RFID: Application for inventory management
The acronym RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, or radio frequency identification. A technology developed by the British during World War II to distinguish friend from enemy aircraft on radar. Today, this tool helps companies around the world to manage inventories in storage units much more efficiently.
According to studies published by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro on the gta.ufrj.br website, the use of radio frequency identification in the business world as a whole brings several advantages to entrepreneurs, but some stand out, such as:
- “Ability to store, read and send data to active tags;
- Reading without the need to be close to the reader to capture the data;
- Robustness of the labels with the possibility of reuse;
- Accuracy in data transfer and speed in sending them;
- Location of items still in search processes;
- Prevention against theft and counterfeiting of goods;
- Collection of data from animals still in the field, in the case of agribusiness;
- And all these advantages listed above revolve around the three main characteristics of RFID systems, which are the durability of the tags (labels), the precision in data transmission and the realization of reading without the need for contact”.
In Logistics, the use of this technology allows, among other things, real-time tracking of the item that receives the tag. With the help of GPS, this can be done during the transport of goods and their movement within the supply chain. Of course, the same can be done in an industry with parts used in an assembly line, as well as in a Distribution Center, allowing STOCK CONTROL with 99.9% EFFICIENCY. That is, the verification of stored SKUs is almost perfect.
According to the i3csolucoes.com.br website, RFID tags facilitate inventory control through the following operational advantages in intralogistics:
- Increased inventory visibility;
- Very high inventory accuracy;
- Optimization of orders with reduction in total inventory;
- Strong reduction in delivery time;
- Reduction in receiving and counting time;
- End of shipping errors (reverse logistics);
- Strong reduction in the cost of labor (conference);
- Loss prevention;
The same site reports that with RFID tags, a product is located in the warehouse in less than five minutes. Performing an inventory on a stock of 10,000 items takes a maximum of one hour. For companies that work with products with an expiration date, radio frequency identification makes it possible to quickly locate the SKUs that have been stored for the longest time, so that they are marketed before the others, avoiding losses. Compared to the barcode, another very useful tool, the productivity gain is around 25%!
Are there any downsides? Yes. The cost of deployment can be high. In the US, each tag with RFID technology costs 25 cents on the dollar when buying one million units. In our country, according to the Brazilian Association of Automation, this value varies between 80 cents and 1 dollar, acquiring the same amount. Of course, depending on the label, it can be reused. In addition, other equipment must be purchased. The technology is not just limited to the microchip attached to the product. Behind the structure are antennas, readers, information filtering tools and communication systems. Researchers Washington Moreira Cavalcanti and Maria Aparecida Fernandes, in a study published by the Federal University of Minas Gerais, described the list of equipment for the implementation of RFID:
- “ Identifiers or transponders, or TAGs: microchips attached to the product for the purpose of attaching data, tracking or controlling, with different formats, cards, stickers, tablets, in different materials such as plastic, silicone, among others;
- Reader: for sending the frequency of the reading command and reception and decoding of the received signal, sending it directly to the computer, which will use this information. It is responsible for connecting external data processing systems;
- Antenna: fixed both on the identifiers and on the readers, for the transmission and reception of signals. The antenna is the basis for wireless communication;
- Computer with software: for handling information, as well as recognizing and identifying data, so that information is disseminated.
- As for how RFID works: the reader modulates a certain radio frequency, transmitting it to a tag that receives it and passes it on to your microchip ”.
But the investment pays for itself with the precision offered by technology! In these labels, information such as weight, barcode, date of manufacture and expiration of the items and much more can be inserted. At Águia Sistemas, we can help your company with everything it needs in the area of Intralogistics. Keep in touch with us!