants.
RFID works on the principal of RFID tag, which has a memory chip, a reader & antenna, which helps in reading the tag & the software where it is sent for further processing. All these mechanism shows the results for automation on the line of identification.
RFID is broadly categorized in 3 different frequencies –

  1. LF – Low frequency OR proximity. This works on a smaller read range of 2-5 cm distance and 125 KHz.
  2. HF – High frequency OR mifare. This works on 13.56 MHz on a same read distance like LF i.e. 2-5 cm. The only difference in LF & HF is that HF chip has a memory for information writing, whereas LF chip has no memory.
  3. UHF – Ultrahigh frequency. This has a memory in tag, as well as it works on larger read distance, starting from 3 meters to 15 meters according to the tags & readers used.

The factors affecting RFID read range are – metal, water & human body. Hence, there are special tags being manufactured by companies to be used on metal objects. These tags are either the hard tags which create some insulation between metal surface & tag chip & help them give a good read range. Beauty of the metal tags is they make the entire metal object as their antenna to give a fantastic read range.
Industries which are adopting RFID in all their processes are Automobile, Education, Health care & Retail sectors. Aviation is also using RFID with certain norms of the industry.
Some of the popular applications of RFID are
Access control system, Parking management system, Visitor management system, Asset management system, Guard patrolling management, RFID based Toll collection, Library management system, Retail theft control system, Vehicle tracking system, Supply chain management, Jewelery management System, Document management system, Hospital management system, School management System, E – Certificate, Automobile industry, RFID yard management, student tracking & attendance management.
In addition to this, RFID is used across construction, engineering, chemical industries, manufacturing, sugar factories, retail, logistics, and the public sector as well as many others. However, the value of the various benefits of RFID is often different in different sectors.
Lower Cost & Higher Productivity
RFID applications can automate the collection of information about the movement and location of assets, components, stock or other items; doing this more quickly, whilst reducing costs and with greater accuracy and reliability is possible with RFID. Data collection can be a by-product of other activities, eliminating the need for effort in form filling. Identifying products using RFID is quicker than barcode scanning or manual entry of product details.
Improved Quality for Data Capture
Using an RFID approach means data can be captured rapidly and accurately. Electronic data collection with RFID avoids data transcription errors and avoids “missed items” when used to collect data on large numbers of items at once.
Reduced Capital Costs
RFID technologies help to lower costs by providing better control of stocks or assets. They can help keep track of business assets such as test equipments, transport packing, computing, technology and other portable devices.
Better Security
Access control systems using RFID contribute to improved security of business premises. RFID tagging of stock and assets makes it easier to track inventory “shrinkage” and tags can be used to fight against product counterfeiting.
Increased Revenues
By reducing stock-outs, by avoiding the credibility gap between notional stock available for orders and actual stock present in the warehouse, and by offering improved information on product movements to customers, organizations using RFID can provide a service that creates competitive differentiation and promotes increased customer satisfaction with the opportunities for higher sales and better margins.
Shorter Processes
Because RFID technologies can be integrated with other manufacturing or supply chain technologies (automated pallet handling, stock picking systems, etc) the time from order to despatch and delivery can be reduced.
Improved Regulatory Compliance
Using RFID to control when devices have been inspected or to restrict their movement can form part of a strategy to address health and safety issues or to satisfy insurers or regulatory bodies.
Looking at the above benefits, Indian government as well as private companies are sanctioning separate budgets for this technology, & even it is being made mandatory in some places. The time is closer, when every company will be using some or the other application of RFID.
About the Author
Abhishek Ramesh Nikam, Director – Marketing & Operations in JMN Infotech Pvt. Ltd. He has completed his MBA – Marketing from Mumbai University, having sound experience in IT Industry, especially in the area of Smart Card and RFID Sales. He has worked with a leading Manufacturers and System integrator companies of Smart Cards and RFID during his career. He has done a quite good work in education, healthcare and automobile sectors as well as in a diamond industry with a very unique solution. He is expert in working as an end to end solution provider, as well as his skill set includes project management and delivery, CRM and account management. He has successfully marketed, launched and sold indigenously developed RFID and Smart Card projects in industry. He has represented and deployed the solutions on domestic as well as on international platforms in different countries across the globe.

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