RFID Defined  

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is the next wave in the evolution of computing. RFID is a powerful technology that enables total business visibility. By knowing the identity, location and conditions of assets, tools, inventory, people and more, companies can optimize business processes and reduce operational costs.

RFID DRIVE TANGIBLE BENEFITS

RFID technology as a key component of an enterprise mobility solution can result in clear benefits in key areas like Automation, Integrity, Velocity, Insight, and Capability.

RFID can deliver tangible benefits for many types of enterprise businesses:

  • Improve Warehouse and Distribution Productivity from 7% to 40%
  • Improve Retail and Point of Sale Productivity by up to 20%
  • Reduce Out-Of-Stock by up to 50%
  • Improve Inventory Management
  • Reduce Shrinkage (loss and theft) by 18% or more
  • Reduce Supply Chain Errors
  • Improve Capital Asset Tracking and Management
  • Reduce or Eliminate Counterfeiting and Improve Security
  • Improve Accounts Receivable (AR)
  • Meet Market Mandates and Protect Revenue Opportunities
  • Improve Customer Experience

The competitive advantage and bottom-line business benefits are significant to the supply chain which implements RFID to their advantage. Early estimates indicate that a comprehensive RFID solution can generate an additional 2-7% increase in revenue, improve handling productivity by 20-30%, reduce operating expenses by 2-5% and reduce days in inventory by 1-2%. Financial improvements such as these are significant, and it is for this reason that many companies are moving forward with RFID, sooner than later.

ARCHITECTURE OVERVIEW

The RFID Infrastructure can be broken down into distinct domains. A domain is a grouping of related hardware and software components. The following figure provides a graphical representation of the domains contained in the RFID Architecture Framework.

The Physical Layer Domain contains the tagged products in a supply chain; or any other assets or locations that are intended to be tracked or monitored, including the use of sensors on tags. Since object and tag are physically attached they are considered as components of the same domain.

The Device Layer Domain is the interface between the world of physics (objects, tags, radio frequencies, etc.) and the world of IT. The Domain may include various technologies and frequencies, such as UHF, 13.56, Barcode, Gate or Pallet Readers. This Domain can also include writers, printers, sensors on readers, stand-alone sensors and actuators.

The RFID Middleware and Edge Applications Domain add context and turn raw events into business process relevant information. They Interpret events at the edge through filters, rules and alerts. They also discover, configure and manage your devices.

The Business Applications Domain owns the master data and drives business process. This domain contains the existing ‘back end’ (sometimes called ‘legacy’) components that require information about product movement that will be captured by the RFID Infrastructure.