Warehouses have seen rapid changes recently Rapid supply chain changes as well as labor shortages have caused an increased need for better efficiency within the warehouse workflows. Warehouses are increasingly adopting RFID to help meet these challenges.
But what is RFID?
RFID stands for radio frequency identification and it is tags that communicate via radio waves. Tags communicate with readers such as handheld scanners or fixed RFID readers.
The RFID Advantage
Prior to RFID, all scanning would have been done with traditional barcode systems. RFID offers many advantages:
Longer read ranges - Passive RFID tags can be read up to 30 feet.
Rapid tag reads - A scanner can read hundreds of tags at the same time.
No need for line of sight - Tags can be oriented in many different ways and still get reads.
Faster and more accurate inventories
With a powerful handheld RFID scanner, inventories no longer need a team of workers toiling over many days to complete. Inventories using Passive RFID can be done in a fraction of the time.
Automated stock management
Setting up monitoring for automated stock management is possible with passive RFID systems. With a combination of hardware and the right software, companies can receive automated notifications when stock needs refilling.
Immediately identify products arriving at dock doors
As pallets arrive and are unloaded, workers can automatically see what SKUs and quantities are being unloaded. This automation saves countless man-hours in your shipping department.
The Cons of RFID in Warehouses
RFID automation in warehouses can be a huge be cost-saver, but only if done properly. There are potential problems that can arise when making technology choices.
Choosing the Wrong Tags
Choosing the right kind of RFID tags is critical adopting RFID in warehouses. Different tags have different abilities. Some are designed for applying to paper or plastic products and some only work on metal. There is a wide range of RFID tag sizes that have different range specifications. All of this must be accounted for when choosing your RFID tags.
Buying the wrong RFID printers
Just like RFID tags, RFID printers also come in a variety of different configurations that a company must be careful of. Some printers are compatible with only certain tags.
Configuring RFID readers incorrectly
Having a deep understanding of RFID can insure that RFID readers are configured in a way that will work well with the warehouse environments. Readers combined with antennas have different performance characteristics. Choosing the right combination of RFID reader, RFID antenna, as well as the knowledge about how best to configure the hardware in the environment is critically important.
Consult with an expert
Choosing the right combination of RFID hardware can be very challenging. Many companies decide to consult with an RFID expert to make sure that they are doing everything right.
InfinID Technologies is here to help
Here at InfinID, we provide professional services to go on-site at a customer's facility and do an RFID tag needs assessment. We go over all customer requirements to make sure that they are receiving exactly what they need for an outstanding solution.