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A Comparison Between RFID and Barcode Technologies

RFID is without a doubt the best upgraded version of barcode technology!

Barcode has been a universally fundamental element of all industrial products since the 1970s. It remains so and should last for the next 1-2 decades in global industries. Although some new technologies like RFID are emerging, they benefit from the significant features of barcode technology:

  1. Low costs with a basis of an already well-built barcode infrastructure at international standards
  2. Fast one-by-one reading, billions of products scanned at the checkout counter
  3. An easily accessible cyber-physical data connection plays a crucial role in collaborating with the back IT management system
  4. Easily attachable on any product, being without a doubt, an essential element of the management system

Industries and retail businesses are facing difficult challenges caused by the competition of similar products in global purchasing, the continuous rise of labor and production costs, and the ever-increasing flexibility requirements of the market. All facts and figures have been leading to tighter profit margins and more efficient industrial processes.

The most successful business owners were mindful of an innovative solution to improve inventory control, asset tracking, and supply chain management, along with the Auto-ID industry.

With Huayuan's experience in the global Auto-ID industry over the past two decades, it is our opinion that radio frequency identification technology is without a doubt the best upgraded version of barcode technology. It is sure to be widely applied in all industries, including production management, supply chain, and logistics management in the coming years to meet the trend of new era of global industry.

The characteristics of RFID

  1. Multiple group readings (bulk reading) instead of single readings by barcode
  2. Omni-direction and penetrative reading - the RFID tag can be read even inside a container
  3. 50 to 70 times faster than a barcode's data collection process
  4. Data capacity is several times larger compared to a barcode and has secure data protection
  5. RFID data can be deleted after a whole process cycle
  6. Significant savings in manual effort needed to move packages thanks to a specially designed auto data collection system with an array of RFID antennas and readers - there is no need to open the package for checking
  7. Integrating RFID data algorithms in inventory management systems result in accurate retail warehouse inventory realized with RFID handhelds, or via fixed RFID on-site readers - this has been approved in many apparel/retail management systems

Besides the use of RFID in industry and logistics applications, in the past 5 years, billions of item-level RFID tags are used on products that require value-added, accurate, and efficient logistics, like clothing, cosmetics, medicine, alcohol, fresh foods, and military products.

The main advantages of RFID on item level

  1. Through an RFID tunnel or an RFID chamber, RFID item tags in a container can be read at high speeds without having to open the package. A sophisticatedly labeled package can ensure transparent and efficient operation.
  2. Securely encrypted RFID data to protect private information and the prohibition of most counterfeit products in the supplier chain.
  3. A tamper-evident RFID seal tag detects fake products via an authorization app operated by end-users or distributors.
  4. Apps created by brand owners provide end consumers with online support directly with operation videos and instructions on NFC-enabled mobile devices, which cover most of the market. All tracking information is found through mobile phones. After-sales service, re-ordering, quality feedback, and tracing becomes much more straightforward.
  5. RFID technology can be used in complex management to avoid complications that can be caused by barcode systems, including cross-boundary selling, lack of stock or overstock, vicarious inventory, and overdue orders.
  6. Brand owners are very interested in Dual-Frequency RFID (where both UHF and NFC work in the same microchip) for expensive alcohol or pharmacy products. It has a long reading range of around 8 meters and can simultaneously be read by NFC mobile phones, achieving both fast logistics processes and supply chains, as well as NFC supported functions at the end-customer's side.
  7. An entire properly designed processes management by RFID can cover the entire history of product life, beginning from the production management, supply chain, distribution, verification before purchase, and a customer’s after-sales service, as well AX re-ordering.

Additional subscriptions before RFID application

  1. RFID is an updated version of barcode. If you have successful experiences with most barcode-based management systems, RFID offers a smooth transition from existing data-based systems and achieves the targeted performance. In other words, it is better to establish an RFID system based on the industry-standard 3.0, communicating with RFID middleware and hardware to achieve the desired goal.
  2. To fulfill an efficient inventory of mass products with an expected accuracy rate of up to 100% on-site with RFID, the client needs to provide the details of the product with the package (especially if there is high humidity or if metals are involved), and describe the way it is stacked on the pallet. We design and develop customized RFID tags and readers that work together to get rid of interference caused by the environment.
  3. RFID applications must work with regulated and managed policies in standardized operations toward automatic in and out data collection.
  4. RFID project investments are still relatively expensive, although RFID tags and readers are now 10 times cheaper compared to prices 10 years ago. An excellent ROI (Return On Investment) can achieve long-term consideration and security rather than risks caused by cheap parts.

Let's get in touch!

Our products

Custom eKanban GTL & SLC RFID Label
Powerful RFID On-Liquid Tag
Ultra-Soft Satin RFID UHF Care Label
Deep Freeze RFID UHF Tag
Textile RFID Laundry Tag
Apparel Branding and Label Solution
RFID Retail Brand Tag
Phoebe Bu
Phoebe Bu
Project Director
Shanghai, China
Guohua Tao
Guohua Tao
General Manager
Shanghai, China
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