The introduction and usage of RFID in our daily lives have certainly opened up several avenues for businesses to become more efficient. Aside from brick-and-mortar stores, radio frequency identification has also been adopted for online and remote services across many industries. Not only does it boost productivity, but it also provides the business with precise information over the management of their asset.
But how does RFID work in a business operation? Identifying the best system to adapt for a business can be tricky with different frequency types and the applications between passive and active RFIDs.
Every RFID device works on a specific frequency to manage data. Such frequency can be used to communicate between each RFID device and its related tools. This technology is divided into three categories:
1. Low Frequency (LF) RFID
Low-frequency tags operate within a 30-300kHz range, meaning they have a slow read rate. With the read range being less than 10cm, they are only readable within a very short distance. RFID tracking tools like these are better used on large item inventory management: Automobiles, metalworks, beer kegs, container tanks, and others.
2. High Frequency (HF) RFID
High-frequency tags have a more extended read range and relatively faster read time. They also are capable of containing more memory, so they are well-suited for tracking items such as library books, electronic ticketing (such as concert and theme park bracelets), card transactions, and security systems.
3. Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) RFID
UHF RFIDs operate on what is considered the “supply chain frequency”, making them perfect for tracking items in places like large-scale supermarkets, department stores, fashion stores, and can even be utilised in monitoring law enforcement assets and patients and drugs in hospitals/pharmacies. Being in a much higher frequency than other RFID systems, these are capable of scanning hundreds of items at once and provide accurate tracking in real-time.
Aside from the three frequencies that RFID can be operated with, they are also classified into active or passive types of tags and semi-passive, which is a combination of the two.
Active RFIDs are battery-operated and transmit signals periodically at certain intervals. Thus, they are much better used in supply chains that require constant location tracking.
On the other hand, passive RFIDs are dormant and only activate until they receive a signal from a transmitter. Once activated, they emit back a signal with information to the reader.
Battery-Assisted or Semi-Passive RFID
Semi-passive is a combination of the two RFID types in that they also contain a battery but do not send information until they are activated. In its case, the battery is only turned on when a transmitter sends a signal to receive information from it.
RFID is implemented to provide the cutting edge for supply chain technology. Nowadays, businesses and other institutions can’t operate as efficiently without employing different forms of RFID within their operations. RFID asset tracking systems in Singapore is no exception, being present in almost every aspect of this tech-driven nation.