“Only a couple of companies in the world have the experience of building these machines, although the market needs if RFID did take off, would be for about 1 million of the machines running in parallel.”Mike Marsh
These days every product has a barcode. In any warehouse control procedures, operators can keep track of various products with the help of barcodes. Even with many advantages, barcodes can be read-only once at a time and contain limited non-writable information like cost and manufacturing date.
What if the barcodes are replaced by chips, that could be quickly read, and can keep updating information in real-time. What if multiple devices can also read those chips?
These chips are already in existence, and the technology used is called RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the use of a wireless radio system to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for automatic identification and tracking.
RFID consists of two essential components
- RFID reader
- RFID tag
The RFID tags are attached to the product which contains information like Lot number, Manufacturing and Expiry date, Location of product, etc. The operator is equipped with an RFID reader to interpret the information from these tags.
A simple example can help in understanding the working principle.
Imagine that you are in a shopping complex, and all the products have RFID Tags that contain the cost, expiry date, and other details. After shopping, RFID readers present in the shopping area automatically calculates all the prices and updates it to the central server. You need not be standing in a line for billing.
Some tags require no battery and are powered by the radio waves which are used to read them. The tag contains electronically stored information which can be read from several meters. Unlike a bar code, the RFID tag can be remotely read from anywhere within the range of the tag.
Warehousing and manufacturing industries mostly use UHF readers, because of their high range and responsiveness. Every warehouse operator wears a preinstalled UHF RFID reader device or glove, while every stock location has an RFID tag to identify the corresponding stored product. The RFID reader reads the tag and sends the signal through Wi-Fi to a centralized control system, which checks if the right product has been picked or not.
The advantage of using RFID in a Pick-to-light system is it can immediately recognize the error and send it to the server. The operator can be readily notified whether he has picked the right product or not. The fully automated pick-to-light system also performs in a similar fashion, but its installation would be complex as well as expensive.
With the increase of demand in India, Industries are expanding their warehouses and inventory areas, which in turn increase the work capacity of the operator, and thereby increasing the chances of errors affecting productivity.
The supply chain is a lifeline for a highly competitive market, streamlining it at par with the increasing demand is necessary to stay ahead of the competition.
With the help of Flexli’s RFID-powered Pick To Light, you can easily handle inventory to achieve your desired objectives.
Contact us to know more about our solutions.