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RFID – still the best fit for Track and Trace

RFID – still the best fit for Track and Trace

26 June 2019

By: Anuraag Bhatnagar


Imagine carrying out a large warehouse stock taking and audit in one day compared to days of manual check. Or a free flow no barrier toll collection compared to stoppage time wasted. Or tracking of items and containers from production to destination in real time. The importance of tracking and tracing information at item level for businesses cannot be over emphasized and RFID technology makes this possible in an effective and reliable manner.

Radio frequency Identification technology has been around for years providing track and trace solutions in multiple industries. So, what has changed over years which has made it a technology of choice when it comes to track and trace applications? A few things:

Best technology for track and trace
R&D investments in Antenna technology has not only benefitted mobile communication industry but also had a parallel impact on RFID technology allowing RFID hardware suppliers to improve various aspects of the technology. Antennas and Readers are critical components of not only RFID technology but also the more well-known Mobile communication.

Multiple industry environments
Availability of tags and various application driven products have also allowed the technology to be used in multiple industry environments.

Accuracy and Range improvements
Better accuracies and Range improvements have been a result of increased improvements in Antenna and Reader technology. In addition, “computing at edge” in Readers has helped in bringing RFID technology to high speed applications such as. “Multi Lane free flow” (MLFF) tolling. MLFF allows Electronic Tolling collection without a barrier or a tolling plaza which is extremely useful to have in a high-density traffic situation in Asia Pacific.

Data Security with Long range read
Data Security with new chips having Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) authentication helps creation of application where personal identification data of a user whether it is a Vehicle or Person can be kept secure and unreadable. UCODE DNA technology which allows Long range read with cryptographic security in a single tag makes data secure and fast.

IoT platforms
Finally, availability of IoT platforms for data capture, device management and visualization help a customer in managing the devices and their performance. Cross talk like software from Kathrein help in integrating capture data to the backend systems including SAP etc., thus creating minimal disruption in existing SAP operations.

Cost effective solution for track and trace
Cost of implementing the technology has been coming down consistently over years. This has been driven primarily by shrinking costs of tags for non-specialized track and trace applications. Though specialized environments and surfaces may still need special tags capable of withstanding chemical, heat and multiple wash cycles. Readers and Antennas have become cheaper.

This comes with the disclaimer that there are units in market with an extremely low prices, but these units have inherent problems of accuracy and beam control causing inefficiencies of implementation. For example, reading next lane car or a bus behind the car is not a desirable outcome in an electronic toll collection application.

Conclusion
New developments in tech, lower costs along with integration to back end IT systems and applications provides a full range of automation capabilities that eliminate human error and dependence on manual entry of data. The resultant efficiencies and error free operations are proving to be a major driver for increased RFID technology adoption.

Over next few years the momentum towards use of RFID as a cost-effective solution for track and trace will continue to grow. Intellistride, with its unique capabilities on Hardware, Software and Solutioning will continue to support System Integrators and Enterprises in delivering value to businesses.

IntelliStride

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