What does RFID mean?

RFID is an acronym for Radio Frequency Identification.RFID is a word to describe all techniques that use radio waves to identify something. Usually RFID systems consist of the following components:

A reader, that is connected to (or integrated with)
An antenna, that sends out a radio signal
A tag (or transponder) that returns the signal with information added

Sometimes the communication is one-way: it is only the tag that sends information to the reader. Sometimes it is bidirectional. But the basic principle is always used to identify a tag (or transponder). The tag is carried by a person, an animal or an object and usually contains a number (in a certain format).

RFID readers and antennas are sometimes integrated and sometimes more than one antenna is connected to one reader.The antenna is the part that actually transmits and receives the radio signal. The reader is the part that deals with the generation of the signal, the modulation, the conversion of information, etc.

Readers are usually connected to another system.Let’s use an access control system as an example.The carrier would be a company employee.This person would have an access control card as a RFID tag.The reader would be a smartcard reader that is mullion mounted next to secured doors.The reader would be connected to an access control system.

In the access control system access rights for people are stored and people are linked to a number.This number is also stored on the RFID card.If the access control system gets information from the reader,it will look in its database to check if this person has access rights. If so, the system would be sending a signal to a door that it can be opened.

There are many variations to this setup. A wide variety of RFID systems have been implemented in the world. Livestock management systems deal with identification of cattle to automate feeding and milking or optimize heat detection. Vehicle access control systems use RFID in buses, taxis and ambulances to allow to them secure and convenient access to bus depots, taxi stands or first help entrances. Retail stores use RFID for securing goods and inventory checking. Logistics departments use RFID to track parcels in warehouses and during transport. Libraries use RFID to identify books and members in elf service applications. Billions of RFID tags are used in our world on a daily basis in millions of applications.

The principle of all RFID systems are basically the same: a reader sends out a radio signal. Once a RFID tag gets in reach of this signal, it will be powered in a certain way (sometimes inductive, sometimes in other ways). Inside the tags is a chip that is able to perform some logical behavior and that contains some information in its memory.

When the tag is powered, it will start returning a radio signal to the reader. The basic concept for many wider range systems is referred to as “modulated backscatter”. In basic terms the idea is that the tag reflects the reader signal (you could compare it to a mirror for radio waves), but when it reflects the signal, it slightly changes the modulation using a certain protocol. The reader understands these changes and is able to decode the information.

RFID systems supplies benefits like following the process of logistics better, executing inventory managing with less workers, decreasing labor costs and rate of waste, increasing costumer’s service quality and following the attitude of costumer. The wrong placement on logistic applications, errors resulting from loading and processing, errors on information are reduces by RFID technology. Despite that, the height of the value of the investment and restructuring process show those RFID investments should be considered a strategic decision for the companies. In order to ensure the success of RFID, a comprehensive analysis of assessment, the acquisitions and the costs that are required by technology investments should be examined. This study aims to develop RFID technology to be used as a 'Product-Based Tracking System'.