Create A Successful RFID Solution With CSSI
Many businesses have applications which would be well-suited to the use of RFID technology and beyond the capabilities of the barcode. Increasingly, they are taking the leap towards implementation. A critical element of RFID project success is engaging an knowledgeable RFID technology partner to guide you. RFID expert CSSI can take you all the way from concept and scoping of business process to implementation and go-live.
RFID (radio frequency identification) differs from barcoding in that there are rarely cookie-cutter solutions. A successful RFID project will need to account for your objectives as well as the unique challenges of your environment, the items being tagged, and the impact of these on RF signals.
Key Applications for RFID Technology
There are several supply chain business applications for which RFID is increasingly utilized:
- Asset tracking- keep track of high-value assets with RTLS (real-time locationing systems)
- Inventory management – improve inventory accuracy and achieve real-time visibility throughout your operation
- Vehicle and yard management
- Shipment validation
- Route accounting
- Theft prevention
Know the key components of an RFID system
- RFID tag or transponder – the most critical element, tags attach to the items being tracked. It’s critical to select a tag which can be read after taking into account myriad factors such as the composition of the item and the environment in which the tag will be used. Your application may benefit from active RFID tags or passive RFID tags. The passive tag is less expensive on a unit basis, while the active tag has certain critical benefits.
- RFID reader and antennas – depending on your project, you may utilize fixed readers and antennas, handheld readers, or a mix of both. Many form factors of RFID hardware are available, and specification should be driven by your goals and the operating environment.
- RFID tag printers – Special printers are capable of encoding your tag data on-demand and on-site.
- Middleware – this is software which receives, interprets, and filters the stream of data coming from your RFID readers as they read tags. Middleware repackages this data stream so that it can be used by your back end system.
- Back end software or an interface with your existing back end – you may wish to utilize RFID data in your ERP system, or in a free-standing application. This is where the data is put to use for you.
Designing Your RFID Application
CSSI will work with you in scoping, designing, and implementing your RFID project. It starts with requirements definition. Some of the critical steps and elements of the final solution will include:
- Scoping and planning – what are your goals, and is this project suitable for RFID?
- Process and workflow mapping – What is the current-state process, and what will the future state look like?
- Tag selection – Critically, we must select tags which will be readable on the items to which they are attached.
- Antenna selection and placement – Depending on your desired goals and your operating environment, we will specify the necessary number of readers and antennas, and the optimal placement to ensure successful read rates.
- Middleware – This is where the system is configured.
- Back-end software development and/or integration – How do you wish to ultimately use the data gleaned via RFID? CSSI can either integrate data with your ERP software, or can design a standalone application based on your requirements.
Contact CSSI To Discuss Your RFID Project
Ready to tap our expertise and explore an RFID application with CSSI? Contact us to get started.