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RFID Advantages


Compared to barcode or ordinary inventory control systems, RFID technology has many advantages many of which go beyond product manufacture and distribution chain applications.For simplicity, RFID is compared to Barcode in the following table

NRFID (Tag based)Barcode (Printing based)
1Tag information can be changed. for example, information inside a tag can be changed according to situation in a manufacturing process.Once printed, the information cannot be changed.
2Tags can be scanned simultaneously, e.g. 200 tags concurrently.Scanning is one on one.
3Do not require line of sight access to be read. Readers and antenna are not orientation sensitive.Requires line of sight and relative flat surface. Sensitive to orientation.
4Automatic scanning and data logging is possible without Operator intervention. Thus data capture is real time.Mostly rely on operator intervention.
5Each object can be individually and uniquely labelled through Tag ID. Can provide a high degree of security and product authentication.It is easy to reproduce barcode labels and easy to produce counterfeit.
6There is a very high level of data integrity (character check sum encoding).Data integrity is compromised by optical properties.
7The supporting data infrastructure can allow data retrieval and product tracking anywhere provided the scanner/reader is close enough to the tag.It is not possible with barcode operation without enabling massive manpower and manual checking.
8Can monitor product shelf life together with authentication without much human intervention – an important advantage in Food and Pharmaceutical industry.Must rely on manpower to monitor shelf life and difficult to work with authentication.
9RFID tag lends itself to being updated, for example, a car goes through its life its service record can be electronically logged with the car.Barcode does not have such ability.
10RFID tags can work together with security system due to its remote detection feature.A printed barcode label cannot serve such purpose.
11The Antenna and Tag detection can be used in many applications for operation routing and as trigger for procedure change. Its use can be extremely versatile.A barcode label relies on optical scanning which reduces its application possibilities in operation routing and procedure trigger.
12The change in tag information enables better operation procedure control and management checking. For example, an refrigerated item has been detected to be moved out through Exit gate within a warehouse to a much hotter environment. When this item is moved back to the warehouse, an alert is activated because its Tag info has been coded to reflect it has been moved out. 
This makes operation transparent and much easy for management analysis.
Such operation control and management checking cannot be possible with barcode label.
13Data capture can be automatic and thus data is real time.Much manpower has to be involved to obtain real time data.
14The radio feature of a tag can be used to actively seek connection with a reader and therefore can be used as Real Time Location System.Barcode does not have such capability.
15Tags have been developed for special usage. for example, Temperature tags to record temperature change over time besides tracking. This is used in produce industry at present.Barcode does not have such capability.