RFID technology is used in various industries for a wide range of purposes.
Logistics – intelligent storage
RFID transponders bridge the gap between the physical flow of goods and the flow of information between businesses. Transponders attached to packages contain logistical or other information, e.g. relating to destination, time of delivery or contents. This makes it possible to continuously track an object along its journey. In the future, objects will be able to have an influence on how they are handled. Large containers equipped with active electronic labels will then be able to tell a crane which warehouse to store them in.
In pharmaceutics, labels can be combined with a temperature sensor, making it possible, for instance, to check whether a drug has been kept cool at all times.
Manufacturing – trace the ways
RFID makes it possible to track and trace parts and components throughout the production chain. In the event of a callback, RFID makes it possible to reconstruct exactly where and when a manufacturing error occurred. In mechanical engineering, RFID facilitates on-site maintenance and repair: With reliable information about the part to be replaced, personnel are able to respond more quickly, saving time and costs. With RFID, the vision of continuous tracking and tracing from manufacturing to use to recycling becomes feasible.
RFID transponders embedded in tools or tool parts make it possible to trace a finished product to a particular machine.
Anti-counterfeiting – reliable identification
High-end goods warrant the installation of RFID transponders carrying serial numbers. In this way, a product can be reliably identified and distinguished from imitations. For added security, the transponder is made irremovable.
In board gaming, RFID technology can provide an input interface. Players' moves on the board can thus be electronically recorded and transmitted to a computer. This makes it possible to play board games over the Internet, for instance. Game pieces equipped with RFID transponders also enable new kinds of games.
Asset management – finding things fast
RFID-based asset management enables companies to manage and maintain tools, devices or instruments with maximum efficiency. RFID can provide continuous information about the whereabouts and users of mobile assets, helping control and optimize their usage. Account is taken of turnaround time, quantitative and qualitative considerations as well as the associated operating costs and capital expenditure.
Access control – only the right people
RFID is used for access control mainly in corporate environments but also in soccer stadiums, public transportation networks or toll systems. The technology's flexibility and reusability help reduce costs. In addition, RFID increases security.