RFID 101 — What You Need to Know

RFID Labeling is a technology similar in theory to bar codes. Objects can be identified using radio waves. When an RFID label is scanned by the proper reader, it provides information about that object or person. Radio frequency identification is a useful technology because it does not require line of sight like bar code readers.


RFID tags come in two parts: the tag and the transponder. The RFID label or tag contains both the transponder and the antenna. The transponder contains silicon chips that store information about the item to which it is attached. RFID readers emit radio waves in ranges of anywhere from one inch to 100 feet or more, depending upon its application. When an item passes through this wave, it reads the information contained in the transponder and passes it along to whatever application is using it.

RFID has several distinct differences. Because there is no line-of-sight requirement when using RFID labels, you do not need to manually scan each individual label. Instead, multiple RFID tags can be read simultaneously by the interrogator. Another difference is that barcodes are one-dimensional, while RFID tags are three-dimensional. The three-dimensional aspect allows RFID tags to contain much more information than you would typically find on a barcode label or sticker.

RFID labeling may be the solution businesses have been looking for. Simply put, RFID labeling is a way to track where specific products go through the entire supply chain process. It’s more secure than other labeling options, like barcodes and UPC codes, and it allows companies to monitor their inventory in real-time as items pass along conveyor belts or travel around the world by truck or ship.

The majority of companies are starting to use this technology mainly because of cost reduction and operational efficiency. It is also capable of delivering great results with parameters such as stock taking and security applications. These are achieved through better product visibility, real-time tracking, improved asset protection, and streamlined supply chain management.