RFID vs Barcode: 8 Reasons Why It’s Better
When it comes to RFID vs Barcode, it’s a no-brainer.
There are many benefits to this exciting new technology. Our system uses a handheld RFID reader and RFID enabled tags. Each tag contains a radio chip which transmits data to the handheld reader. Based on this information, reports can easily be created to indicate which items are at which location. RFID allows us to keep track of items without having to physically see each and every piece. This leads to a reduced operating cost for District which we can then pass on to our customers.
Because we don’t have to be able to see an item to keep track of it, it takes much less time to track items in storage. RFID also provides an aesthetic benefit to the customer. RFID allows for faster item location, faster asset tracking and advanced reporting capabilities.
Barcode readers require a direct line of sight with the barcode tag to acquire information on a particular item. With RFID, the tag can be located anywhere on the item and still be easily read. Since the RFID tags don’t need a direct line of site, they can be placed on the bottom or back of pieces. With barcoding, the barcode has to be visible in order to scan the piece.
RFID information can be read at distances as great as 300 feet. Barcode readers are limited to about 15 feet with a perfect line of sight. With barcoding systems, the warehouseman would have to scan a barcode located on each piece. If the barcode wasn’t placed exactly right, the piece or the pieces around it would have to be handled to scan the code.
RFID Vs Barcode – Faster, More Rugged
RFID is also a much faster technology. It is possible to read up to 40 tags per second. With barcoding, there is much more human interaction required to ensure proper label orientation and each piece must be scanned individually. This additional time and handling on each piece which increases costs. In general, the less times you handle an item the better.
RFID tags also have full read/write capability. This means that information can be added to the information stored on the individual tag. Barcodes can only store a limited amount of information and once it is created it cannot be modified. When a RFID tag is entered into the database, we can add as many descriptors for the item as needed. We can accurately describe any piece in storage. This includes size, weight, cubic feet, condition reports, and quantities. The entry fields are completely customizable in our database. We can easily track when an item was received, when it was delivered and where it was delivered to.
RFID tags are also much more rugged than barcode tags. The electronic components are covered in plastic making them more durable. The tags can also be placed on a part of the item that receives minimal exposure which reduces the risk of damage. Barcodes have to be visible and exposed in order to be read.
With RFID, much more automation is possible. Readers can be set up at access points and automatically read items coming and going. For the most part, with barcoding, human interaction is required to scan each piece.