What Is An RFID System And How Does It Work?

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The first thing you need to know about RFID is that it is a much faster way of handling inventory. It is up to 25 times faster than reading products with a barcode reader. RFID is a system in which a digital tag is attached to the product(s) that are to be tracked. These are made from a small chip, or an integrated circuit. This is connected to an antenna. The antenna can actually be integrated into a whole range of different products. You see this type of tag in clothing stored on a regular basis. It is what alerts the detector that you haven’t paid for a product if you haven’t. The tag holds the product’s unique code as well as other information that can be used by the scanning system to update the inventory.

How are These Tags Read?

RFID readers are the devices that are used to communicate with products that have been tagged using this technology. These are connected to a network by either a physical or wireless connection using another antenna. This one sends data to and receives data from the RFID tags that are used on the products. In its most basic terms, it can be called an access point of sorts. Only tagged products can communicate with it. When a product that has a tag attached to it is brought to the counter, the reader reads the tag and updates the inventory with the product details associated to that tag. At the same time, scanning can be done to check if an order for new stocks needs to be placed.

The Basic Functioning of an RFID Tag

The tag that is detected by these RFID readers is a chip (or an IC) that is connected to a small antenna. This antenna isn’t a huge contraption. It can be as small as an etching or a stamp on a PET material tag on the product. The chip and the antenna work together in a system that is known as an inlay. They can be placed within something as small as the space between the top of the printed label and the adhesive that makes it stick to the product. However, a lot of companies, especially those that specialize in clothing and retail, choose to place the tag in a far more durable structure, such as a plastic casing.

RFID has been around in a lot of industries for a while, but it could be seeing a more popular emergence in the near future as barcode readers get a little old to keep up with the times.