RFID stands for the abbreviation of Radio Frequency Identification. It is used for the unique contactless identification and localization of goods or even living beings, such as chips for pets.

With one transmitter and one receiver unit, RFID enables automatic, electronic data acquisition using electromagnetic waves. The transmitter unit is the transponder, which contains the corresponding identifying code. With an RFID reader, the reader, this code can be read. The RFID data is integrated into warehouse management/ merchandise management systems.

RFID systems

The data are stored on an electronic data carrier. Both the data exchange and the energy supply of the data carrier are effected by means of magnetic or electromagnetic fields. The transmitting unit, the transponder, is attached to the object to be identified and consists of these three basic components:

  • Antenna
  • Microchip
  • storage

The memory of the RFID transponder can be written at least once with the data intended for identification. If rewritable memories are used in the transponder, new data can be loaded there.

Functionality of RFID

The data transfer between RFID transponder and reader are standardized and multiple. The reader generates a high-frequency electromagnetic field to which the transponder is consequently exposed. The antenna of the RFID transmitter unit receives this high-frequency energy and serves as power supply for the chip and activates it. The chip then processes the request from the reader and then sends the requested information, which is stored in the memory, back to the reader.

RFID systems differ in range, functionality and appearance depending on the setup. In addition to tagging goods, RFID is thus often used at shelves, for access protection at personal interlocks or gate entrances.

RFID in logistics

Logistic processes can be simplified and optimized by RFID technology and the resulting exchange of information. In the material flow, data can be transmitted directly to connected logistics systems. In the age of digitalisation, the control, tracking and tracing of goods is becoming more and more central and this is where RFID plays out its advantages, especially in comparison to the barcode. This is because the data exchange between RFID and higher-level systems is direct and dynamic.