Radio frequency has been
transformed from obscurity to mainstream application that help to speed up the
process of manufacture products and material. A few years ago, people usually
considered RFID from a supply chain perspective. But today, RFID is being used
in a variety of ways without realising it. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a system to read information
and automate identification of an object or person by using radio waves. RFID
uses multiple radio frequencies and many types of tags with different modes of
communications and power sources.

            RFID
systems consists of 3 components; a transceiver (RFID Reader), a scanning
antenna and a transponder. Transponder is the RFID tag that consists of
microchip, antenna and case that has been programmed with information and the
scanning antenna transmit the radio frequency signal in a relatively short range.
It provides implies of communication with the transponder and supply the
communication energy to the RFID tag in the case of passive tag. Passive RFID tags needed energy
transfer from the reader via radio frequency which do not insists of batteries
and communication range are very short. Active
RFID tags have its own power source and these tags can still get the signal
even if the reader stay farther. A
passive RFID tags with an internal battery occasionally called as semi-active,
semi-passive or battery-assisted passive tags. To power on the chip, BAP
tags typically use an integrated power supply, usually a battery and the energy
captured from the reader then can be used for backscatter. When an RFID tag
enters a read zone of the scanning antenna, its data is captured by the reader
which microchips activated and sends out the information on the microchip to a
host computer or programmable controller for action.

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            Almost all libraries around the
world are using RFID tags to tag books. According
to managing director Lim Peck Hui of Tunity Technology, ‘When it comes to
tagging or tracking items, RFID works better than barcodes and QR codes as
multiple RFID tags can be read from a distance at an instant, so data is
captured quickly’ (Yun, 2017). RFID systems
can improve the ability if staff or customer to find out the location of books.
When compare barcodes system with RFID systems, RFID systems can read multiple
tags more than 100 simultaneously but barcodes can only be read one at a time
manually. In additional, barcodes scanners needs to read the barcode directly
whereas RFID tags does not need to be placed in line with the scanner and can
be scan or read farther than barcode. The data in the barcode printed on the
sticker and needs to be clearly visible so that it can be scan easily. The
exposure of the label can easily be damaged due to weather or other reasons and
forgery become easier whereas RFID doesn’t suffer from any of this because it
does not require sight and its electronic nature means that data can be
encrypted to prevent any leakage of information.

            Although RFID technology has been
effectively used which possess a lot of benefits that convince people, but
there are still exist some technical barriers need to be conquer to optimize
its application. First of all, compare with barcode system, RFID systems are
usually more expensive in software or hardware. An additional cost needed in
hiring technical consultants and hardware where the readers must connect to a
network to exchange information. Additionally, RFID technology is harder to
understand where the combination of software or hardware are too complex and
people need time to understand on how using it. Security is also an issue of
RFID need to conquer. Without the knowledge of the owner, the data on the label
or tags might be change or read by unauthorized devices. Therefore, some states
restrict RFID technology to collect the personal details by privacy law. Furthermore,
standardisation of RFID need to be set where RFID is in its infancy and there
are many obstacle ahead of it. There are many version of RFID that work at
different frequencies and require different of software. Therefore, a set of
frequencies need to be agreed between the users.

            China International Marine
Containers (CIMC) is a world’s leading shipping container supplier, tracking
products are a very difficult matter for their company because they provides
services over million container to their customer worldwide every year. Before
CIMC using RFID Technology, the company require many labours when tracking
inventory. To find out the products, workers even using binocular at the
container yard. In fact, the company still did not know the actual location of
certain containers and sometimes even lose the containers or sent the incorrect
containers to the customer. Before using the RFID technology, the containers
that ready to delivered from containers yards need to double check at the gate
with a bunch of paperwork. This cause the inefficiency where the drivers need
to wait for the papers to process before delivery the containers out of containers
yard. To improve the efficiency of the operation, CIMC started to use RFID
technology to track the containers from the container yard. When the containers
reached, the RFID tag will scan into forklifts computer screen and allow
operator to input the location into the system. The loss of containers and
delivery mix-ups then reduced after using the RFID technology and speed up the
process of workflow. It can clearly see that how RFID technology help CIMC in
tracking inventory and reduced the time and labours needed.

            In the past, the packaging process
of SGH Pharmacy was heavily dependent on human resources where the generate
issue of human error of wrong medicine packaging. After using RFID technology
with automation system, when pharmacist placed the prescription in the
RFID-tagged basket, the medicine will then automatic to trigger the process of
packaging. It is not only improve the efficiency but also reduced the error
till the minimum. For another example where in hospital, active RFID used as baby
tagging provides parents and staffs greater assurance and peace of mind because
the tags are using ‘cut-band’ technology where will causing the alarm when the
tags is remove by unauthorised person. In addition, RFID tags that attached
with baby and mother will also alert when baby placed in the wrong cot or
handed to the wrong mother (2013).

            A new standard set in automation by
RFID. With the ability to ass new features to the chip, the technology is well
prepared for future application. Especially relying on logistics or industry
that focused on automation because they can speed up the process and reduce the
expenses. Only time can tell how RFID technology can be implemented in the
future. Improvements, research and examination in the key problem areas for
example of personal data protection and greater transparency may help increase
the acceptance and also market image.

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