Jack Mans / Packaging Digest
Practical Advice for Implementing RFID Applications
Your radio-frequency identification (RFID) automation project has been approved and is under way.The technology is available, the application scenarios have been formulated, and the economic benefit has been assessed. So how does your vision become reality, and what are the next steps you need to take as you implement your application?
The trend toward RFID automation solutions in production logistics and traceability applications is being driven by low-cost tags, the ability to store more information on tags, higher read distances, and the ability to present data more effectively to production systems.
With the trend toward RFID in manufacturing to leverage low-cost tags and achieve higher read distances, technology is making it possible for global producers to understand the source supply chain more completely. But what's required for successful applications is a systematic procedure and model that will work irrespective of specific application and industry sector. Assuming that the first steps, including the process analysis, target concept formulation, and economic feasibility study, have been completed, now it is a matter of turning the analytical results into reality.
The implementation of a target concept under real conditions can involve a few surprises, even though standard solution elements have been developed and tested by the manufacturers of RFID systems. To deal with these issues, possible combinations of RFID transponders and reader devices are measured, tested, and tried in practical applications under laboratory conditions. In special cases -- for example, under critical physical circumstances -- an "out-of-the-box" RFID solution does not always exist. That is why the findings obtained during the course of the project must be incorporated into the subsequent steps.