RFID Isn’t Just for Inventory Anymore
By James Griggs
When you get a free moment, wander over to your favorite search engine and run a quick search for RFID news. Here’s a story you might run across:
One of the world’s largest chicken producers raises about 12 million fryers a week, including many free-range birds. There’s a strong market preference for chickens with access to open-air pastures, but it sometimes takes work for the growers to get the birds to take advantage of outdoor grazing opportunities. So, growers are now attaching RFID tags to their flocks to track individual birds’ habits and gather data to help them determine how they can get more birds feeding outside the chicken houses.
Monitoring the behaviors of free-range chickens with RFID? If you were under the impression that RFID was just for inventory, this and hundreds of similar stories should convince you otherwise.
Today, innovative companies are using RFID solutions to feed IoT systems and gather data that supports artificial intelligence and advanced decision-making in all areas of their operations—not just the warehouse or retail sales floor. Evidence of the scope of new RFID applications shows up in the rapid growth that’s expected in the RFID marketplace. In fact, according to a recent report from Research and Markets, the global market for RFID tags alone is expected to achieve 11.6% CAGR over the next few years and top $18.9 billion USD by 2025.
So, even though RFID is commonly used in inventory management, there’s a lot more going on, and it’s certainly worth a look to understand how your business might benefit from other RFID applications such as asset tracking and equipment monitoring, production tracking, chain-of-custody monitoring, quality control, and many more.
For example, aerospace companies use RFID tags to locate and monitor high-value equipment as it moves between buildings and is staged for use in different locations. Utilities use RFID to track vehicles, equipment and maintenance operations in the field. And manufacturers use RFID not only to monitor inventory levels but also to proactively prevent slowdowns by continuously verifying that materials have reached every stage of production. Advanced active RFID tags can even record conditions such as temperature and humidity, monitoring conditions and providing essential track and trace data for perishable products in transit.
AB&R works closely with Zebra Technologies to build RFID systems that can handle any of these challenges. From handheld and fixed readers to printers, tags and labels, Zebra can deliver everything we need to build a complete RFID solution.
If RFID can help figure out how to get free-range chickens out of the hen house and into the pasture, the same technology can probably meet some of the advanced challenges your business faces. AB&R and Zebra have the expertise to help you identify where and how innovative RFID solutions can transform your operations. Contact us today if you would like to take a fresh look at RFID applications that can help your business.
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